Tag Archives: business travel app

A Great Delta Flight Experience With Rough Beginnings

Delta-airlines

We’ve all had those flights—when everything goes wrong. That’s exactly what happened on my recent trip on Delta, but it surprisingly ended on a high note.  Finishing a presentation in South Bend, IN with my co-worker last week; we were connecting through Atlanta on our way home to Salt Lake City, UT. A typical route for any seasoned business traveler, I boarded the plane expecting the usual. Little did I know the delays, complications and cancellations that were waiting for me. Over the course of the next few hours we would move from one plane, to another, and then to the third and final flight to finally get to Atlanta, only to miss my connection to Salt Lake City. Fortunately, I became better acquainted with some delightful fellow travelers and experienced Delta’s amazing employees and new technology in action.

Delta flight faces initial setbacks

The hiccups started when we spent the first 20 minutes on the plane waiting for a working deicing machine. Once we took-off, 15 minutes in to the flight our pilot announced we would be returning to South Bend due to a rudder problem.  Fortunately, our pilot was amazing.  He was informative, positive, and very concerned about his responsibility as our pilot. A few minutes prior to landing he then reassured us that protocol required fire engines and an ambulance to be waiting upon landing.  One passenger nearby was seriously upset about the possible negative outcomes.

We landed, moved everyone to another plane, and sat in the same seating.  The crew on board and the gate folks at South Bend were amazing—calm, informative, and respectful of all travelers.  They also announced that any connections leaving before 9pm would likely be missed, so travelers should reschedule. We pulled away from the gate and our pilot, who I affectionately dubbed ‘Captain America’, very calmly came out of the cockpit and used the loudspeaker in front of us. In a comforting and personal way, he announced that a sensor light needed to be repaired before we could take off.  Encouragingly, he said it would only take 10 minutes.  Personnel were already on their way to repair it, and then we would be off again, hopefully making good time to catch our connections.

Well, the passenger who lost it earlier, immediately hit her flight attendant button. Saying she had a bad feeling, she asked to be removed from the plane and would reschedule to fly tomorrow. The flight attendant, who remained kind and understanding, checked with the pilot and she was able to deplane.  After waiting more than 10 minutes, my co-worker and I both looked at each other— something must be up, again!  Captain America very apologetically stated that the crew was not able to make the repair. We would need to change to yet another plane!  Thankfully, there were additional Delta planes available in South Bend.  Feeling wary from sitting on two planes already, my surrounding fellow travelers and I quietly thought about rescheduling. Most of us realized though, that we had a better chance of getting home early tomorrow morning if we ended up in Atlanta, rather than South Bend.  We grudgingly accepted the bad news.

Delta professionally alleviated a very stressful situation

It was only a few years ago that this same situation would have required hours of standing in long lines. To my surprise upon landing, a notification from the Delta app popped up on my smartphone. With an acknowledgement stating how much Delta appreciated my patience and understanding, it included a list of 4 hotels from which I could choose to spend the night.  I also realized that after boarding plane number two, an email was sent explaining an additional amount of miles had been added to my Delta FFY account!

At 11:30 pm, standing in line at the service counter, feeling very tired and irritated, I thought to myself this is where I’m going to get a little ticked off!!  Amazingly the one and only service counter person directed us all to go to the machines provided off to the side. Instructing us to place our boarding pass code on the scanner to obtain our hotel voucher and boarding pass for our re-accommodated flight for the next day.  That was it! Off we went to catch the 24-hour shuttle to our Westin hotel.

Delta is truly providing great service their customers, even in the worst of situations. Though I was inconvenienced, my stress level was minimal, due to Delta continually striving to climb high in their customer service!  From their kind employees, to their app notifications, and their customer service kiosks, I felt taken care of every step of the way. Kudos to DELTA.

 

DUFL Packs and Ships Your Suitcase

Dufl is a new travel app designed to assist business travelersMany business travelers feel that the worst part of traveling is having to pack and unpack a suitcase, plus the time required for the task.

Serial entrepreneur, Bill Rinehart, has found a solution to this annoyance: DUFL. DUFL is right up there with Uber and Airbnb as a travel game changer. The idea came after Rinehart finished a roundtrip from Phoenix to London, arriving home on Friday, only to start traveling again on Sunday. The time involved in laundering and preparing to travel again can be depressing. It takes away from valuable family time and enjoying one’s personal life. Here’s how DUFL works:

  • Download the DUFL app and create a new user account. DUFL will then send you a large suitcase.
  • Pack your DUFL suitcase to the brim with whatever you need for future business trips.
  • Mail the suitcase to DUFL’s storage facility via FedEx, DUFL’s partner. Upon receipt, DUFL will inventory and photograph inventory, photograph, clean and store your clothes so that they are ready for your next trip. All items will be uploaded to your account for your reference the next time you travel.
  • Request which clothes you’d like to take from your DUFL virtual closet, through the app, then enter your destination and arrival date. Items are expertly folded and your DUFL suitcase is guaranteed to be waiting for you in whatever city and hotel where you are staying.
  • Return the suitcase once your trip is over via FedEx. Return forms are included with your items and the suitcase is transported back to their facility where clothes are washed or dry cleaned and stored for your next trip!

If only this existed a few years back when I was traveling every other week! The service costs $9.95 per month to maintain your DUFL closet, and $99 for a standard trip, which covers three-day shipping to and from your destination. It also includes cleaning and repacking. DUFL was voted Best Travel App for 2015 by USA Today.  To learn more, visit USA Today and Forbes. You can also check out DUFL’s FAQs at DUFL.com.

Offline Apps for Summer Road Trips

Road trippers can still use these apps offline, saving on roaming charges or staying on the right road even when service isn't available.

Road trippers can still use these apps offline to save on roaming charges or when service isn’t available.

With summer winding down, now’s the time to plan those last minute getaways. In fact, I’m planning a wonderful road trip to Telluride, Colorado for a friend’s wedding this month. So in honor of the great summer road trip, I thought I’d share a few apps to help others on their way and enjoy their trip even more. Many of these suggestions also work offline, which is helpful when you hit a stretch of road without mobile phone service. Happy Travels!

1. Maps.me

Maps.me provides detailed, offline maps for mobile devices. It’s great for when you are in a dead spot.

2. Avenza

Avenza is another handy offline app with scanned maps of national parks, hiking trails, transit routes, and odd ball sites.

3. Triposo

Download your destination guide ahead of time from Triposo and you will have a slick offline travel guide to top attractions, places to eat and sleep, and local time and weather.

4. Overdrive and Audible

Need entertainment for the hours of driving ahead? Overdrive allows you to borrow eBooks, audiobooks, music, and video titles from your local library. Audible is a membership program offering monthly audiobooks from a selection of more than 180,000 titles.

5. Pocket

Pocket is an app that lets you grab stories, articles, videos, “or pretty much anything” you want to come back to read/view later. It also integrates with more than 1,500 other apps, including Flipboard, Pulse, and Twitter.

6. This American Life

This American Life is a weekly public radio show and is also available as a free weekly podcast–often the most popular podcast in the country, with around one million people downloading each week–and like audiobooks, podcasts are great for road trips.

New App Helps Ease Fear of Flying

soarAccording to the Top 100 Phobia List, 25 million Americans share a fear of flying. So, it comes as no surprise that the company SOAR Inc., founded by Captain Tom Bunn, airline captain and licensed therapist, has developed a free app to address this very issue.

The goal of this App is to provide a sense of relief to those suffering from this very real phobia. It is advertised as a source for gaining better control over things like flight anxiety, claustrophobia, and panic–all symptoms related to the fear of flying.

The app contains in-app purchases options, ranging from $19.99-$59.99, such as videos that walk the user through things like understanding turbulence, anxiety management tools, and what’s going on in the cockpit.

SOAR is currently rated five out of five stars on iTunes, and has been reviewed as an “excellent program” and a “great companion” by its users.

If you happen to be one of those 25 million Americans who fear flying, download SOAR on iTunes or Google Play and give it a try.

Three key strategies common to best-in-class travel management programs

With Christopherson Business Travel's strategic travel management services, companies can create best-in-class travel management programs.

With Christopherson Business Travel’s strategic travel management services, companies can enjoy best-in-class travel management programs.

According to Travel Market Report, “Travel accounts for a significant portion of total corporate expenses. But just how significant may be a surprise … Business travel accounts for anywhere between 8% and 12% of the overall enterprise expense budget. This is bad news for travel managers whose companies see travel as a cost center, but good news for those whose companies see travel as an investment in revenues.”

Market research firm, Aberdeen Group, identified three key strategies common to best-in-class travel management programs:

  1. Support travel management with analytics, integration and mobility
  2. Use mobile apps and portals to put expense management directly in the hands of travelers
  3. Leverage analytics and integration to drive transparency into travel processes and spending to improve corporate budgeting, planning, and forecasting

As a leader in the business travel industry and the 11th largest travel management company in the U.S., Christopherson Business Travel is committed to providing innovative and integrated travel management services that accomplish those three key strategies.

By developing proprietary technologies like AirPortal 360 and AirPortal 360 Mobile, Christopherson supports their more than 1,000 corporate clients’ travel programs with that much-needed analytics, integration, and mobility.

Additionally, clients of Christopherson enjoy the added benefit of a consultative Account Manager whose job it is to help leverage that analytics, drive transparency in travel processes and spending, and improve corporate travel budgeting, planning, and forecasting.

Key strategies for best-in-class travel management programs 1, 2, and 3: Check, check, and check.

To learn more about how Christopherson can help your company implement these three key strategies into your travel program, please contact one of our business executives.

A Peek “Behind the Curtain” at the Coolest Mobile Travel Apps

Mobile computing is increasingly becoming an inexorable part of our every day lives. And travel is no different. As business and leisure travelers are trading schlepping their laptops for their Blackberries, iPhones or Droids in droves, a new wave of mobile travel apps are flooding the marketplace.
Here’s a quick peep at 5 travel apps that are truly making lives easier and more fun for the modern day traveler:
#5. Seat Guide. Couldn’t let a “Top 5” list escape without at least one seat guide and this one tops the list. With over 100 airlines and over 1,200 aircraft cataloged, you now have access to information on the best or more importantly the worst seats before making your seat choice on your next flight.
#4. Gate Guru. Ever find yourself wondering where to get a decent meal at an airport? Not sure if it’s before or after security? Not sure where to find a souvenir on a long layover? Well, with Gate Guru fret no more! This user friendly airport guide is the most comprehensive up-to-date-in-airport guide available. Like Yelp but for airports!
#3. Flight Update. Flight Update allows you to enter any flight and track that flight’s status and location. With over 1,400 airlines in its data base, chances are the flight times, routing and gate information for the flight you need are there. Voted “..one of the best apps of 2009” by Apple. A favorite for travelers AND professionals alike.
#2. Flightcaster.“Not another flight-tracking app..” you cringe? Well ….this app PREDICTS flight delays! How you ask?? It’s pretty simple really … “by deploying advanced algorithms that scour data on every domestic flight over the last 10 years and match it to real-time conditions”. See?
And ……..
#1. TripIt Pro. The only paid app on this list, TripIt Pro is a MUST HAVE app for anyone who travels more than once a month. Equal parts social networking, travel tracker and travel admin, it is the perfect app that helps manage the unpredictable nature of travel on the road. And Christopherson Business Travel now offers TripIt Pro at almost half the price currently being offered online!

For more information on our preferred TripIt Pro pricing or how apps and Christopherson’s travel technology tools are helping revoltionize the mobile travel landscape, contact one of our account managers or travel advisors today.