News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: August 2006

1  Full Electronic Ticketing getting closer

IATA the airlines have reported Global electronic ticketing (ET) penetration reached 54% as at the end of June with 18 months remaining until the December 31, 2007 deadline for 100% electronic ticketing

Penetration increased by 5% during the second quarter and 21% year over year. 156 airlines, responsible for 87% of BSP ticketing volumes, are now issuing electronic tickets.

In June the largest increases occurred in Asia Pacific driven by upsurges in Thailand and Micronesia, Philippines, India and Japan. Within the region the highest ET use is in Micronesia followed by New Zealand and Australia.

Currently five airlines are issuing 100% electronic tickets, five more are at 99% and a further 13 airlines are above 95% ET. The largest airline in this group is DBA of Germany.

Airlines issued 6 million more ET in June 2006 compared to the same month last year. The largest volume increases - over 500,000 each - were by Iberia, China Southern Airlines and Air France. The latter has now joined Iberia in being the only airlines to have issued over 1 million electronic tickets in a single month.

Source: Internet Travel News

2  What time is the next train?

Have you or your travellers discovered TrainTracker yet?

TrainTracker is a useful tool for travellers who require train time predictions for direct trains when they are away from the internet.

Just dial 0871 200 49 50 in order to obtain up to the minute train times by phone .

How does it work? TrainTracker uses speech recognition which lets you say what you want.

TrainTracker then looks up the estimated train times from National Rail Enquiries Live Departure and Arrivals Boards and speaks this information to you.

TrainTracker can also be accessed on station-specific numbers. So if you regularly travel to or from the same station, then click on this link to see the station specific numbers.

3  United to Quit London

Shock News from the US - on the 28th July United announced that it will sell its New York-London route authority to Delta Air Lines.

Through the deal, which is subject to U.S. Department of Transportation approval, Delta for the first time will be able to operate daily roundtrip flights between its New York-JFK hub and London's Gatwick Airport. "The first daily roundtrip flight would begin later this year with a second flight beginning in spring 2007," the carrier said.

While abandoning its London route, United is putting greater focus on the Asian market. New or expanded service includes flights between Washington Dulles and Tokyo, as well as between San Francisco and Taipei, Seoul and Hong Kong.

Source: Business Travel News

4  Summer by the River

Summertime is one of the best times of year to visit London.

Notting Hill Carnival is the cherry on an enormous banana sundae of Summer festivals. The city is bulging with new art exhibitions, shows and great food.

Riverbank Park Plaza is slap bang in the middle of London. B&B from GBP69 including cocktail vouchers in the Chino Latino Bar and 50% off dinner. Stay three nights and receive a free room upgrade!

5  Autumn Forum

Klaus Goddard of Amadeus and Mike Fill of Item Consulting are amongst the latest names of speakers who have agreed to join in the debates scheduled for Management Solutions eleventh Corporate Travel & Expense Management Forum to be held on the 20th September at the Hesperia-Victoria London Hotel in conjunction with the Institute of Travel Management.

Invitations have already been accepted to appear as panellist from a number of Senior Corporate Travel & Expense Industry executives.

The day's agenda follows our previous pattern and has been determined by the votes of our previous delegates and readers of this newsletter.

  • In house travel dept versus Call centre (do you get a better service from a TMC implant or a call centre?) - TUPE & the impact on changing TMC
  • What new product(s) is/are on the horizon to allow Corporates / TMC's to reduce bottom line costs?
  • Surface Transport, Rail & Hotel procurement and how self booking tools are dealing with this problem.
  • Is the Security and Risk Management under control in your company and some suggestions to consider.

     6  More ETicketing

Further to Article 1 in this month's NewsClips we are delighted to report that eticketing could soon be on the way for British Rail travellers.

Two British train firms are following their mainland European counterparts and adopting eticketing.

Midland Mainline (MML) and One Railway either have, or are poised to trial systems that will allow passengers to book online and print out their tickets from their home or office which will eliminate queuing at station booking offices.

The paper booking is then validated by station and on-board train staff. And now Virgin Trains has indicated it will shortly announce a similar scheme covering a number of mainline services.

MML's scheme is active on various trains running from London St Pancras to Leicester, Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield. One's equivalent is launched on August 11 (so no details are currently posted on its website) and covers only the 50-mile London Liverpool Street to Cambridge run

For more information go to www.midlandmainline.com & www.onerailway.com

Source: BusinessTraveller.com

7 Thumbs Up & Down

Avis UK is boosting security at its Stansted Airport rental station by asking customers to leave their thumb print when renting a vehicle.

As part of a major security drive, Avis is working with local police and other car rental companies based at Stansted on a scheme to help prevent fraudulent rentals occurring at the airport.

The scheme requires all rental customers to leave a thumb print with their rental agreement when collecting their car. The thumb print not only acts as a deterrent to those who feel they may be able to commit a crime when renting a car, but those who do leave their identity can thereafter be traced.

Source: AirlineTravel News

8  BA Grows Regionally

Just when you thought no-frills carriers had it sewn up outside of the London airports, along comes surprise news: the BA tailfin is to appear for the first time at Nottingham East Midlands.

British Airways, under the guise of its franchise partner GB Airways, will start three flights a week to Tenerife from the airport from October 31. On October 3, it will start the same route and frequency from Bristol, from which regional airline BA Connect already operates.

Expansion like this, given the cut-throat nature of the market, was enough of a surprise, but GB then horrified the purists by revealing that these flights, plus existing services from Manchester, will be single-class.

Out will go the Club Europe cabin and free food and drink, bringing them into line with BA Connect, rather than BA mainline.

Making passengers pay for food on a one-hour BA Connect flight is one thing, but not offering food on a three or four-hour flight may not do the BA name any good, given that consumers do not know the difference between the three brands. Moreover, GB's Heathrow and Gatwick flights will operate as two-class, with all the frills, potentially adding to the confusion!!!

Source: TTG Live

9  Courtyard in Paris

Paris gains its second Marriott Courtyard hotel next week. The 150-room Courtyard Colombes opens Today (August 7) on the border of La Defense business district to the west of the city centre. The city's existing Courtyard (an older property) is located at Neuilly, a residential area west of Porte Maillot.

Courtyard is Marriott's value for money brand but the properties now being opened across mainland Europe are a cut above those found in the US. This particular property is typical of the new breed of Courtyards where you find quasi-standard four-star accommodation but at reasonable prices.

There's a quality restaurant and bar, a fitness centre, two meeting rooms and a business centre. Opening rates are very attractive, perhaps because August is a slack month for the French capital. Rooms are all 24 square metres in size and offer either one king or two twin beds. Deluxe rooms are priced at Euros 69 for a midweek stay falling to Euros 59 at the weekend. Premier rooms cost Euros 194 and include internet access and amenities. All rates include breakfast.

The new Courtyard is located eight km from the heart of Paris. It's also 30 km south west of CDG airport and 35 km northwest of Orly.

Source: Business Traveller.com

10  TMC's not seen to be delivering

Travel management companies (TMCs) are failing to convey their value to their clients, according to a new survey of travel buyers.

The poll of 90 buyers by the UK and Ireland Institute of Travel Management (ITM) found that two thirds believed that TMCs will either "diminish in importance or fail to flourish."

The respondents said that despite increased fees by TMCs, they were not seeing a parallel rise in effective savings.

They added that there seemed to be little difference in the various TMCs with 65% of corporate buyers saying they had changed their TMC either just once or not at all in the past decade.

60% of the buyers cited savings as the main driver in globalisation programmes but only 38% said their bottom line had improved.

Source: BusinessTravelEurope

11  New Baggage Limits

British Airways has simplified its baggage policy by limiting economy class passengers to checking in a single bag weighing no more than 23kg (50lbs). The new strict weight limit and flat rate fee to carry extra bags will leave domestic passengers worse off but will benefit long haul passengers who want to travel with a lot of luggage.

For passengers travelling after October 11, the airline will no longer check in any bag that weighs more than 23kg. Previously passengers on domestic flights could take bags of up to 32kg(70LBS), but now passengers in any class, on any flight must take items out of their luggage even if it weighs just a few grams /ounces over the 23kg limit.

If excess items cannot be unloaded from a check-in bag into the carry on, then a second bag must be checked in, which incurs a set fee per bag. This fee is GBP30 per bag for UK domestic flights, GBP60 per bag for short haul flights and GBP120 per bag for long haul flights. It is hard to say whether travellers will be better off with these new fees, because previously the excess baggage charges were made per kilo and varied according to route.

For business and first class passengers this is less of an issue because they can check-in two pieces of luggage weighing up to 23kg each - both on short and long haul flights.

Source: Times Online.com

12  Update for Ibis

French hotel chain Accor has continued the updating of guestrooms in its budget Ibis brand, with the opening of a new property in Bristol.

The new-look rooms have polished wooden floors, queen-sized beds, air conditioning, freestanding mirror, and power showers. Technology includes in-room wifi, which costs GBP9.99 for 24 hours and includes access to movies and satellite channels on the plasma TV. Wifi access is free in the ground floor public areas.

The 182-room Bristol property is centrally located in the city's harbourside development area close to Temple Meads railway station, with a shuttle service to Bristol Airport leaving from outside the hotel. Other options in the area include a Travelodge, with Marriott and Jurys Inn hotels nearby.

Source: BusinessTraveller.com

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