News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: June 2009

  1. More than Full House for Spring Forum

    Our joint Spring Event, in conjunction with the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), which was held at the Hesperia-London Victoria Hotel, was extremely well attended and whilst we increased capacity we had to turn people away.

    See the links below for Stanley Slaughter's news coverage in ABTN.

    Article 1
    Article 2
    Article 3

    The photo gallery for this event.

    Buying Business Travel is our forum media partner so look out for news articles in their next publication.

    Supply Management also covered the event, see page 20 of the 28 May edition - please let us know if you see additional news items that we may not be aware of.

    If you would like to make sure that you get a chance to attend our Autumn event on Thursday the 15th October Register Now to guarantee your space and avoid disappointment. And early registrants benefit from the early bird lower rate!

    The full Agenda of the Autumn event and our list of exciting speakers will be posted on our web page as we finalise all the details

  2. Taxi For British Airways

    British Airways is to offer free black cab rides to and from the airport for its business and first class passengers travelling from Heathrow.

    The carrier will initially run the service on a three-month trial basis, starting from this Monday. It's the first time BA has offered such a service to its premium passengers, which entitles Club World and First travellers to a free black cab ride to and from the airport (within a 100-mile radius).

    The three-month trial will not be available to Club Europe passengers, or those travelling on discounted fares.

    For more information visit

    Source: Business Traveller online - full report by Mark Caswell

  3. US Air carriers get wired up for additional revenue

    According to The LA Times, airlines are bringing back wireless Internet service on planes, allowing business tech savvy travellers to check their e-mails, browse the Web and log into their corporate and social networks while in flight.

    There hasn't been in-flight Internet access since Boeing killed a very expensive, multi-billion-dollar project to wire planes all over the world with a satellite-based system.

    Now several smaller Internet companies have come up with cheaper systems that are working well. AirTran Airways will equip all of its 136 planes with WiFi by the end of July.

    Larger carriers, Delta Air Lines, which operates more than 1,000 planes, and American Airlines, with more than 600 jets, are rolling the service out over the next year.

    With the serious slump in travel, airlines see the service as a way to boost shrinking revenues. Under American's system, passengers can begin accessing the Internet with their laptops, smart phones and hand-held PDAs once the plane reaches 10,000 feet.

    Source: TravelMole - full report

  4. Comfort and Quality with Free Internet

    Choice Hotels, which has 46 properties under the Quality and Comfort banners in the UK, is to offer free internet access at all of its UK properties from the end of June. Currently, the group's hotels have a range of different policies for charging for the internet, some of which already offer access free of charge.

    The move is designed to offer hotel guests better value in the current economic climate. The group says that Choice hotels in some other European markets will also drop their internet charges.

    Source: Times Online - full report by Mark Frary
  5. The car at your front door is a Europcar

    Europcar, the UK's leading vehicle rental company, is offering free delivery and collection for car and van hire with its new We Deliver service, allowing customers to phone the company and get a car delivered to their door within a guaranteed two hour time window.

    Europcar's free delivery and collection service is designed to make car hire much more accessible and convenient. The service is available for car and van hire of more than two days.

    Unlike competitors where the customer has to be taken back to the rental location or car clubs where the car has to be collected from, or returned to, a designated parking spot, Europcar will deliver the car to the customer's door ensuring their trip can begin without delay. At the end of the auto hire, the car will be collected and taken back to its original location by Europcar.

    Source: Breaking Travel News. Com - full story

  6. push mid-range business, the leading online hotel reservation service with more than 210,000 hotels around the world, is reacting to the global economic crisis by targeting small and medium-sized businesses. While is noticing a reduction in overall business travel activity as a result of the global economic recession, it is benefiting as a cost-saving online agent from increased pressure to reduce travel expenditure.

    In recent months, small and medium-sized businesses have been increasingly willing to use cheaper online channels such as to reserve hotel rooms.

    In particular, the several thousand corporate discount rates that the online agent automatically activates when a corporate customer calls up make a significant contribution to these savings. These corporate discount rates are often up to 20% lower than the public room rate.

    Source: Internet Travel News - full story

  7. BTM unveils big name speakers

    Former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Norman Lamont, is among a number of high-profile speakers at Business Travel Market on 17-18 June at London's ExCel.

    The speaker programme also includes Dale Moss, managing director of British Airways' OpenSkies subsidiary; Doug Weeks, president of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE); and David Hornby, former commercial director of Visit London. Lord Lamont was Chancellor during the last recession between 1990 and 1993 and his BTM speech will focus on the lessons that have, haven't and should have been learnt since then. Dale Moss, meanwhile, will talk about the effect of increased global competition on European air routes and how it might, for example, affect business travel patterns and airfares. Doug Weeks will discuss the impact of the current climate on the business travel industry from ACTE's global perspective.

    Source: e-tid - full story

  8. Train punctuality reaches record high

    Train punctuality in the UK has reached its highest level since records began, with just over nine out of ten trains running on time last year.

    The results show that April 2009 produced a record monthly figure of 93.5 per cent of trains running on time.

    The best performing rail operators over the last twelve months were C2C Rail, Chiltern and Merseyrail, which all achieved punctuality figures of over 95 per cent.

    The overall punctuality figures are the highest since records began in 1992. Train services are recorded as being on time if they arrive within five minutes of their scheduled arrival time for commuter services, and within ten minutes for long-distance services.

    Source: Business Traveller Online - full report by Mark Caswell

  9. BA Mileage Management launched

    British Airways has launched a new company to manage the Airmiles reward scheme, as well as BA's own Executive Club.

    The Mileage Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BA, will now run both schemes with the aim of maximizing their commercial success and growing partnerships.

    It also plans to market itself as a one-stop shop for the management of loyalty schemes for other companies in the future.

    Source: Business Traveller Online - full report by Sara Turner

  10. Why companies need a meetings policy

    Kevin Iwamoto, VP Enterprise Strategy, Starcite, a meetings management company, claims that Europe is starting to adopt strategic meetings management programmes but warns that managing meetings is not the same as managing travel.

    If in the past business travel was all about getting on a plane, it is now more widely seen as being about meetings. The style and aim of these meetings may differ, but the purpose of them is getting face to face with customers, colleagues or business partners.

    But despite years of talk, this switch in emphasis is only now taking place. There is some important evidence to back this. IKEA's travel policy is now focussed on meetings rather than travel while the UK travel managers' association has recently re-named itself the Institute of Travel and Meetings.

    But if these are at the forefront, Kevin Iwamoto, said companies in America were now going "crazy" to install a strategic meetings management programme (SMMP). Even in Europe, which is lagging behind the States in terms of meetings technology, there is movement.

    "It is all about change management. It has reached a point where companies have found that it is the thing to do," he said. He gave as an example a company which held five or six meetings each year in the same hotel but never tried to negotiate a price. "So who benefits? The hotel," he said. But he pointed out that meetings were a multi-million dollar business and that 40% of T&E was meetings related.

    "I don't know of any company which will let any employee go and buy a laptop of choice and then ask for it to be synchronised with the company system. But there are companies with no centralised process for meetings. We are now getting this message across," he said.

    "It is easy to blame the people but it is the system which allows anyone to sign. People would like to follow policy but there isn't one. If you set up a formalised policy, people will be happy to follow it. They don't want to negotiate contracts.

    "Look at the secretary who used her own personal credit card to book the hotel. There was no policy around that and her job did not entitle her to a company credit card. This is really the company's fault. There was no correct authority for her."

    Source: Air & Business Trave News - full story by Stanley Slaughter

  11. Virgin Atlantic in massive lounge addition

    Virgin Atlantic, one of the few major international airlines not to be part of an alliance (and hence lounge use - has to do deals, typically ANZ in Sydney), now has joined forces with Regus which claims to be the world's largest provider of flexible workspace solutions with more than 1,000 business lounges worldwide.

    This unique partnership will provide substantial benefits to members of Virgin Atlantic's frequent flyer programme, Flying Club and holders of Virgin Atlantic American Express Credit Card from MBNA. The Regus lounges are in 750 cities across 75 countries.

    Source: AERBT - full article.

  12. S7 joins oneworld

    The largest domestic carrier in Russia S7 Airlines, is to join the oneworld alliance.

    The ten members of the group, among them BA, American Airlines and Japan Airlines, voted "unanimously" for the Russian carrier to join.

    S7 is the second Russian airline to join one of the major alliances. The national carrier Aeroflot is already a member of SkyTeam.

    S7 serves 72 destinations, including 35 in Russia and the rest in eight different countries, all former members of the CIS: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

    Its membership will expand oneworld's reach to 750 destinations in nearly 150 countries, a statement by the alliance said.

    Source: ABTN - full story by Stanley Slaughter

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