MTS Traveler Newsletter Masthead






February 2012

Corporate Travel Management Strategy

Contact Deb or Geof to learn how you can control travel expenses.

SBN Terminal Building Expansion Completed

After almost twenty-seven months of intensive work, the expansion of theSouth BendAirportterminal is complete. All of the screening equipment has been replaced by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and the airport now has the Advanced Image Technology device, known as an AIT. It will scan a person’s body, highlighting areas of interest on a cartoon character displayed on a screen seen only by the machine operator (yes, really!).  A traveler may decline to use the scanner, but must then undergo a full pat-down procedure.  The device is accurate and will speed the screening process dramatically, as long as most everyone uses it. The outdoor covered walkway that has been used during the terminal construction will no longer be necessary. 

South Bend Airport’s Executive Director John Schalliol Retires

There is a new face to lead the future of theSouth BendAirport, following the retirement John Schalliol.  Michael Daigle, AAE has been named Executive Director of the St. Joseph County Airport Authority and will take the helm at SBN, following Schalliol’s retirement. February 29. 

Airfare Increases, But Still Lags Behind Inflation

Average domestic airfares rose to $361 in the third quarter of 2011, up 6.2 percent from the average fare of $340 in the third quarter of 2010, according to the latest figures from the Department of Transportation. But fares are still a good deal. Airfares in the third quarter of 2011 increased 7.1 percent from the third quarter of 2000, not adjusted for inflation, compared to an overall increase in consumer prices of 30.6 percent during that period. In the 16 years since 1995, when the DOT began tracking fares, airfares rose 25.5 percent compared to a 48.1 percent inflation rate. The average inflation-adjusted third-quarter 2011 fare in 1995 dollars was $244 compared to $288 in 1995 and $297 in 2000. 

Business Travel Growing Steadily

Business travel appears poised to continue to grow despite economic uncertainty, according to the latest Business Travel Quarterly Outlook –United Statesfrom the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). The report found that business travel was stronger than expected last year, and that growth should continue.  Trip volume was up 3.1 percent; travel spending was up 8.3 percent for the quarter.  For the year, total person trips will hit 445 million; total spending will hit $252 billion, 2.1 percent and 7.6 percent increases, respectively The GBTA is forecasting that business travel spending will increase 4.6 percent this year, although person-trips will decline by .8 percent.  Prices will increase more slowly this year than last year. Travel price inflation should be 2.2 percent in 2012, compared to 4.3 percent last year. 

Meet Your Goals with a Well-Planned Incentive Program

Many of our incentive travel clients use incentives for attaining sales goals.  That’s great, but incentives help you reach other goals as well:

► Is seasonality a problem?  Use incentives to encourage clients to place orders or take on inventory during slow times. 

► Need to introduce a new product?  Use incentives to get attention.

► Need to move stale inventory?  Travel incentives do that while maintaining price integrity.

► Need to reduce waste?  Use incentives to reward employees for reducing waste.

► Want to build your relationship and loyalty among your best clients?  A well-planned group travel incentive brings you together through shared experiences.

► A well-planned incentive program can fund itself.  Does yours?

Contact Maureen Russell or Ronda Morris to learn how incentive travel programs will help you reach your management goals, whether sales or other.

PS:  Start planning now if you wish to travel in winter 2013!

Southwest Airlines Now Flies To Atlanta

Southwest launches 15 daily flights fromAtlanta, with routes toAustin, Baltimore/Washington,Denver, Houston Hobby and Chicago Midway.

Delta  Amends International Baggage Fee 

Effective January 24, 2012 Delta has raised the fee to $100 USD from $75 USD to check a second bag at the airport for travel from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, South America (excluding Brazil) to Europe and North Africa.

The fee to check a second bag at the airport for travel from Europe and North Africa to the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, South America (excluding Brazil) remains at 75EUR.

Prepaying baggage fees online 24 hours prior to departure is less expensive.  Click here for complete Delta Checked Baggage details. 

American Airlines Offers Complimentary Beer and Wine on Flights

Travelers on American-operated flights between the U.S.and Europe, the U.S.and Asia and onboard long-haul flights between the U.S.and Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay, can choose from a variety of complimentary beer and wine options. This is in addition to the full selection of nonalcoholic beverages, and liquor available for purchase. With complimentary beer and wine served in all classes of service, American is now better aligned with fellow oneworld® alliance members. Beer, wine and spirits will remain complimentary for customers traveling in the First and Business Class cabins. For more information on American’s beverage service, visit

The Credit Card With The Most Benefits For Business Travelers

Click here to visit the new American Express Corporate Platinum Card website listing all of the benefits to being a Corporate Platinum card member. In addition, you’ll find tip and trend articles and  business travel tools.  Among the card benefits are VIP airport clubs worldwide, expedited Passport Clearance, complimentary inflight Internet sessions, personal concierge assistance, Membership Rewards points, upgrades and premium amenities at more than 700 of the world’s leading hotels. 

To learn more or to sign up for a Corporate Platinum Card, contact Geof.

Cut The Cost Of Using Your Smartphone Internationally

Here is a link to an article with some creative workarounds to paying huge amounts for international wireless data plans.  It pays off to plan ahead and know the options available to avoid roaming or data charges on cell phones while traveling.


Perfectly Paired Exclusive Vacation Offers from Menno Travel

Perfectly Paired is a collection of carefully chosen, upscale hotels and resorts around the world providing special services, amenities and activities for couples looking to embrace much needed time alone. We can offer these packages exclusively to our clients through American Express Vacations.

Sample 3-night vacation: Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa – $821 

Sample per person American Express Vacations hotel package includes:

• 4-day compact car rental with Hertz

• 3-night hotel accommodations

• Hotel tax

Perfectly Paired benefits:*

• Complimentary poolside private cabana usage (one day, per stay)

• Early check-in (12pm) and late check-out (4pm)

Whether you are craving a long weekend away without the kids, want to celebrate a special occasion or are just looking for an experience that will take your breath away, Perfectly Paired was designed to pair you with the right destination and accommodations for your perfect escape. Call our vacation travel professionals or email and plan your next getaway!

*Sample offer valid on 3-night minimum stays for new Perfectly Paired by American Express Vacations bookings made by 1/31/12 and traveled by 6/30/12. Perfectly Paired package inclusions are subject to change for 2012 travel. Perfectly Paired bookings do not need to be booked with an American Express® Card and are not valid toward group bookings. Terms and conditions may apply to amenities and vary based on the property and package booked. Rates are land only, per person, double occupancy based onAlohaGardenroom category. Advertised rates valid for travel 1/15/12 – 2/10/12 .Blackout, weekend, holiday peak season surcharges apply. Rates and promotions are accurate at time of posting and are subject to changes,exceptions, cancellation charges and restrictions. New bookings only please. Blackout dates apply. All advertised savings are reflected in price. Not responsible for errors or omissions in the printing of this posting.