Benefits For Business Travelers

Business travel can be exciting. There are many who hate the idea of traveling for business. And there is a case to be made that the waiting at airports, cramps airline seats, and bland hotel rooms can be off-putting to many people. However, when traveling for business there can be ways to make it easier, if not down right rewarding.

First, there are all the perks to those who take advantage of the frequent traveler programs. These programs provide free flights from the airlines and free stays from the hotels. It is like a bonus from work. However, some positions may require any mileage or points be given to the job. Still, if one flies frequently for work, it could provide a free trip from work. Couple that free trip with vacation time, and the whole paid vacation could be a bonus from work.

Next is just simply learning the ropes of a frequent business traveler. The travel companies provide frequent travelers many perks for traveling with them. Both hotels and airlines have dedicated, quicker check-ins lines for elite frequent program members. There are also upgrade programs so flyers can get into first class or hotel guest could get upgraded rooms. These little perks can make a big difference for those traveling frequently.

Also realize that there will be a natural learning curve that will happen that will make trips easier. Things like what seats make the most sense for certain travelers on the aircraft. Individuals will even learn the different aircraft and where to sit on each. Packing will become an art form and everyone eventually discovers the necessity of carry-on only travel. The hotels provide certain amenities and that could save the need for packing some things like a personal hair dryer, shampoo, or even toothpaste. One will begin to pick-up these tricks of the road warrior trade.

There can be a serious upside to business travel if one is willing to take advantage of it.

Business Travelers – Use the Loyalty Programs For Your Benefit

Many people abhor traveling for business, at least when they have to do it frequently. Others know the benefits and actually enjoy frequent business travel. Those benefits include free personal travel and a more luxurious business travel experience.

There are a lot of benefits when one travels frequently for business and takes advantage of the loyalty programs like the frequent flyer programs. The most highlighted benefit is free travel. With enough points or miles one can fly for free, stay for free, and even get a free car rental. And because they accumulate so many miles, the frequent business travelers can fly when they want and take people with them. However, there are plenty of other perks to being a road warrior.

One of the primary perks of being a frequent flyer is the elite status that comes with being a loyal and frequent customer of the hotels and airlines. There is free and often unexpected upgrades. For the hotels that could mean a free suite rather than a standard room. For the airlines that would mean being upgraded to business or first-class seating for a flight. Then there are complimentary things the hotels and airlines do to make travel easier for their preferred customers. The hotels have quick check-in for loyalty members and often access to lounge areas on the concierge floor for status members. The airlines have quick check-in for members also and allow elite status members to board the airplane first. Then there are the small things like maybe a free snack or refreshment in the hotel room when one arrives. Or a free drink on the plane if one is not upgraded to first-class. It is these perks that make traveling so much easier when on the road constantly.

Frequent club members also get access to a dedicated toll-free number for reservations, which is nice during a busy season that one can get a live person reasonably quickly. As one’s status level increases that dedicated service improves. The highest elite levels get their own line with perks available for the asking. Also increasing with the higher elite levels is bonus points and miles. Typically, the highest elite levels get an additional twenty-five percent bonus to the miles or points for each trip or stay. This helps the frequent business traveler get more points or miles for a from each trip.

These perks are so nice and welcomed by the frequent business traveler that they do become fanatics about getting miles or points. They also become experts on their particular programs. Every business traveler needs to join their airline or hotel’s loyalty program to start enjoying the free benefits.

Business Travel Agents Tips: A Corporate Travellers’ New York Airports Guide

New York City is one of the most popular key travel destinations for corporate travellers worldwide. The city is the center of much that’s great, dynamic and profitable in America. It is home of one of the world’s principal financial centres (i.e. anchored by Wall Street), and a popular business hub for the publishing and entertainment industry at the same time. So, it’s no surprise it features three airports, Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and J. F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). As a frequent corporate traveller you probably may have flown to one of the three New York airports at some point or another. With JFK being a major international gateway to the US, this city guide aims to provide some helpful travel agents tips for corporate travellers flying to or from JFK Airport.

New York JFK Facts & Figures

Located about 25km away from Manhattan in Queens, JFK Airport is the largest airport in the state of New York and one of the busiest business travel hubs (over 50 million travellers/year) in the US and internationally. It has six operating terminals (numbered 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8; terminal 6 was demolished in 2011, Terminal 3 in 2013). Currently, the 4th runway is under redevelopment to comply with the needs of Group VI aircraft (until December 2015 as planned so far), which may cause delays, but measures are in place to minimise them, so you shouldn’t be too much affected. With more than 90 airlines arriving and departing from JFK, various business travel solutions for flights to New York can be arranged. Points of origin and destinations include places within the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Pacific, Australia/New Zealand, basically all over the world. The airport offers corporate travellers a choice of non-stop flights to about 100 international destinations which may prove convenient for your next business trip. However, JFK is very susceptible to weather-related delays due to its position. Corporate travellers are well advised to consider and prepare for possible thunderstorms in summer, causing delays across the US, as well as snow, icing and assorted slush throughout the winter season. For the months between June and November the risk of potential hurricanes is increased.

In general, our business travel agents team advise leisure and corporate travellers to allow plenty of time for getting to and from JFK. Serious traffic incidents on the way between the city and the airport left many wondering whether they’ would be able to make it in time or miss their flight. Furthermore, don’t forget that this is America. Therefore, bear in mind that the TSA rules supreme over security checkpoints. So, take a deep breath and take maybe a book with you or something else to keep you busy. Make sure you arrive early.

Useful JFK terminal facilities for corporate travellers

In most public areas within most terminals, corporate travellers will conveniently find that Wi-Fi is available for free for up to 30min. You can get online near the ticket counters, boarding gates, designated work stations and food courts. The Wi-Fi access is provided by Boingo Wireless Company. If you need to use the internet for longer than 30mins., consider the following options: 1) $4.95 (£3.01, €3.77) per hour (pay as you go), 2) $7.95 (£4.83,€6.05) for unlimited access throughout a 24-hour period (day pass), 3) $9.95 (£6.04,€7.58) per month (unlimited access via a monthly subscription, to be used worldwide), or 4) if you already have a user account, simply log in using your user name and password. ATMs, currency exchange options (Lenlyn or Travelex), a rental phone shop, and more than 100 shops alongside various dining options are available at the terminals.

Ground transportation services from JFK Airport to New York City

The most convenient, stress-free way for travel from and to JFK Airport is to take the AirTrain. It is a cost efficient and helps you make sure you arrive at the airport in time, whilst avoiding possible traffic jams. You can access AirTrain services via the New York City subway system, which is also connected to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). The journey from/to the city takes just over an hour. AirTrain is operated 24 hours on 365 days a year. Within the airport area, it connects terminals and also enables you to easily access car rental services, hotel shuttle areas and parking lots. At peak times the trains depart every 7 minutes and at off-peak times they go every 15 minutes. However, be clever in choosing your business travel route, as various routes make different stops within the airport. Good news for corporate travellers is that travel within the airport is usually free of charge. However, travel outside the airport is subject to a fee. AirTrain prices generally start from $5 (£3.04, €3.81). For more details on ticket prices are provided on the JFK Airport website under costs and tickets. If you travel via New York’s public transport network, then it is a good idea to use MetroCard, which is widely accepted and is worth to purchase for travel via subway, local trains, or buses. You can find vending machines for buying a MetroCard at Howard Beach and Jamaica Station. A good alternative for corporate travellers would be to take a taxi (for up to 4 passengers). Simply wait in the cab line for a licensed and insured cab to take you to your destination (about $52, i.e. about £31.58, €39.59, flat rate between JFK and Manhattan, excluding tips and tolls). The time for this trip should be about an hour. However, it can take much longer during rush hour.

Shared-ride shuttle services are a cheaper option than taxis, but can involve a lot of waiting and being driven around New York City to drop other people off first. You can find a full list of providers on the airport authority’s website. But remember to tip appropriately, as tipping (around 20% of transfer cost) is quite common and keep in mind that bridge/tunnel tolls are not included in the shared-ride shuttle services fares. Another option is to ask your business travel company to arrange a shuttle service for your trip from and to John F. Kennedy International Airport as prices can vary greatly depending on location and number of passengers. In this way you can ensure that you are travelling with a reliable supplier.

An express bus service is also available for a nominal fee from Penn Station (reachable e.g. by AirTrain or taxi). The service operates from early morning to late night, with buses running at least every half hour.

The airport is also home to several car rental agencies. Leisure and corporate travellers can choose between a number of car major rental companies including Advantage, Thrifty, Dollar, Enterprise, Budget, Hertz, National and Avis.

So, which mode of transport should corporate travellers choose for a trip from JFK to Newark and LaGuardia airports? Usually the best way to get to Newark Airport from JFK Airport is to simply take the AirTrain. However, if you need to travel to LaGuardia during your business trip, it we recommend to take advantage of a convenient shuttle bus service, using the free Route A (running every 10-15 minutes from 4:00am to 11:30pm) or Route B (running every 10-15 minutes from 6:00am to 2:00am). In any case, more details, also for connections to other airports, are available on the JFK Airport Connections page.

Hotels near JFK Airport

Hotel booking services for corporate travellers flying to New York JFK AirportAlthough there are no operating hotels at JFK Airport at the moment, New York provides corporate travellers a huge choice (from budget accommodation to luxury suites) of hotels and motels, which are conveniently located nearby the airport. Most hotel accommodations nearby offer shuttle services. Alternatively you can take the AirTrain to the Federal Circle station and follow the “Courtesy Hotel Shuttles” signs. There are telephone services for the hotel courtesy shuttles located at the AirTrain Federal Circle Station and in the arrival areas of the airport terminals ($5, i.e. about £3.04, €3.81, Service Charge for making reservations). The range of motels and hotels include the Hilton*, the Courtyard* by Marriott, Hampton Inn*, Sheraton*, Hilton Garden, Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Fairfield Inn* by Marriott, Days Inn, Best Western and Howards Johnson. The ones marked by an * are also offering conference and meeting rooms for corporate events.

© Copyright Flightline Travel Management Ltd. All rights reserved. All prices correct at time of publication.

In part two of our New York City Airport guide we’ll provide you with some business travel agents insider tips on Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA).

Small Business Tips – How To Save On Business Travel

Travel can be a huge expense for any small business that does business in different places. If you are a consultant or if you are a self employed professional then traveling will be a huge part of your business. Although it can be mean a lot more business it can be very bad for your cash flow and making sure that you save wherever you can in really important – especially in this day and age. Another important thing to remember is to charge your clients for your travel expenses as its part of your service.

Finding simple ways to save on business travel expenses can make a huge difference. Saving a little on every trip can add up and if you have several employees then it can quickly add up. Here are 3 basic tips to help you get started.

1. Flights
Air travel, although convenient, can be expensive. With all the checks and regulations its not all that quick either these days as getting to and from the airport, checking in and checking out can be very slow. Its well worth looking into alternative means of transport. Driving or taking a rain can be a faster and more economical way of doing it.

2. Hotels
Accommodation represents a significant part of travel expenses and its probably the one area you want to try and save. There are quite a few alternatives that is well worth looking into. Guest houses are not only cheaper but offer a lot more comfort and value for money and is great for extended travel to prevent yourself from getting the “hotel blues”.

3. Travel Insurance
Taking out individual travel insurance for each trip can quickly add up. If you travel with valuable as part of your business then its an important consideration. Try and put your travel insurance under the same umbrella as your business insurance – it can save you quite a bit.

For small businesses there are some advantage that’s probably not available to bigger businesses. You can certainly look into business grants and government programs. Some programs allow you to write off your travel expenses and some even allow you to conduct business internationally and write off all the travel expenses. The point is that there are a great many options and exploring them all will help you save. As the economy continues to tighten up we all have to spread our wings and look for business opportunities elsewhere. Travel will continue to take a more prominent role in your business, so take advantage of these opportunities.

Why Sound Business Travel Reporting Matters

For any company that has their employees engage in regular travel, it is important to have a good corporate travel strategy. Part of developing and improving on a corporate travel strategy is solid business travel reporting. Business travel reporting provides the company with details about the cost of travel and how the money is being used. This data not only helps to keep track of expenses but it also can be used to identify areas of waste and inefficiency. When this information is tracked and analyzed it can be used to improve upon your company’s business travel strategy. Using the service of a corporate travel agency is an effective means toward achieving all of these goals.

Due to their experience and their connections in the travel and finance industry, a corporate travel firm will be especially suited to provide these services with the highest degree of detail. A corporate travel agency uses a variety of methods to analyze and track a clients business travel expenses. They can use data from banking and credit card records along with the travel records to identify the most and least efficient travelers in your company. They can help to manage airline data to find which carrier is providing the most business friendly service for the most affordable price and they can help to identify waste and abuse of funds.

A corporate booking agency can also help employers to analyze information in a way that can determine how effectively the employees travel and how well they stick to the itinerary and how closely the individual employees stick to the travel strategy. This can be achieved by referencing the data accumulated from credit cards, expense accounts, airline data, hotel bills and rental information. Once all of the data is collected and analyzed, the corporate travel firm can prepare a complete report. The reports will cover a variety of different areas and will often be accompanied by a written summary of the overall information. Clients can also request specialized reporting from a corporate travel agency. These may be to address an area of concern or to see how a new aspect of the travel strategy is working.

Most business travel agencies recommend that their clients schedule regular meetings with their travel manger to go over the business travel reporting and to find ways to improve the corporate travel strategy. The management of a business should meet with their corporate travel manager at least once a year. In these meetings the travel manager can help the client go over the business travel reporting and understand what all of the data means. The manager will help to identify areas of waste and point out parts of the travel plan that are working well. At this time the client can address their concerns about the travel strategy and work to adjust the business travel strategy. A corporate travel agency can also help their client with a plan for implementing the new strategy and addressing the changes with their staff.

Having the services of a business travel agency is a necessity for any company that engages in regular travel. Having a well thought out strategy will not only save the company money, but it will also make sure that the staff is getting the most out of their trip.