News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: November 2010

  1. Flashmobbed on Arrival

    Just got off a long flight at Heathrow? All you need is to get through Terminal 5 and you're home and dry, right? Not last Thursday.

    Last thursday weary passengers dragging their luggage into T5's arrivals area had to contend with the unnerving sight of 500 or so apparently unconnected people, from cabin crew to taxis drivers, spontaneously bursting into song as part of a "flash mob" event organised by T-Mobile for its latest ad campaign.

    As arriving travellers sought out their lifts home or headed for the station, they were individually serenaded by the flash mob who sang from a tracklist of songs themed around welcoming people home including Mark Morrison's Return Of The Mack and Iggy Pop's I Am A Passenger.

    A human orchestra of 30 singers whose particular gift it is to be able to emulate instruments (think cello, drums and violins) accompanied the flash mob - with all of this, of course, being filmed by hidden cameras.

    The advert was shown last Friday night at 10.10pm and premiered the full three-minute version. It was run at the same time across 86 digital and terrestrial channels along with all the major social networks. T-mobile anticipates around 10 million people across the UK will have seen it.

    So if you have three minutes to spare in your busy day put on the speakers (or earphones) and click here - we hope this brightens your day

  2. World's first full service travel app launched

    Tripmate247™, the world's first mobile app allowing users to book all their travel needs direct from their phone, has gone live exclusively on Windows® Phone 7 as one of the global showcase apps on the new OS. The free to download app, built by MainTrack, allows users to choose their preferred language and currency to book their choice of flights, hotels, rental cars, events and tourist attractions with just a few taps on their phone.

    The mobile app is completely interactive with the tripmate247 website (www.tripmate247.com) which are both supported by a 24/7 customer call centre. Whether bookings are made through the app or the website, tripmate247 is seamlessly interactive ensuring that all the relevant information is synchronised to where the customer needs it. All itinerary information stored in the personal travel viewer can also be shared through SMS and email.

    The app is easy to navigate with clear and intuitive guidance through each stage of the booking process.

    Further great features such as sharing booking information through Facebook and LinkedIn, personalized weather updates, visa notifications, currency exchange rates, check in details and live flight information will be included as free upgrades in November and December 2010.

    The app can be downloaded free from Windows Phone Marketplace www.windowsphone.co.uk

    Source: BreakingTravel News - full story

  3. A new Young'un

    A new Young's Hotel is to open in December In South West London, The Alma is just 50 metres from Wandsworth Town Train Station, just one stop from Clapham Junction and 12 minutes directly into Waterloo.

    The 23 boutique bedrooms feature Egyptian cotton sheets, stylish Nina Campbell Wallpapers and luxury toiletries. All rooms are air-conditioned and include free Wi-Fi, LCD TVs and i-pod Docking Stations.

    At the heart of The Alma is a traditional London pub with a great range of real Ales and fine wines while the beautiful adjoining Dining Room offers modern British food.

    East Putney Underground Station is approximately 5 minutes away by taxi and offers access to the District Line and places such as Earls Court and Olympia, Chelsea, Fulham and Knightsbridge. For further information contact Vicky Curtis, Business Development Manager at Young & Co Hotels by email vicky.curtis@youngs.co.uk

  4. BA propose a way forward

    British Airways has offered to restore basic travel concessions to cabin crew who went on strike earlier this year in a bid to end the long-running and costly dispute between the two parties.

    However, it says staff who took industrial action must show three years of good behaviour before their seniority is restored, and in the meantime they must wait at the back of the line for free or discounted flights.

    BA has also made the offer conditional on Unite, the cabin crew union, dropping its legal action against the airline.

    Unite had threatened to take BA to court over its decision to strip crew of their travel perks, claiming the airline's action was in breach of European human rights legislation. Unite is expected to ballot its members this week.

    Source: Travelmole - full story by Linsey McNeil

  5. Forum Success Story

    From the Evaluation Forms completed by the delegates who attended the September forum this was rated superior to any other trade events by 80%.

    Some of our Buyer delegate's comments
    • I always find these sessions very educational and listening to peers is better than anything in the market
    • Overall a great seminar - very interesting and well paced
    • it was a very informative day plus a great networking opportunity
    • Surprisingly useful - I thought I knew most things
    • Really good format and useful points raised
    • Open, relaxed Forum
    • Very useful day to hear views from others in the industry and opportunity to network
    • I found the Forum very informative and worth attending
    • Valuable exchange of views and ideas, simple tips but effective.
    • The debate on Social Networking was very interesting
    • Again thoroughly enjoyed the day - loads of new ideas and content as always, keep up the great work
    If you missed our September event you can still get a flavour of the day by clicking through to see the video interviews and the gallery of pictures taken during the day.

    We will shortly be announcing the Agenda for our Spring 2011 Forum on Thursday 12th May so make a diary note now to ensure that you don't miss our 2011 events which include Thursday 22nd September.

  6. New Hotel for Gatwick

    Gatwick Airport has announced it has signed a contract enabling Shiva Hotels Limited to operate a new 192-bedroom 'Hampton by Hilton' hotel, providing more choice for its passengers. The new hotel, located in the North Terminal, will offer three star accommodation for business and leisure travellers as well as provide exceptional facilities for conferences and events.

    Subject to planning permission, the redevelopment work is expected to start in early 2011 and open its doors to passengers in time for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    Source: Breaking Travel News - full story

  7. Premier Inn set for Leicester Square

    Premier Inn is to open an 84-room hotel in the heart of London's West End on Leicester Square.

    Due to open in 2012, the property will see the former Queen's Hotel on the north side of the square refurbished in a £6m project.

    The property, which is more than 100 years old, currently houses a nightclub and casino and these will remain.

    The 84 bedrooms will include air conditioning and Wi-Fi, while 24-hour automated check-in kiosks will also be installed.

    Source: e-Tid - full story

  8. Measurement that Matters

    Procurement professionals know that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. They also know they must measure to manage. But what happens if they are making the wrong measurements? Or, to be more precise, measuring in the wrong places?

    A recent report from Advito deals with this very issue. It argues that as well as making tactical measurements, travel managers need to find a set of strategic key performance indicators (KPIs) which give them - and senior management - the big picture about their travel programme.

    Examples of corporate objectives cited in the report include revenue generation, cost containment, governance and sustainability. It states that programme performance can be measured against such goals by using a set of eight to 12 strategic KPIs. Using fewer fails to provide a broad enough perspective, while more than a dozen loses focus, especially for busy senior management with numerous areas of the company reporting to them.

    Advito suggests a sample set of strategic KPIs which it proposes could become standard benchmarks within the corporate travel industry. Cost reduction also gets a look-in: the paper proposes a KPI to track how much the company has saved through effective sourcing and steering.

    Source: SupplyManagement.com - click here for the full story by Amon Cohen.

    To download Advito white papers click here

  9. Bye bye Baboo

    Regional Swiss carrier Baboo is to cease flights between London City and Geneva from November 8.

    A short message on the airline's website confirms that flights to LCY will stop on November 8, with services to Athens also ceasing on November 4. Baboo commenced flights to London City from its Geneva hub late last year.

    Air France codeshared on the twelve-times weekly Baboo service, having previously plied the LCY-Geneva route itself under subsidiary Cityjet.

    It will be interesting to see if the French carrier decides to re-enter a route now only operated by Swiss from London City. It also seems a strange time for Baboo to cut the route, with the busy ski season soon to start.

    Source: BusinessTraveller online - report by Mark Caswell

  10. Trade unites in anger against APD

    Industry representatives are warning that Business will suffer and many families will be unable to afford a holiday next year because of the latest hike in Air Passenger Duty.

    The tax is due to increase Today (1 November).

    Willie Walsh, British Airways' chief executive, branded the rise a 'disgrace' and warned it could threaten the airline's return to profitability - as well as the fortunes of UK plc.

    BA said Friday: 'Aviation supports more than 500,000 jobs in the UK and provides the transport links that are vital to the success of UK businesses in a globalised economy. Excessive taxation puts aviation's social and economic benefits at risk.'

    Low-cost rival easyJet called for a complete overhaul of APD and highlighted unfair aspects such as exemptions for transfer passengers joining flights departing from the UK, and those on private jets.

    Virgin Atlantic said a £450m price tag will be added to family holidays as APD rises for the third time in three years.

    Source: E-tid - full story and link to the new APD tax rates

  11. Continental expands Heathrow-New York

    Continental Airlines added a fifth daily flight to its New York service from London's Heathrow airport this past weekend.

    As of Sunday (October 31), the US-based airline added an early morning New York-bound flight to its schedule, plus a late evening departure for London.

    Flight CO115 will leave Heathrow at 8.40am, arriving into New York's Newark airport at 1.05pm. From Newark, flight CO114 will leave at 11.05pm, arriving into Heathrow at 10.15am the next day.

    A B757-200 will be used to operate the route.

    Source: Air & Business Travel News - full story by Sara Turner

  12. Hertz promises technology improvements

    Hertz has launched an iPhone application in 18 languages for European customers, allowing customers to make reservations via their smartphones. The app has been available to US customers for some time, but from today can be accessed by those in Europe.

    Available to download from www.hertz.co.uk/app, it allows people to make reservations using their iPhones, search for nearby Hertz locations and get special deals.

    The car rental company has also announced plans to expand the number of its self-service kiosks in Europe, which are currently only available at less than 15 airports.

    The touch-screen technology, similar to that used by airlines in airports, can currently be used by customers who have prepaid for their car rental, but Hertz plans to expand the service to non prepaid tariffs early next year.

    Customers can select and purchase upgrades, optional insurance and waiver products, fuel options and add-ons, such as the Hertz NeverLost in-car satellite navigation system.

    Source: Air & Business Travel News - full story by Sara Turner

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