Menno Traveler November 2013
the newsletter for our business travelers
~~ Happy Thanksgiving everyone! ~~
Our office will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 28 and 29 for our employees to enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday with their families.
For your convenience, our After Hours Emergency Service will be available.
Call 800-367-1633 and use the VIT Code P3ND. Fees Apply.
Thanksgiving Holiday Travelers ToTop 25 Million!
Airlines for America predicts an estimated 25 million passengers will fly during the 12-day Thanksgiving travel period from Nov. 22 to Dec. 3. The peak will occur on Dec. 1 when more than 2.5 million will travel, the group said. It added that airlines are adding seats to accommodate holiday demand, and planes are expected to be more than 85% full on the busiest days.
Saving Money, Time and Hassle by Booking Hotels and Cars with Menno Travel
When you book an airline ticket with Menno Travel, there’s no additional cost for us to make a hotel or car rental reservation for you using our preferred American Express rates. If you’re not ready to make your hotel or car reservation at the same time that you called to make your airline reservation, no problem! Add it later and there is still no charge.
And just like we do with your airline frequent flyer number, we add your hotel or car rewards number to your reservation so that you receive all of your perks and benefits. You don’t miss a thing and all of your reservations are in one place. This is convenient when you need to make a change…one call does it all, including calls to our After Hours service.
All air, car and hotel bookings appear on corporate reports, making expense reporting quick and efficient.
“Menno Travel Rocks!”
We received this note from one of Ron Yoder’s clients last week –
“I’ve been traveling internationally as a part of my job for the past decade—so have faced my share of frustrations and headaches that are all part of the package when you deal with multiple airlines. Working with Ron from Menno Travel has taken a huge load off my mind—he handles all the details, making sure that my trip runs smoothly. On a recent trip to Central Africa, my team was stranded for a week in Paris due to flight cancellations. Knowing that Menno Travel would take care of getting our tickets refunded meant I could focus on keeping our project on track, and begin making plans for an alternate trip. Ron has saved me hours and hours on the phone, and managed to secure a full refund*! Something I’m 100% certain I could never have managed, allowing us to reschedule the trip for a later date. Thanks Menno! For anything involving multiple connections, or team trips, using Menno is a no-brainer—the peace of mind is priceless. You guys rock!”
* Delta originally offered a partial refund of $700 and through our connections we were able to get the additional $1,600 back for our client.
ALERT! Now Is The Time To Book Spring Break
For best cruise, resort or hotel options and best flight cost and schedule, now is the time to call us at 574-534-1521 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make your Spring Break plans!
Using Portable Electronic Devices in Flight
The Federal Aviation Administration now allows the use of electronic devices at all stages of flight, but airlines had to test their own aircraft to make sure there is no interference.
JetBlue, Delta, United, US Airways and American have completed their testing, have received FAA approval and are now allowing smaller, handheld approved devices to be used in ‘airplane mode’ during all phases of flight within the 50 United States, unless otherwise instructed by a crew member. Mainline domestic carriers are restricting use to their main carrier flights and hope to expand to allow use on their regional carriers soon. Watch for further announcements on expanded service.
Cell phones should be in airplane mode or with cellular service disabled, no signal bars displayed, and cannot be used for voice communications due to Federal Communications Commission regulations that prohibit any airborne calls on cell phones. The new rules apply only to flights in the U.S. and not flights to U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
New Technology to Allow Texting and Talking in Flight
Gogo’s Text & Talk technology is currently being tested and will hopefully be available on passenger airlines during the first quarter of 2014. The service works through a Gogo Text & Talk app where you can dial or send or receive texts using a dialing pad, or tap contacts names or the names inside “recents” caller lists.
Gogo is a major provider of fee-based Wi-Fi and digital entertainment inflight services. Its services are currently available on more than 2,000 planes across nine domestic U.S. air carriers.
Changes To United’s Frequent Flyer Program
United Airlines has announced changes to its frequent flyer program. Effective February 1, 2014, United Airlines Mileage Plus customers using award miles with partners on the Star Alliance Network will see an exponential increase in cost compared to similar awards flown only on United. First class ticket awards on partners will go up 40-80% and business class ticket awards on partners will go up 20-40%. Some economy class awards will increase by 5-15%.
United Airlines changed the number of frequent flyer miles required for some reward flights, including flights serving Hawaii and international first class flights. MileagePlus reward miles needed to redeem domestic flights remains unchanged.
Delta Changing Redemption Levels For SkyMiles Awards
Select redemption levels changed for Award Tickets booked now, for travel on or after February 1, 2014. You can continue to book Award Tickets for travel before February 1, 2014, at the current Award redemption levels. Click here for complete details. (Delta’s increases are much less severe than the ones made by United.)
Are You Receiving the Royal Treatment From Your Car Rental Company?
Have you seen or heard about travelers who bypass the rental counter, walk directly to the car rental lot, walk up and down an aisle assessing the cars as if they are about to purchase the car and then hop in one and drive away without even talking to a company representative?! Have you ever wondered who those people are and what they pay for that?
Well, they pay nothing…and it could be you. With National Car Rental, all you need to do is sign up for their Emerald Club, reserve a mid-size car and you pick any car from their Emerald Aisle. You get Free Upgrades and Free Membership. There is no pre-reserved car, just an entire block of options for you to pick from. You also get to select from Free Rental Days, frequent-flyer miles or hotel rewards.
Rent often and you can earn Emerald Club Executive® status with 12 paid rentals or 40 paid rental days in a calendar year. You’ll enjoy all the benefits of Emerald Club® membership plus a higher level of privileges, including your choice of full-size or better cars from the exclusive Executive area, guaranteed upgrades, and One Free Rental Day with six rental credits.
Emerald Club Executive Elite® status is attainable with 25 paid rentals or 85 paid rental days in a calendar year. You’ll enjoy all the benefits of Executive status plus a guaranteed car (up to a Fullsize) with 24-hour notice, vehicle delivery to most private airport terminals at many U.S. National locations and One Free Rental Day (any car class with no blackout dates) with just five rental credits.
Enroll here and begin receiving your benefits with your next National rental. If you sign up for a new account, remember to advise us of your National account number so that we can add this to your profile for future bookings.
Delta Allows Same-Day Changes 24 Hours Prior
Delta travelers are now allowed to request a same-day change up to 24 hours prior to the original flight departure time, rather than only on the day of departure. The new departure time must still be on the same day as the originally-scheduled departure.
Full details are available here on Delta’s website.
Mobile Device Check-in at South Bend Airport
Mobile boarding is now available for passengers traveling on Allegiant and United from South Bend Airport (SBN). Allegiant and United passengers with web-enabled mobile devices can check-in, proceed through security and onto the plane without a printed boarding pass. Delta is working to have this service available to its customers soon.
Alaska Airlines Increases Minimum Check-in Time for Domestic Flights
Alaska Airlines is increasing its minimum check-in time for all customers from 30 to 40 minutes on most domestic flights. The minimum check-in time for international flights remains 60 minutes.
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