February 2011 Newsletter
Assisting Travelers during the Winter Storms
Our staff helped at least one hundred clients who were delayed, stranded, or had their trips canceled during the recent blizzard of 2011. With airline phone lines jammed with calls, and websites not a lot of help either, our travelers were able to make one call to their travel agent and get taken care of.
At times, several of our staff waited on hold with airlines for up to 3 hours and 45 minutes to make the necessary changes to existing reservations. Communicating with our clients took the forms of email, phone calls and texts, based on the clients needs. We are here before, during and after your trip to help you!
“Above and Beyond” Award to Corporate Travel Staff, Jill and Debi!
Incentive Travel Specialist, Mary Ann Holderman, recommended Corporate Travel Specialist, Jill Mann, for our intra-office recognition award, the “Above and Beyond Award”, awarded for exceeding expectations for service to our clients. This award is in the form of a large wooden giraffe that makes its home on the desk of the honored employee until such time as it moves to the desk of the next honoree.
Mary Ann writes: “Jill’s willingness to help me issue 175 tickets on 5 different airlines for my Hawaii Incentive Group was invaluable! She was extremely patient and became my personal ‘help desk’ when no one else was around.” The group left for Hawaii on Saturday, January 22 for a seven night cruise. Menno Travel Owners, Doug Risser and Geof Landis noted that Jill helped Mary Ann in between taking care of her own corporate clients at the busiest time of the year!
Along with Jill, Debi Riegsecker was honored for having the largest number of new reservations in this time period in at least four years! The time needed to process the large number of reservations was compounded by the additional hours needed to assist our clients whose flights were cancelled due to weather. Doug and Geof wrote, “Thanks, Debi and Jill for your efforts ‘Above and Beyond’ both in assisting clients with new reservations and for working the many additional required hours when they get stranded.” Congratulations!
Delta SkyBonus Enrollment Promotion
Delta is offering 25,000 bonus points to new small corporate accounts enrolled in their SkyBonus Program prior to March 31, 2011. You will receive the bonus points up0n the completion of your first trip within 60 days of enrollment. Contact Deb Mangas or Geof Landis to enroll or to get more information.
Why are airfares cheaper on Tuesday and Wednesday?
Many experts say Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days to find low airfares, while weekends tend to be most expensive. Wall Street Journal Columnist Scott McCartney researched the reasons for price fluctuations, including competitive concerns and even staffing levels. On weekends, for instance, he found that pricing is more automated, so fares automatically rise as cheap seats sell out. But when pricing managers return to work on Monday, they may override the computer models, making more cheap seats available in an effort to maximize revenue. Also, most fare increases are filed at the end of the week and may be withdrawn early the following week if not matched by the other airlines.
Southwest Bookings On The Rise
Southwest Airlines continues to make friends among business travelers and vacationers alike with their no bag fee policy, their no change fee policy and their friendly staff. Recently, it was reported by Gary Kelly, chief executive officer at Southwest Airlines that in 2010 there was a 13% increase in quarterly earnings with a great outlook for 2011.
At Menno Travel Service, our Southwest Airlines reservations reflect this increase in popularity. Keeping travel costs in mind, we are pleased to offer our clients this alternative to the “a la carte” airlines.
Delta Increasing Legroom On Some International Flights
Delta announced a major investment in its international fleet with plans to introduce a premium economy section – “Economy Comfort” – on all long-haul international flights starting in summer 2011. The new seats will feature up to four additional inches of legroom and 50 percent more recline than Delta’s standard international Economy class seats.
Murphy’s Laws For Frequent Flyers
• No flight ever leaves on time unless you are running late and need the delay to make the flight.
• If you are running late for a flight, it will depart from the farthest gate within the terminal.
• If you arrive very early for a flight, it inevitably will be delayed.
• Flights never leave from Gate #1 at any terminal in the world.
• If you must work on your flight, you will experience turbulence as soon as you touch pen to paper. Or start to drink your coffee.
• Only passengers seated in window seats ever have to get up to go to the lavatory.
• The crying baby on board your flight is always seated next to you.
• The less carryon luggage space available on an aircraft, the more carry-on luggage passengers will bring aboard.
Recognize/Reward Employees With Menno Travel Flexible Vacation Vouchers
Flexible Vacation Vouchers are the perfect way to let an employee know you value their service to your company. The vouchers are prepaid to Menno Travel Service with a two-year validity, good for travel anywhere, anytime. Contact Deb Mangas or Geof Landis for more information.
Great Meeting Rates at Wyndham Hotels!
There are great rates popping up at Wyndham Hotels for companies looking to hold meetings in the U.S. and around the world. An example of low rates at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista in Florida:
May 6-12: $74 / May 22-26: $65 / May 30-June 9: $85 / August 14-October 6: $59 / December 11-22: $79
Besides these fantastic introductory rates there are several booking incentives, including Triple Wyndham Rewards Points and a Welcome Reception. Keep Wyndham in mind when choosing your upcoming meeting site.
Incentive Travel: Different Programs for Different Reasons
Most incentive travel programs that we arrange for clients have two primary goals:
• Increase profitable business
• Build relationships
As such, most programs focus on increased sales over a longer period of time, for instance achieving 110% of expected volume to earn the reward trip. There are other ways to structure an incentive program. Here are a few:
• “President’s Club”—This recognizes the most important clients, the elite top 10 or 20. These trips tend to be high-end, once a year, and exclusive.
• “Fast Track” contests—These can start at the drop of a hat to meet immediate situations, such as excess or stale inventory, seasonality issues, or reaction to competition.
• New product introduction—Need to promote a new product, especially one with a high profit margin? This program should be short term, simple, individual rather than as a group, and can be tiered.
• Advanced Sales Academy—Dealers complete training programs, demonstrate product knowledge, and make required sales contacts. Rewards are cash or prizes and qualify them to participate in future incentive travel programs.
Contact Doug Risser, Geof Landis, or Deb Mangas to discuss how a well-designed incentive travel program can help your company increase profitable sales while building relationships.
Escorted Motor Coach Tours
Long-time Menno Travel escort Judy Cunningham and Cardinal Bus driver Fran Eldridge invite you to join them on their two motor coach tours in 2011!
Sights of Pennsylvania on July 23—29
Their trip to Eastern Pennsylvania will combine the scenery of the Poconos, the early history of our country in Philadelphia, and a return to the Sight and Sound Theatre in Lancaster for their newest Biblical production, Joseph.
Click here for complete Pennsylvania tour information.
Missouri River Lore & More on September 18—24
The early history of Missouri is tied to the Mississippi River and this tour visits the popular sights along the Mississippi River between Mark Twain’s Hannibal and historic French America.
Click here for complete Missouri tour information.
If you or someone you know would enjoy these great tours, make your reservations soon to ensure you’re not left behind! Contact Tara Nisley at (574) 975-7766 or (866) 606-6198 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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