News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: July 2006

1 A load of Baggage

From the 5th July British Airways is introducing a new maximum bag weight policy that is good news for economy class passengers and will not make much difference for clients in the premier areas.

The maximum weight per bag for everyone is now 23 kg (up from 20 kg in Y class).  However stricter control on cabin baggage is also coming into force with bags exceeding the size limits being consigned to the hold.  Passengers will still be able to carry a laptop in a separate bag.

On most routes 23 kg is the maximum in Y class but for US, Canada, Caribbean, Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria even people paying the lowest fare can take two bags up to 23 kg each, due to local regulations. Everyone gets a chance to take a piece of sporting equipment with them free of charge, regardless of the class they fly. Only guide dogs may be taken into the cabin. 

Source Air & Business Travel News

2 Expanding in both directions

FCm Travel Solutions has taken another significant step forward in developing its global reach by selecting Flytour not only as its partner in Brazil, but also to manage its new Latin America region.

The agreement means that FCm Travel Solutions has developed a presence on all continents around the globe in little over one year since its launch. It also completes the global corporate travel specialist's move into the fast-growing BRIC region, which consists of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

On behalf of FCm Travel Solutions, their new partner in South America Flytour Business Travel will initially sign agreements with six other countries in the region, namely, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. Flytour Business Travel will therefore play a strategic role in Latin America providing regional management and direction to these new partners. 

Having mentioned India FCm Travel Solutions have also announced that they will be boosting their Indian network of offices from 16 to 25 in the next six months.


3 Online check-in for Monarch

Online check-in is being introduced by Monarch for passengers on scheduled flights from Manchester this week.

Passengers booked to travel from Manchester from 13.00 tomorrow can check in for their flight via the airline's website, and issue a boarding card from their home or office.

Online check-in is available from 24 to four hours prior to departure, or from 36 hours for member of the airline's Vantage Club frequent flyer programme.

Passengers checking in online with hand baggage only can go directly to the departure gate on arrival at Manchester Airport. Those travelling with hold baggage should first take their bags to the fast bag drop desk, where they will be tagged as normal and sent to the aircraft. 

Source: Travelmole

4 Reality training for the Gatwick Express

Gatwick Express, which is still waiting for a decision from the Department for Transport regarding its future, has won the Customer Service Innovation of the Year at the Railway Industry Innovation Awards ceremony.

Called "Leading Lights" it is a highly original and creative programme which uses the guiding principles of being positively helpful, friendly and polite to provide an even better service to customers.

Over the last three years Gatwick Express has put in considerable resources in developing "Leading Lights" into an effective training tool and typically employs actors to simulate authentic and challenging work situations and environments.

Source Air & Business Travel News;

5 Autumn Forum

Plans are still progressing smoothly for Management Solutions eleventh Corporate Travel & Expense Management Forum to be held on the 20th September at the Hesperia-Victoria London Hotel.

Invitations have already been accepted to appear as panellist from a number of Senior Corporate Travel & Expense Industry executives.  Full details of our Concur Technologies supported event will shortly be separately circulated.

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 Sabre produces "green" tool

Sabre Travel Network has launched a new product which enables business travel agencies to measure carbon emissions of flights they are booking.

The Greenhouse Emmission report gives details of flights booked, distance flown, the amount of fuel burned and the number of kilogrammes of carbon dioxide emitted.

Richard Adams, Sabre's senior vp EMEA, said: "The Greenhouse Emission report adds a significant environmental element to the overall service that travel management companies can offer their corporate customers."


7 Food for thought

For first class passengers on Virgin Trains an improved range of catering options is being offered. "After breaking new ground with high-technology trains, we are now leading the way with the best complimentary meal service on Britain's railways" says Charles Blecher, MD of Virgin West Coast.

The train company has bought in a new range of Primo menus to its main business trains to and from London Euston, and breakfast, evening meals and daytime snacks all include an enhanced menu selection.

Source: PAExecutive

8  Squeeze in the Middle

Midmarket and small companies bore the brunt of higher business travel rates last year, particularly for hotel rooms, even though companies that manage travel

avoided increases or negotiated discounts from other suppliers unmanaged travel companies could not.

That is the key message spelt out in this year's Business Travel News supplement research paper sponsored by Air Plus.

For anyone whose business falls into this category it is a worthwhile and excellent read and you can down load the Adopbe pdf document by visiting the BTN site

9 Going Dutch

It's good news for UK regional passengers heading for Amsterdam. Budget carrier Flybe is launching three new routes from the autumn which will provide competition for the incumbent airlines.

First off the mark is a twice daily service from Southampton commencing on September 11 followed by a single daily service from both Exeter and Norwich which gets under way on October 29.

Prices for all routes are set to lead-in at GBP60 return.

There are currently no flights to Amsterdam from Exeter.

Scot Airways has had the Amsterdam route to itself from Southampton for a number of years while Dutch national carrier KLM (and its predecessors KLM UK, Air UK and Air Anglia) has monopolised flights from Norwich for over 30 years.


10 Going back to Durham town

World famous author Bill Bryson caught his first glimpse of Durham from the window of a train crossing the impressive viaduct leading into the city's railway station - one of the most famous and beautiful railway views in the world.

Bryson, whose travel books have sold millions around the globe, is now Chancellor of Durham University - and on Monday, 26 June, he revisited the spot where he first entered the city, donning a hard hat to see for himself how GNER is restoring the station to its original Victorian grandeur.

Bill said: "It's great to see this marvellous building being brought back to life. There is so much great architecture to treasure on the railway, much of it the legacy of the Victorian railway pioneers. "This building will provide a fitting gateway to the wonderful city of Durham for many regular rail travellers, including me. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished results."

GNER is investing GBP2.5 million in the project at Durham railway station. Its main focus is on the southbound platform, where GNER trains depart for stations to Yorkshire, the East Midlands and London King's Cross.

Buildings on this platform dating back to the 1960s are being replaced by a new layout within the older station buildings dating back to 1872, much of which have been concealed from view for decades. More news on GNER can be obtained by clicking on this link:

11  Cornish Air Link Grows

Poor rail and road links mean that reaching Newquay can be a time consuming and stressful experience. Yet by air, the Cornish resort is little more than an hour away from any city in England or Scotland and that is why the number of air links to this Cornish resort have mushroomed in recent years.

Now comes news of two new routes, one from London Luton and the other from Edinburgh. Irish carrier Aer Arran will fly four times a week from Luton starting next Monday (July 3). Flights will operate every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

Budget carrier Flybe launched a once weekly service from Edinburgh at the end of May. But from July 10, Flybe will increase this to a three times a week operation (every Monday, Friday and Saturday).

Flybe is the only carrier flying to Newquay from Edinburgh but from London there are daily services with Ryanair from Stansted and a four times a day link from Gatwick with Air Southwest.


12  Not many people know this - yet

An amazing fact for you. If you are using BT's MeetMe teleconferencing service, you could be paying 13 times more than you need to for every conference call you make.

A one hour conference call with BT costs £61.62, when you would only pay GBP4.80 through Powwownow, the low-hassle, low-cost teleconferencing company.

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