Don’t Be That Traveler – 14 Thanksgiving Travel Tips to Simplify Your Life |

It’s almost never too early to book your thanksgiving airline tickets. In fact, you probably should have taken care of that last week. So as you prepare for your Turkey Day travel plans, here’s some tips to keep in mind that will simplify your travel days and make your fellow travelers grateful that you’re one of few travelers that actually has it together.

1. Hire a courier service for bags. If you aren’t going to be able to go all-carry-on, make a reservation with a courier service at least three days prior to your flight. The relatively inexpensive cost outweighs the convenience of having your bags arrive at your destination before you do.

2. Check in online. Most airlines offer an online check-in service that’s available 24 hours before your departure. If you’re not checking baggage you can walk straight to the security line and bypass those insane counter check-in lines.

3. Drop off from Arrivals and vice versa. Have your driver, whether family, friend, or taxi, drop you off in arrivals and pick you up in departures. You’ll skim tons of time off your schedule and you’ll avoid typical travel frustration.

4. Fly out on Thanksgiving and/or come home Friday. You can find cheap tickets if you fly on Thanksgiving. Plus traveling is a breeze, compared to the Thursday before. Look for cheap airline tickets on the Friday after the big meal to make your life so much easier. If you take an early enough flight on Thursday you can still make it in time for the feast.

5. Don’t pack wrapped presents in your bag. You run the risk of becoming that person in the security line. Just by some boxes and wrapping paper when you get to your destination.

6. Search your bags at the luggage at carousel. It’s usually too late for the airlines to catch a personnel thief if you wait to make sure nothing was stolen from your luggage once you get to your final destination.

7. Choose neighboring airports when possible. Fly into Midway instead of O’Hare, Maryland instead of Washington International, Oakland instead of San Francisco if you want less hassle and cheap flights.

8. Bring snacks. Just like there’s no reason to no book discount airfare, there’s no reason to pay airport prices for food. You can pack a whole meal if you want in your carry-on if you want and you won’t have to worry about wasting time during your layover to get food.

9. Check on your flight’s status before leaving for the airport. Don’t spend hours of your precious holiday time sitting at the airport if you don’t have to. On busy travel days it’s common for flights to get delayed and push back your departure time, so be proactive.

10. Arrive early. Sounds too simple right? Too many people think this rule doesn’t apply to them anymore, but you never know what shenanigans you’re going to run into at the airport. Maybe the kid in front of you in the security line throws up and diverting the line takes an additional 45 minutes. It’s gross, but totally plausible.

11. Start a biding way. If the flight’s overbooked and no one is giving up their airline tickets, you are legally allowed to start your own bidding war. This only works, of course, if you have something of value to put up for bidding.

12. Take the first flight of the day. Getting up early is annoying, but you’ll be more likely to avoid delays and be able to find cheap tickets. Just remember that the earlier you get to your destination the more time you’ll have to nap before grandma asks you to help her with the green bean casserole.

13. Build in extra layover time. A lot of the discount airfare sites will offer minimal layover time. Try to manually set the time yourself on the site or call their reservation line to see if you can build in at least an hour, just in case.

14. Be prepared for security. You should know the drill by now: have your boarding pass and ID in hand, wear easily removable footwear, place all your carry-on liquids in a plastic baggy, and remove your laptop from your bag. There’s nothing more annoying than the person who takes 20 minutes at the conveyor belt because they’re not prepared.

Targeting Corporate Travel Accounts |

You have decided you want to expand your business travel sales. There are several steps you should take before dispatching your sales force on a “canvassing for corporate accounts” mission.

Defining the Market

• Account Size: Be realistic about your travel agency’s capabilities.
• Sales Territory: Your size, number of locations, and chain or consortia affiliations all play an important role in determining your “sales territory.”
• Destinations: Target corporate travel accounts using destinations that make economic sense for your existing business.
• Class of Service/Five-Star Hotels: Your targeting should go as follows: First, Business, Full Coach, Other. Five-Star Hotels, 4, 3, etc.
• Payment Patterns: Credit cards are always preferred. Target accounts with the plastic.

It is absolutely mandatory that you target your selling effort by first defining your market. This is the time for you to plan it the way you want it to be. If you have no target, you are never going to score a bull’s-eye!

Presenting the Services of Your Agency

Defining your market does not necessarily mean that you have to change anything that you are currently doing. It does, however, require a different way of thinking about how the services of your agency are presented. Purchasing managers are tired of hearing, “My agency provides better service.” Even if you do, the statement is completely meaningless because it doesn’t provide anything tangible which a purchasing manager can use to make and justify a decision.

Provide ammunition for your selling effort. Present your products by enumerating various service options and showing how they will benefit the corporate client. Provide your prospective clients with a list of such options as:
• Bundled (full service)
• Unbundled (fee based)
• Additional or premium services
• Information management