June 2014 • World Travel

The New Airport Experience.

Airport Experience

Have you noticed that the new airport experience is getting better?

While our dining reality inside the airplane has deteriorated, the new airport experience has greatly improved with delicious food, shopping and amenities.

At the Chicago O’hare airport, we ate at a small Italian restaurant where I had the best chicken Caesar Salad that I had ever eaten. The airport boasts over 60 eating and drinking establishments throughout the terminals. They offer almost every type of cuisine you can imagine with some of them with multiple locations in the airport terminals. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or craving something fancier like Wolfgang Puck, they have it all.

At the Phoenix airport, there is a very artistic mall area where there are shops and great dining options. There, I have a favorite store, Mosaic, with museum quality gifts. It’s like an art gallery! Every time I pass through the airport, I allow extra time to browse the store, picking up future Christmas and birthday gifts for my family members, and for myself!

At John Wayne airport in Santa Ana, California I arrive early to look at the various art exhibits as you stroll to your gate for departure. The whole terminal area is very beautiful. The Airports Arts Program is overseen by a five-member Airport Arts Commission. The intention is to show museum quality art in the Riley Terminal. The commission has various periodic special programs along with the regular exhibitions. They also sponsor a county-wide Annual Student Art Contest/Exhibition where some amazing student artists are show off their talents.

Even Baggage areas have improved. At John Wayne, they have planters and skylights, and at the Las Vegas, Nevada airport you will be amazed at the flash and color screens in their baggage area. They also have slot machines throughout the airport to fulfill your pre-departure gambling desires.

So with the new airport experience we get to luxuriate before we squeeze ourselves onto our flights.

Visit our Facebook page and share with us what you think of the new airport experience.

Barge Ahead On The River

River Barge

GO SLOW – Instead of a River cruise, try a Barge for your destination incentive trips, executive retreats, family generational travel, groups of friends. Your top speed will be about 4 miles per hour.

You can reward your best sales people, do team building, or symposiums by bringing your group of 4 to 21 people and taking over a whole barge. It is smaller, intimate, and more private than a larger river cruise ship.

Your group can enjoy a relaxed casual environment on the barge and enjoy a gourmet food experience as fresh foods are obtained each day from different towns along the way. Special wine tastings  or excursions can be planned.  Meals and some wines are included in the cost of your trip.

With advanced planning you can modify your dining to enjoy the local restaurants if you don’t want to eat aboard the barge. If the group doesn’t have the whole barge to themselves they may want to take their group to a local famous (one or two star) restaurant and take over just with your group of family, business associates or friends. In other words you really can modify whereas you cannot with a river cruise ship.

Your guests can enjoy excursions to local chateaux, villages, markets, churches and vineyards. Bicycles can be used to explore the countryside. There is usually a van or small bus that goes along side of the barge for the whole trip or at least a portion of it to take the passengers to different venues along the way.

The best times of the year are September through October.  If you go during August, the villages may be closed down for their summer vacations so there might be less to see.  In the Spring, the rivers may be too full from the April showers to allow you to go under the bridges that span the canals which means your planned itinerary may change.

Best of all, you can enjoy a slow exploration of the villages of France, Holland, Germany, and Ireland by taking a Barge trip.

World Travel Business Elite can help you get slow cruising on your next barge. Click here to get started and find out more!

Cost-Effective Business Travel

Cost Effective Business Travel

Recently at a networking event, the age-old question came up:  What does it take to have cost-effective business travel and still have quality of service?

The simple answer: Mindfulness.

How can you give a one-word answer to a complex question?  However, the truth of the matter stems from the old adage: time equals money. What is the time someone/some company wants to take to plan travel? Do they have well established relationships with travel vendors to provide added value?  How about the special nuances and industry-known connections to get the most “bang-for-the-buck”?  Airlines corporate programs are available, but require a travel company to actually run the air tickets.  Can the person/company do that alone?  Are they in the travel business?  If your answer is “no” to any of these, you need an expert travel advisor.

WHY?
  1. They’re engrained in all aspects of the travel business. Their business is DOING/DELIVERING business travel.
  2. A highly regarded, well-established, time-tested travel management company is JUST that.  They are well established, time-tested and know what they’re doing!
  3. There are variances in putting together corporate travel policies and programs. A solid corporate travel management organization can arrange details and plans from a single airline ticket to major corporate events, meetings and conventions. They can negotiate all components: ground transportation, incentive programs, air contracts, hotel contracts, team building –all aspects of meetings and convention travel.
  4. Plus travel agency reporting documents activity, in monthly or quarterly reports, assists in aspects of reconciliation for the customer.  This is simply arranged between the parties.

Numerous other benefits are available for cost-effective business travel, but these are just a few!

The bottom line is to focus on your business at hand and leave the business travel planning to an expert.  In these times of instant communication, focus is more important than ever. World Travel Business Elite will work hard to deliver quality service and cost-effective business travel solutions.

CLICK HERE so we can find out more about your current needs and get you started!

A Conversation That Inspired

Real Conversation

Carol Nosches speaks about how putting down your laptops or smart phones while traveling and having a real conversation with the person sitting next to you can be an inspiring event.

On a recent flight to the East Coast, I noticed a trend that has been validated for me, over and over, the past number of years.  As I was getting ready to board my flight, I was struck, once again, with the “quiet” in the gate area. As I looked around and opened my eyes more widely I noticed roughly 90% of the people, whether traveling alone or with others, adults, children and seniors…they all sat quietly typing and tapping away on their devices.

Then it became my quest, right then and there, to try to make eye contact and share a friendly smile with someone.  FINALLY I became aware of an older gentleman, finely dressed in a suit, smile at me. I noticed that he wasn’t attached to a device. Could he be on the same quest as myself?  ALAS, someone is living in the moment of humanity in this small environment of the gate area. He walked over to me and we began to have a nice conversatioin.  Casually discussed the weather, where we were going and why we were traveling.  You know, chit-chat.  It was interesting to note that he was recently retired, though acting as a consultant and thoroughly enjoying his life. He lit up discussing the importance of EACH and EVERY day… He was an inspiration to me.

As I embrace my work commitments and responsibilities, it is hopeful for me that someday, I may be in the same shoes when I retire.  What a refreshing conversation we shared.  Ironically, as we boarded our flight, he was seated across the aisle from me. So we chatted occasionally and were mindful not to disturb the “quiet atmosphere” on board the aircraft.  As we parted our ways at the conclusion of our flight, we exchanged business cards.  We have communicated a few times now.  I find him a positive individual and consider him a “gift” in my busy, hectic world. A simple blessing from a conversation with a stranger.

With the innovative technology tools (laptops, tablets, smartphones etc…) we are all able to be productive, engaged and involved with the device at almost any place, anywhere.  We truly have established a relationship that is based on a human-device model –at least in our Western society.  However, my discovery, maybe coveted by some of you, is that I made a friend.  Remember a warm smile and a good conversation can go a long way for fulfillment if you have the desire and curiosity to notice others around you.

I’m happy I took time to breathe and take in what was around me.  Life passes us so very quickly. Take time to have a conversation.

Carol Nosches, CTC is our Corporate Travel Services Manager at World Travel Business Elite.

Frequent Flyer Rewards

Frequent Flyer Rewards

Start earning frequent flyer rewards for your company today!

If you’re a regular business traveler then you probably make sure you earn frequent flyer miles for your travels. What about the company buying your ticket do they get points? American’s Business Extra SM has a great program where everyone wins. Yes, both the company and the business traveler can earn rewards. Basically, the company earns valuable points toward traveler awards while the business traveler continues to earn his or her frequent flyer miles (AAdvantage miles)!

Frequent flyer programs such as these are designed to say Thank You for your support of American Airlines. What is truly great is that there is no cost to join nor minimum air revenue required to become a member. The only requirement is that you have 2 travelers in your company. This exclusive point-based program is designed to reward companies based on their American Airlines, American Eagle, and American Connection flown revenue. For every $10.00 you spend on a revenue ticket (base fare excluding taxes) you will earn 2 points. That is pretty great!

You may begin redeeming points once you collect enough frequent flyer reward points. The points can be used for round-trip flight awards valid for travel on American Airlines, American Eagle and American Connection, Upgrade Certificates, AAdvantage Gold Status, Admirals Club Day Passes or Admirals Club Memberships. The value to these rewards

Published airfares on American Airlines, American Eagle or AmericanConnection are eligible to earn Business Extra points. Group discounts, Agency discounts, Student Fares, Advantage Award travel and other previously discounted tickets do not qualify for Business Extra credit. Codeshare or Oneworld carrier flights are not eligible to earn Business Extra Points.

Contact your World Travel Business Elite advisor for more information about the program. You can also visit American’s Business Extra SM to start earning company rewards today!

Weather Awareness Apps

Weather Awareness Apps

Smart phone weather Apps are a great tool.

Smart-phone Apps are a great tool that will keep you informed of weather conditions before you leave on your business travel.

Weather is a part of life that cannot be controlled. Having good weather awareness before your flight can help you in making smart travel decisions. Though some of us “control freaks” get freaked out by weather delays while traveling, we are at the mercy of many factors that are beyond our control.

There are various factors that will impact you while flying. For instance, sometimes a “ground-stoppage” due to electric storms will delay or halt airport operations. Other times weather may affect flight plans, which are often a good thing since the mid-flight aircraft can hopefully dodge pending “bumps in the air”. The crux of it all is that we must adhere to the safety outlines and plans in place.

When traveling on business, we recommend you access some of the excellent smart-phone apps available today. We highly suggest the weatherchannel.com app for you to get up-to-the-minute conditions for your business travels. Carol Nosches, CTC, our Corporate Travel Services Manager has the weatherchannel.com app loaded on her iPhone. It allows her to know the weather before leaving on her travels. She feels the app is a great travel tool because it gives her the ability to check the weather anywhere in the world! A secondary bonus is that it also enables you to know what clothing to pack for your trip so that you can properly dress for the weather at your business destination.

World Travel Business Elite and our travel advisor’s always suggest that before you fly to make sure that you adhere to great weather awareness. It will serve you well to know the conditions at all your destinations. The weather apps will help you travel safely, effectively and efficiently.

Airport VIP Lounges

BLOG-AirportLounge

Ever wonder how when you’re traveling on business how you might better manage your “down time” at a major airport?  For the road warriors, access to airline loyalty club locations may be an automatic option.  However, for those business travelers who travel less frequently, a “day pass” with some of the major airlines is a consideration.  Most of the major airlines, in their various “hub airports” may offer a great alternative to the typical airport setting.

For example, American Airlines Admirals Club® lounges offer you the opportunity to choose the professional environment, personalized service and exceptional amenities you deserve in our nearly 40 worldwide Admirals Club locations. And as an added benefit, lounge access has expanded and Admirals Club members (including Citi Executive® / AAdvantage® World EliteTM MasterCard® cardmembers) also now have access to US Airways Clubs. Experience these amenities for yourself the next time you travel.

To meet your needs, they offer annual and 30 day memberships as well as One-Day Passes. Or, become a Citi Executive® / AAdvantage® World EliteTM MasterCard® cardmember and enjoy Admirals Club membership along with other exclusive travel benefits.

Enjoy personalized service, comfort and exceptional amenities including:

  • Complimentary house wine, beer and spirits
  • Complimentary coffee, tea and soft drinks
  • Complimentary light snacks
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary PCs with Internet access
  • Personal travel assistance with your reservations

Some of the international airlines, such as Cathay Pacific, have extraordinary experiential options in the world-renown Hong Kong airport.  You may feel that you’re not in an airport lounge, but a full service resort.

So consider the “layover” as a way to conduct business in an exclusive setting, with full service amenities depending on location on your next journey!
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