News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: March 2009

  1. Need a room for a meeting in London

    Innovative London hotel The Hoxton is offering business travellers the chance to use its bedrooms as work rooms for just £19 between the hours of 10am and 4pm on weekdays.

    Recognising the fact that many rooms are empty between these hours, the hotel has decided to put together a package allowing day trip visitors to London the ability to use the room's facilities.

    The offer includes:
    • free wifi
    • one hour of local phone calls
    • milk, tea and coffee
    • free TV
    • use of the bed and bathroom
    Note that this offer can only be booked by via the hotel's reservation line on +44 (0)207 550 1000, at least 24 hours prior to arrival.

    Source: Business Traveller Online - further information

  2. Avis gets a Makeover

    Avis Rent A Car is ready to launch the redesigned version of its flagship website, Avis.com.

    The new site, which features a four-step reservation process, offers customised content, including special deals, side-by-side rate information and real-time pricing.

    Some of the features include better vehicle comparison and selection (simply float the cursor over the car class or type with no need to open or close new windows), shopping and comparing rates on one page, real-time rate rental calculation (the new site displays price changes as rental options and protection coverages are added to the reservation), and side-by-side comparison of reservation modification.

    Source: eye for travel news - further information

  3. Do you have business in Russia?

    Business travel in Russia is maturing. Buyers and suppliers of corporate travel services are searching for best practice solutions to help develop a business travel management focus in the region.

    ACTE is working with a network of volunteers from a variety of organizations to create a relevant educational program to help find solutions to the unique challenges that impact the region.

    The event is relevant to corporate representatives (buyers and administrators of travel), suppliers of corporate travel and visa services in Russia.

    Click here for more details

  4. Plane Speaking

    It's fair to say that the aviation industry has taken a bit of a battering in recent months and unsurprisingly airlines are reducing services in a bid to ride out the current economic climate.

    Bmi has now announced it is cutting several domestic and short haul services, which will be coming into effect at the end of March.

    Flights from Heathrow to Leeds Bradford, and Durham are being scrapped completely while its Amsterdam service is being reduced in frequency from seven daily flights to four, and Dublin suffering a similar fate with services cut to six a day, down from seven.

    Capacity will also be cut on Heathrow to Brussels and Aberdeen routes, due to replacing aircraft with a smaller plane for these services.

    Source: Executive PA online - further information

  5. Spring Forum News

    HRS, the award winning online hotel booking service have joined BCD Travel, the Hesperia-Victoria Hotel and Buying Business Travel magazine as our sponsors for both of our ACTE supported Forums this year.

    Managing Business Travel in a Recession is the title of our Spring event and will feature four sessions covering Control & Knowledge, Aviation Issues, Expense Management and a Buyers speakeasy where Buyers will dictate the agenda and speak their minds on topics that really get them hot under the collar.

    If you have not checked it out yet please do so as we have already sold over 25% of the capacity of the event which will be held in the five star Hesperia-Victoria Hotel in London on Tuesday the 12th May.

    The full Agenda and our list of exciting speakers can be found on our website, which will also allow you to register and book online.

  6. Is someone at Ryanair taking the P***?

    Budget airline Ryanair could soon be charging customers £1 to spend a penny if plans to install pay-for-use toilets go ahead.

    Having announced that Ryanair could remove all its check-in desks by as early as the end of this year in an effort to cut costs, Chief executive Michael O'Leary said: "One thing we have looked at in the past and are looking at again is the possibility of maybe putting a coin slot on the toilet door so that people might actually have to spend a pound to spend a penny in future."

    Chief executive Michael O'Leary said the savings made by closing all the check-in desks would be passed on to passengers in the form of lower fares. A spokesman for rival low-fare carrier easyJet said: "We have no plans to charge passengers £1 to use our toilets. "Inflation appears to have gone crazy if it now costs £1 to spend a penny."

    Sources: a combination of Breaking Travel News - full story and ITN report

  7. Regional airports group cuts jobs

    Manchester Airports Group is to cut almost 100 jobs due to a drop in passenger numbers.

    The regional airport company said 305 employees would need to re-apply for 215 new positions following a review of its staffing structure.

    MAG said 25 jobs will be lost at East Midlands Airport, with 60 people asked to reapply for 35 new posts.

    Only three jobs will go at Bournemouth Airport, which the group said had "significant potential for future growth".

    Its other airport, Humberside, is not affected by the review.

    Source: TravelMole - full story by Phil Davies

  8. More choice for Online Travel & Expense Management

    i:FAO, the leading online booking system have recently launched cytric g8 version 8.8 - which now incorporates travel expense reporting using cytric EXPENSE.

    cytric EXPENSE is a newly developed module and fully integrated into cytric. Corporations may use cytric EXPENSE without booking travel in cytric, but users of cytric for business travel can automatically transfer trips booked with cytric into the new travel expense reporting.

    With this increased functionality cytric covers the entire process chain for business travel.

    cytric users remain in a familiar environment from initial travel planning through to travel expense reporting; the need for manual input is dramatically reduced.

    By using cytric EXPENSE trips can be reported as conforming to legal standards, quickly and without errors.

    The completely new travel expense functionality offers state-of-the-art features designed to make it easier for companies to reduce business travel process costs now and in the future: cytric EXPENSE automatically reflects all valid per diems, incidental allowances and currency exchange rates.

    Companies are released from the task of constantly reviewing legal and tax regulations and requirements as applying to travel expenses - cytric EXPENSE does it for them.

    Source: ifao.net, click here for full details

  9. Bmi announce additional routes and new ticketing technology

    Bmi will operate a five times a week service to the Ukrainian capital Kiev from March 29.

    Economy fares will start from £203 and Business Class fares from £649. All bmi flights operate from London Heathrow Terminal 1.

    The airline recently doubled services to Riyadh in January 2009, as it seeks to focus on key business routes.

    Bmi will also add a second daily service from Heathrow to Tel Aviv from March 30 following high demand.

    Initially the twice-daily flights will be operated on A321 aircraft, but will switch to A330 aircraft from May 3.

    The new service means bmi will offer the first and last flight of the day from Tel Aviv to Heathrow.

    Meanwhile, the airline has rolled out paperless boarding and mobile check-in to all domestic flights from Heathrow, following trials last year.

    Customers can check in online or by mobile up to 24 hours in advance, choose their seat and have their boarding pass delivered electronically to their mobile phone or PDA as an MMS.

    With this technology, passengers with mobile tickets who have hang luggage only can go straight to security and just show their mobile.

    Sources: Travelmole - article 1 and article 2 by Bev Fearis

  10. Agents now able to issue Russian tickets

    Further to our third newsClip story this month another article concerning Russian business has caught our eye.

    Travelport GDS has signed two deals which open the way for wider access to both ticket sales and airline content in both Russia and former CIS countries.

    The first agreement is with TCH, Russia's settlement service. This will allow agents using Galileo - one of the GDSs owned by Travelport - to issue TCH e-tickets for the first time.

    Previously, travel agents were required to use a local GDS for ticketing.

    The second deal is with IT aviation specialist SITA which will provide agents across Russia and the CIS access to new airline content through Travelport's Reservation Sales Solutions (RSS).

    Source: Air & Business Travel News - full story

  11. Free Stockholm City Cards from SAS

    SAS is giving each passenger travelling with SAS to Stockholm's Arlanda Airport from the UK a complimentary Stockholm City Card this March and April.

    According to the airline, The Stockholm Card, worth £30, gives travellers: Free airport transfers (typically costing upwards of £40); Free unlimited travel on Greater Stockholm's public transport; Free entry to more than 75 museums and attractions; Priority access and discounts to shows etc.

    The Stockholm City Card is valid for 24 hours.

    The airline highlighted that the pound enjoys a far more favourable exchange rate against the Swedish krona than the Euro, remaining steady at around 12 SEK to the pound for the last six months. "This compares to an astonishing 35 percent drop against the Euro, meaning that Sweden offers excellent value for British travellers abroad," SAS stated.

    Source: eyefortravel.com - click here for the full story

  12. Dutch group signs deal with Moscow company

    Golden Tulip Hospitality Group has signed a deal with a Moscow-based hotel company to move into Russia.

    The Dutch hotel chain's agreement is with IFK Hotel Management, a hotel management company. Under the deal, IFK will be Tulip's official representative in Russia and market its brands including Golden Tulip and Royal Tulip.

    Tulip, whose head office is in Switzerland, has 780 hotels in more than 50 countries around the world. This is its first move into the Russian region.

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

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