Business Traveller

On the U.S. campaign jet trail

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Private jet travel, it seems, is an essential tool of coast-to-coast (and everywhere-in-between) presidential campaign success. Here’s why:

The trail is heating up. Campaigners’ arduous journeys from candidate to party nominee to U.S. President – via state primaries, caucuses and party conventions (a process now understood by Britons, thanks to The West Wing) – swung into motion this spring and will continue until November 2012.

The lengthy campaign season is going to be aggressive, intense, exhausting, and though best-in-show logistics won’t necessarily determine the eventual winner, a cunning exploitation of aviation links will certainly help.

Whatever their political colour, declared candidates will be in need of an on-demand craft to negotiate their whirligig, multiple-cities-a-day schedules. Though campaign budgets might benefit from flying commercial, it would be nigh-on impossible to fit in a tenth of their meet-and-greet functions if reliant on scheduled flights.

Top 10 U.S. public golf courses for the business traveller

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By Grace Nasri at FindTheBest

Golf has come to be known as the international sport of business. The sport offers a way to escape the traditional confines and pressures of an office and instead provides a relaxed setting where people can get acquainted and talk business.

The fact that golf has become the go-to sport for businesspeople is not surprising. One study, conducted in 2008, actually shows a positive relationship between golf and the level of compensation in the workplace.

Top 10 U.S. frequent flyer programs for the business traveller

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By Grace Nasri at FindTheBest

As the global economy picks up, business travellers are finding themselves boarding ever more flights to global hubs. Signing up with a frequent flyer program which awards redeemable points for miles travelled can mean trading in business miles for vacation miles, or an upgrade from Economy to First.

When deciding on a frequent flyer program, most travellers choose plans passively – signing up for whichever schemes are associated with the airlines they most often travel with. But there are five major factors which frequent flyers should consider to obtain the best deal:

Business travellers can’t get no airline satisfaction

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Travellers and airlines aren’t seeing eye to eye at present and haven’t been for quite some time. Their discontent has been sent into wintry proportions by a triple whammy of poor service, higher prices and ancillary fees, especially baggage charges.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI, compiled by the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business), rather bore this out on its June 21 release. It showed that passenger satisfaction with airlines dropped by 1.5 percent to an ACSI score of 65 on a 100-point scale, the joint-lowest among 47 ACSI industries (along with newspapers).

Thailand in July?

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Thailand goes to the polls on July 3 and no one can predict the precise outcome of the country’s divisive political battle. How carefully should business travellers tread, pre- and post-election?

Since populist former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was deposed in a military coup in September 2006, the world has watched Thailand and its capital Bangkok – a long-stable travel and business hub – grapple with political and civil conflict.

The story of LUXE City Guides

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His “piece of folded card” has now sold over a million copies; the man behind the sassy and saucy LUXE City Guides explains why no other travel companion comes close


Grant Thatcher, Luxe City Guides' founder and editor

By Grant Thatcher

Two and a half years after arriving in Hong Kong in 1996, and having travelled all over Asia grumbling about how cruddy, boring and unstylish all the available travel guides were, I moved to Bangkok.

As work blends into play, hotel becomes social hub

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Travellers like different things from their hotels.

Some adore the privacy of their deluxe room, away from the demands of family or roommates. In solipsistic comfort, awash with their choice of digital entertainment, they are fed, watered and tidied up after at the dial of a short extension. Others appreciate the more communitarian aspects of a home-away-from-home; the serendipitous conversation at the bar, competitive company in the gym, playmates in the pool, the bustle and hum of the lobby making laptop chores less lonely.

Many more of us probably enjoy a bit of both (I’ve always felt, for example, that business hotels should arrange some of their breakfast tables in a way to facilitate conversation).

What happens when the meeting’s over?

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That’s when the fun starts, says the boss of a new social network for business travellers. But how is Whenthemeetingsover.com carving a niche among the Goliaths of social networking?

Socially you’re likely long-entrenched in Facebook; reserving LinkedIn to connect with a larger professional network. You probably also dip into user-generated TripAdvisor for opinion overload on restaurants and hotels; the well-organised among you might use the travel-planning and itinerary sharing networks Dopplr or Tripit, and be eyeing up the just-launched Gtrot.

My city’s better than yours

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“The leading cities of the world – the global cities – are the very nodal hubs that knit the global economy together. Without these global cities, there would be no global economy.”
Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, global economic advisor, MasterCard

Why MasterCard’s recently released “Worldwide Index of Global Destination Cities” should pique the interest of meeting planners, dealmakers, investors and governments the world over.

from The Great Debate UK:

Why volcanoes are likely to continue to cause chaos in Europe

By Dr Andy Hooper. The opinions expressed are his own.

Within the space of just over a year, aircraft have now been grounded in Europe twice by ash blowing in from Iceland.  This has caused many millions of pounds of disruption.

A key question uppermost in many minds is whether the frequency of eruptions in Iceland is increasing. The short answer here is ‘yes, probably’. But, it is not just the frequency of eruptions that matters.  To impact the airspace of the United Kingdom and continental Europe, the ash has to be ejected high enough, and be fine enough that it can remain airborne for days.  Then the winds have to conspire to push it towards Europe, and the winds blow over Iceland from the north only a small fraction of the time.