5 Tips For a Smooth First Business Travel Experience

Travel help from business travel experts is as good as meeting a business tycoon for management tips. Learning from them will bring smoothness in your trip.

In today’s working world, business operations have become more global. There are many business travel opportunities for the newly hired or promoted employee. While grabbing these travel opportunities a must, first time business travellers like you should travel smarter.

Sort Things Out
For first timers, it is best to be aware that you have two major classifications of the things that you will be bringing. One is your work-related things and the other one is your personal stuff.

Therefore, while choosing a light carryon luggage, it is also suggested that it is multi pocketed so you can enjoy more spaces.

Be Organized
In order to have an organized business travel, create a travel checklist of the work-related things that you need like your laptop, flash drive, printed reports on folders, brochures, calculators and the like. This will protect you from forgetting important or urgent tasks that your boss asked from you.

Make sure that you brought a good number of your business cards. Businesses can start with your plane mate or some other people you have bumped in the airport lobby.

Also check the lifespan of the batteries of your communication device so you won’t miss any important office correspondences and instructions.

Be Budget Conscious
If your office allows you to take care of your own transportation and reservation as part of your per diem during your business travel, the internet is your tool to check online for the best flight and hotel deals in Europe or Asia available.

Look for package deals, promo flights, and reasonably-priced business hotels or even nearby hostels. Tips would be to ask if the published rates are inclusive of applicable taxes. Also ask for the rates of late check-ins so you can include it in your travel budget.

Always Be Prepared
For your personal belongings particularly your clothing, it is best that you have brought clothes with business colors and shades like black, dark blue, brown, white and gray. This will allow you to be flexible in doing some mix and match so you maintain your being presentable as well.

In the business world, there are times that first impression lasts. As first time business travellers, you may not be familiar or accustomed to the foods of your destination, it is highly recommended to have anti-histamine with you all the time. This will help you stop allergic reactions instantly in order not to disrupt or disturb your meeting schedules and appointments.

Follow Airport Rules
Your liquids, including gels, in the array of your toiletries should be in zip-lock plastics as it is mandatory in any airports. It is also best to use slip-on shoes going to the airport so it would not be time consuming for you to untie and tie your shoelaces during security checks.

With these travel help gathered from seasoned business travellers, you will be ready for a remarkable business travel that will widen your perspective of the career you have chosen and loved. This might be the start of a series of world travel experience from work to leisure.

The Conversation Around Healthy Business Travel Has to Change Here’s Why

There is a distinction to be made between the Jet Lagged and the Jet Stressed. It is the same difference between the chronic and the acute. One is acute and the other is chronic. Jet stress is in fact chronically acute. The value of this distinction alone is what separates those who fly well and those who don’t. A second valuable observation to our cause is that any time Man has conquered or thrived in an environment he has done so by taking his own environment with him. To beat jet lag in all it’s forms you and I must do the same, frequent fliers more so than others. The current conversation on the subject of flying well repeat the buzz words like body clock and melatonin too often without a change in results or progress. The conversation is long in the tooth with the same tired advice – get plenty of sleep, drink plenty of water and keep your mind active. Old wives tales and a pastiche of personal remedies exist alongside rigid scientific data. The masses of frequent fliers and business travellers are confounded and struggle to make sense of disjointed and often confusing information. Productivity, personal health, relationships and global business’s bottom line suffers.

The Most Intensive Frequent Fliers Hold The Key

I once read some good business advice which preached the value of catering to the extremes of a target audience. The notion was that if they were catered for all other demographics within that target market would be well taken care of. Frequent business fliers are representative of this extreme. An article in Wired magazine* charted the travel paths of business fliers over a year demonstrating the intensity of travel schedules of frequent fliers. The goals of business travellers to maximise productivity on the road, make the right impressions, close the deal and stay healthy bring home the urgency of the conversation at hand.

Unhealthy Flying Doesn’t Pay, What Are The Costs

The price we pay for not dealing with frequent flying challenges and it’s associated woes outweighs the benefits. The costs are measured on a personal and global business scale. You can measure it on the personal scale with the tendency towards weight gain, insomnia, tiredness, fatigue, adrenal stress, hormone irregularities, trouble conceiving and the list goes on and on. The cost to global business is measured in millions of dollars in lost productivity. A 2003 New York Times survey* estimated that heavy-duty business travellers lost about 20 per cent productivity due to trans-meridian travel. A recent AirPlus Traveller Productivity White Paper* also highlights the link between business travel and productivity.

Solutions Need An Upgrade

Over the short ascent of global business travel and globalisation many advances and efficiencies have been made in the area of civil aviation. The hardware of the trade, the planes have seen many modifications including fly by wire technology and a new generation of fuel-efficient planes to take us into the 21st century. Contrast that with the plight of the frequent business flier, healthy flying advice has remained static. There has been no respite in terms of the pressure and demands in the workplace. Global mobile working is on the increase see the Worldwide ERC website* for confirmation.

Look to Hollywood as an example of what I mean by this. A script is produced, a film is cast, locations are scouted out and the cast goes on location to shoot. Travelling to locations are incidental to the outcomes sought be it a film or a business meeting. Yet the quality of the end product can depend so much on the well-being of the participants. As globalisation makes the world smaller and calls for collaborative groups to come together in the name of a common goal over a short period of time, the need to be fully functional and productive is a conditional necessity for success.

Pharmaceutical Interventions The Only Show in Town, Really?

Until now the loudest voice heard in this conversation has been that of the pharmaceutical industry. Representative of this was Cephalon’s failed bid* to get the FDA to permit the sale of Nuvigil as cure for jet lag. It speaks to the default mode of operation, a pill for every ill and re-classifies jet lag from a costly inconvenience into an illness. This brings me to the point I want to make – better living through chemistry does have its limits. The entire idea that you can continually drug yourself out of jet lag over the span of your career of flying and come out ahead is moot. Workforce mobility and globalisation on the horizon should make this obviously clear by now. Any conversation about a cure to the problems of jet lag has to have an element of sustainability about it, and this is where current approaches fall down.

Let’s Start with The First Question

The required change in tone of conversation is not complete without looking at the definition we give jet lag. Up until now it is characterised as being all about the body clock to the exclusion of anything else. As useful as this is it is limiting in the creativity we can bring to finding a sustainable solution. The discussion has to include a Jet Lag 101 course which asks questions like what is jet lag in its entirety? How does it affects you differently from me? How can you take charge of your solution? What guiding principles and methodologies we can all relate to and use? Without this first step we are doomed to looking at the same information but expecting a different answer. Scientific data is useful in dissecting the mechanisms of jet lag but we need to look beyond that to find a workable solution. Just to be clear any sustainable methodology has to be able to stand up to scientific examination to gain acceptance and credibility. However it starts with an inclusive discussion rather than graphing an old understanding onto an environment and condition which is current, dynamic and changing.

References

Wired Magazine – New Age Traveller Infoporn#14 October 2010

The New York Times
– Business Travel section November 2003
– Regulators reject Cephalon’s bid http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/business/30drug.html

AirPlus International Traveller Productivity White Paper

Worldwide ERC – The Workforce Mobility Association
– The Revival of Value – A Closer Look at Trends in Business Travel

Corporate Business Travel Picks Up Again

An airline industry that’s for years been casting an anxious eye down the road to see if any business travelers, the cream of its trade, step up at all, is finally being rewarded for its patience. With the recession finally receding, corporate business travel is finally picking up. It is a sign of how strong the revival is that business class travel isn’t just attracting rich corporations. Small business owners and executives, sales reps and everyone else who travels on business have begun choosing business class all over again.

Today, cautious travel policies born of an instinct of self-preservation in businesses all over for years, have all but disappeared. No longer are executives required to check to see if they could use videoconferencing in lieu of travel. And when they do travel, no longer do they have to restrict themselves to premium economy and three-star hotels. The airlines for their part, have thrown themselves open to the corporate business travel crowd. Airplanes have new $150,000 business class seats, special spa-like business lounges and superior menus on board. In fact, getting a free upgrade to first class can be quite difficult for any business traveler these days; first class is usually clogged with paying vice presidents. Companies today are beginning to realize that perhaps they cut back too much during the recession.

Still, not everything is hunky-dory in the hopes that airlines have for the corporate business travel. With double-digit unemployment figures, the country still isn’t where it needs to be economically – even if Wall Street seems to be booming. Flight reservations have plateaued more or less. Sales have been growing by a mere couple of percentage points each month. And booming fuel prices are beginning to put a tenuous resurgence at risk. Airlines, buoyed by high demand from paying business-class customers, have used the confidence it has lent them in raising prices for economy class flyers as well.

And just to be on the safe side, the airlines are building up their services as much as they can to attract the business custom. One of the more innovative services they have in mind has to do with the use of location tracking. With these airline apps installed on your smart phone, if you happen to be stuck in traffic so that you won’t be able to make it, the airline will automatically put you on the next flight. If they are about to close the boarding gates and there you are, rushing down the escalators, the app will be able to tell them where exactly you are and alert the staff manning the gate to hold on for just a minute longer. Things could get really exciting.

Business Travel Agents Tips: Things to Know About Flight Delay Compensation

You arrive at the airport, your flight is delayed or even cancelled? Flight delay compensation is an important topic travellers should know about, especially when it comes to business travel. Whether it is due to bad weather such as snow, a security alert or a strike, there are many reasons for flight delays and cancellations. But whatever the reason, it means you have to stay involuntarily longer at the airport before you can travel to your destination or back home. Plus, you may be entitled to flight delay compensation or a refund. Here are some important rules helping you to make sure you are not left out of pocket and make the most of the involuntarily gained extra time.

1. Know your rights

From getting refunded for all your food and drink expenses to getting a hotel or some alternative transportation, you should know what you are entitled to. So, if your flight is cancelled or heavily delayed, you’re protected by the Denied Boarding Regulation (EU rule 261/2004 and repealing regulation (EEC) No 295/91). Unless ‘extraordinary circumstances’ apply, you can claim a financial flight delay compensation for cancelled or heavily delayed flights totalling:

€250 (£210) for inter-EU flights of 930 miles or less

€400 (£330) for flights between 930 and 1,860 miles

€600 (£500) for other journeys (long-haul flights)

It applies for EU flights, which includes any flights leaving from or arriving at an EU airport with an EU-based airline. Plus, your compensation may be reduced by 50% depending on flight distance and the ultimate arrival time. This means the reduced compensation applies to short haul flights within two hours, to medium haul flights within three hours and to long haul flights within four hours. But remember, flight delay compensation is only applicable if it is the airline’s fault (i.e. no act of God applies, such as natural catastrophes, incl. earth quakes, volcanoes or bad weather or political unrest). To claim flight delay compensation simply write to your airline stating the flight number, date, length of delay and reason for the claim. Sometimes airlines try offering you vouchers as flight delay compensation, but you don’t have to accept them and can ask for a cash refund instead. If your airline refuses to compensate you, contact the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for support and advice. Note, technical faults, unless they result from events which, by their nature or origin, are not part of the normal exercise of the airline, do not count as extraordinary circumstances.

Your right to reimbursement comes into play, if the delay is a minimum of five hours. You should get a reimbursement within seven days, for the cost of the flight ticket, the part of the trip not travelled and the parts already travelled, provided they are then useless. Where applicable, you may be even entitled to the earliest possible return flight to your departure destination or rerouting along with a refund.

During the travel disruption you should receive assistance from your airline, including food, drinks, two free telephone calls, faxes or emails, as well as accommodation and transport transfers to and from the hotel – where applicable. This is regardless of the reason for the delay/cancellation.

2. Networking

It’s always good to make friends, so why not use the downtime for extending your network. Try to see the positive of dealing with flight delays. Seen from a practical level, you may be able to share costs, e.g. for a taxi into town. Also being friendly towards the airport staff may prove helpful. Especially in these kinds of situations they encounter a lot of stressed and unfriendly customers, although the delay/cancellation is none of their personal fault. If you are friendly they are much more likely to help you, maybe even give you some extra advice.

3. Gate-crash the airport lounges

Those of you flying Business Class or being members of corporate airline loyalty or frequent flyer schemes will already be in the VIP lounge enjoying a nice drink and peanuts. It’s a far quieter and relaxed environment. This may be the best option when having to wait for a delayed flight. But if you are neither flying business class, nor a member of a loyalty scheme, be advised that in some cases these lounges are not exclusive and you may be able to access them for a fee of around £20. This could be much cheaper than getting your food and drink from an airport bar.

Furthermore, desk agents in these lounges are often authorised to make fast, last-minute reservations’ changes and there are usually far fewer people ahead of you in the queue. At least you can enjoy the Wi-Fi and free snacks (or booze!) while you have to wait. In the case of a flight cancellation or major delay, and you are at the airport immediately contact the airline you are travelling with. To change the ticket and get advice on the available options, it is best to go to your airline’s ticket desk, as soon as possible. Your business travel management company should continually provide pro-active telephone support throughout, as Flightline Travel does.

What are your top tips for dealing with flight delays and cancellations?

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

Flightline Travel Management – Pro-active business travel support services for corporate travellers

Security for International Business Travellers

The effects of globalisation have produced an enormous rise in the numbers of international business travellers, a trend that is only likely to increase, with the World Travel and Tourism Councils latest Economic Impact report for 2013 predicting an annual increase of over 3%. As the global economy begins to struggle free from the effects of the great economic slowdown this forecast increase may even be shown to be on the conservative side. International business trips are carried out by a cross-section of business people, from those individual traders and contractors simply representing themselves, through to representatives of huge multinational corporations. Many travellers will have taken the trouble to investigate aspects such as the climate and business cultural niceties at their destination, but increasingly, with the effects of the globalisation of threats from crime and terrorism, it is crucial that travellers are also aware of the security situation at their destination.

From the employers perspective, they have a duty of care towards their staff and contractors, and must be seen to have acted in a reasonable way, and taken all reasonable precautions, should the worst occur. Quite apart from the personal suffering involved, expensive litigation for negligence could be the least of the implications of failing to take appropriate precautions. Whilst sanity may well have eventually prevailed in a case at the High Court in Australia recently where a government employee had originally successfully sued for compensation over an injury sustained whilst having sex in a hotel room whilst on a business trip, the fact that the case ended up in the High Court must ring alarm bells for all employers. Of course the actual threats out there to the security for international business travellers are rather more significant than those mentioned in the recent Australian Court case and can range from crime though to terrorism, and will of course be specific to the destination. Although, given the ease of international travel both for business travellers and would be terrorists alike, the days of having totally safe destinations are sadly behind us. Travel to all destinations includes the risk to a greater or lesser extent from low-level crime, which can be at the very least a great distraction from the business focus of a trip, a high-profile example being that suffered by tennis star Juan Martin del Potro, victim of a distraction robbery at the Gard du Nord railway station Paris, who suffered the loss of a number of treasured items, not least of which were his passport, money and a rosary blessed by his fellow Argentinian Pope Francis. This was whilst travelling between tournaments in Paris and London and can only have had a negative effect on his performance. Potentially more serious and certainly more physically dangerous is the threat of terrorism. A Communiqué on the growing threat of kidnapping for ransom, issued in July 2013 by the Office of the British Prime Minister David Cameron stated that kidnapping for ransom is the preferred method of financing for Al Qaeda and represents a growing threat. There is also the issue of information security, an employee of contractor may be travelling with economically sensitive information and travellers need to be aware of the danger that wireless communications may be intercepted, either by criminals or even industry competitors.

It is strongly advised that both employers and travellers themselves take responsibility for security, and undertake some initial training, prior to departure. Obtaining pre travel destination intelligence assessments will show due diligence, and highlight the need, if any, for further traveller security training. Any training provided should also consider the gender of the traveller and should at the very least include some basic emergency protocols to cover any eventuality.

Given the number of other tasks both employers and business travellers themselves may be handling it is small wonder that the security for international business travellers is usually neglected, which is why it may be sensible to contract one of the international security consultants that specialise in providing these services. Security is a bit like insurance, hopefully you do not need it, but when disaster strikes, you will be very glad you have it.