the newsletter for our business travelers

~~ Happy Holidays! ~~

Our office will be closed at noon on Tuesday December 24, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day for our employees to enjoy the Holidays 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.

One Call Does It All When Bad Weather Disrupts Your Travel Plans

Winter is upon us and that means lots of flight schedule changes! Whether you’re traveling during our business hours or after hours, your one call to Menno Travel will provide the assistance you need to rebook a flight, get a hotel for the night or rent a car to get you safely where you need to go.

During disruptions in travel, our staff works tirelessly to find good schedules on alternative flights whenever possible. This often requires long on-hold times with airlines, so leave that to us and we promise to get you on your way as quickly as possible. Outside of office hours call 800-367-1633 and use the VIT Code P3ND. Fees Apply.

Car Rental Rates Checked For Lower Fares

Menno Travel is saving you money and you may not even know it’s happening.  We have developed a Car Rate Checker Program that checks every car rental reservation and when the rate has decreased,we rebook the same car at the lower rate saving your company money. The best part is that this service is done at no additional charge; it’s the power of doing business with Menno Travel!

Below is a sample of real savings (in green) by one of our corporate accounts:

Car Rate Check Savings

Checked Date

Segments

Book Rate

Rental Rate

Savings

Origin

Org Date

Destination

Dest Date

11/15/2013

3

$381.82

$239.15

$142.67

MDW

11/17/2013

MDW

11/22/2013

11/18/2013

2

$100.69

$95.26

$5.43

MDT

11/20/2013

MDT

11/22/2013

11/22/2013

3

$247.01

$107.22

$139.79

DFW

11/24/2013

DFW

11/27/2013

11/29/2013

2

$236.57

$192.12

$44.45

SDF

12/1/2013

SDF

12/5/2013

11/29/2013

4

$296.41

$256.49

$39.92

IND

12/1/2013

IND

12/6/2013

12/2/2013

4

$124.82

$122.62

$2.20

ATL

12/4/2013

ATL

12/6/2013

Our Car and Hotel Programs Give More

Through American Express we offer our travelers special rates and amenities on hotels and car rentals. The Preferred Extras Hotel Program provides worldwide coverage with over 35,500 properties in 170 countries and 7,400 cities, offering competitive and flexible last room availability rates.  

The Altour Hotel Collection offers an amenity-based program at over 600 luxury five star and boutique properties. The program focuses on continuing to manage hotel expenditures while providing travelers with a wide range of price and property options.

The American Express® Car Rental Rates Program offers competitive car rental savings and value-added programs to business travelers. The car rental partners Hertz, Alamo, National, Avis, Budget and Enterprise continually strive to support customers with periodic coupon programs, exclusive promotional rates, and special corporate rates.

Contact Holly Yoder for more information or to discuss your corporate travel policy.

Convenience Is Another Reason To Call Menno Travel

Contact us for the convenience of having all reservations (air, car and hotel) in one place with all frequent traveler account numbers stored and attached appropriately to your bookings. One fee covers it all!

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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 dorothy@mennotrav.com to make your Spring Break plans!

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US Airways Legally Merged With American

The merger has legally closed, which means US Airways will combine with American to form an airline with an extensive network, greater schedule options and a modern and fuel-efficient fleet.

There is no impact to any existing reservations you may have with American Airlines or US Airways as they will continue to function as two separate airlines for quite some time, and very few changes will happen immediately. Beginning in early January, you will have the ability to earn and redeem miles on both carriers and reciprocal lounge access.

You can stay up-to-date on the latest developments by visiting aa.com/arriving.

American Express Platinum Card Removes AA Lounge Access

Beginning in March, American Express Platinum Card will no longer allow access to American Airlines Admirals Club® lounges or US Airways® Club locations, now that American and US Airways have merged into one airline.

Access to Delta Sky Club™ is still granted by presenting your Platinum Card, your valid ticket for same day travel on the corresponding airline that is operating the flight, and a government issued ID. Your spouse and children under the age of 21, or up to two traveling companions, may join you as complimentary guests in the club room.

The Platinum card also provides access to the Priority Pass™ membership for no additional charge. This membership will get you in to 600 participating Priority Pass VIP airport lounges worldwide. Call 800-801-6564 to enroll and see a complete listing of participating lounges at www.prioritypass.com.

A new benefit for American Express Platinum and Centurion cardmembers and guest is access to Centurion Clubs in Mexico – Mexico City, Argentina – Buenos Aires, Brazil – São Paulo, and India – Delhi.  Menno Travel co-owner, Doug Risser has used the clubs in Rio and Sao Paulo and says they make a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of the airports. The first Centurion lounge in the US is in Las Vegas with more to come.

Changes to US Airways and United MileagePlus Partnership

Effective Monday, March 31, 2014, US Airways will no longer be a MileagePlus or codeshare partner with United Airlines due to the merger with American Airlines. United customers with Star Alliance travel on US Airways flights will continue to receive Star Alliance benefits through March 30, 2014. 

All current tickets for travel on US Airways will be honored. Award travel can be booked on US Airways using MileagePlus miles through March 30, 2014. As long as customers earn award miles they will also earn Premier qualifying miles and Premier qualifying segments. On eligible US Airways flights between January 1 and March 30, 2014, customers can earn also Premier qualifying dollars. Star Alliance status benefits will apply on US Airways through March 30, 2014.

Customers with a United Club membership or traveling on a United international premium cabin ticket can access US Airways Clubs through March 30, 2014. To learn more about earning and using miles during this transition, click here

TSA Expands Enrollment for PreCheck Program

The Transportation Security Administration has opened its PreCheck program to the general public. The PreCheck application program requires a background check, fingerprinting and an enrollment fee of $85 for a five-year membership.

Once approved, travelers will receive a Known Traveler Number and the opportunity to go through PreCheck lanes at security checkpoints at participating airports. Previously, to be eligible for PreCheck, travelers had to opt-in through participating airline’s frequent flier program, or be enrolled in one of Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry, SENTRI or NEXUS Trusted Traveler programs. Those avenues into PreCheck will still be available.

The TSA opened their first application center at the Indianapolis International Airport, making it convenient for travelers in Indiana to appear in person for the required interview, present identification and be fingerprinted. Walk-ins are welcome. By the end of the year, TSA expects to open application centers in the New York City area, the Washington, D.C. metro area and the Los Angeles area. TSA ultimately plans to expand to more than 300 application centers across the country.

You can also pre-apply online here and set an appointment at an approved enrollment center.

Average Airfares Have Risen 6.5% In The Past 8 Years

An analysis by USA Today Network on domestic air ticket prices at the 100 busiest U.S. airports has found that airfares have risen an average of 6.5%, after inflation, between the first quarter of 2005 and the first quarter of 2013. Some airfare increases were attributed to a decline in domestic airline seats as a result of mergers by major carriers. Airports that saw an increase in airline seats, such as Denver, San Francisco and Charlotte Douglas International, saw an average 18% decline in domestic ticket prices.

Cell Phone Use On Planes

The Federal Communications Commission voted to get public comment on the possibility of lifting the ban on in-flight cellphone use, which would pave the way for airlines to install cellular transponders. Since then, most airlines have chosen to not to allow cellular calls or Internet-based voice communications onboard their flights, including Delta, JetBlue, Southwest and United.

American Airlines said that it will keep its customers’ wishes in mind should the FCC give airlines the power to decide whether they want to allow in-flight use of cellphones. Virgin American is also reserving the right to decide at a later time.

Stay tuned to see which airlines you can fly without needing to put up with listening to other traveler’s phone conversations!

United Offers Subscriptions for Checked Baggage and Economy Plus Seats

Pack freely when you travel with United and United Express operated flights. With a United baggage subscription, you and up to eight companions traveling on the same reservation can each check up to two bags per flight for free. Subscriptions begin at $349 for one year.

Note: The purchase of a checked baggage subscription does not waive charges that would ordinarily be assessed for oversized and/or overweight bags and does not cover the cost of checking more than two standard bags.

Economy Plus® subscriptions start at $499.00. Your subscription will let you reserve an Economy Plus seat on any United or United Express® flight that has available Economy Plus seats.

Starting at $500.00 or 65,000 miles, purchase a United Club membership and you’ll have access to more than 45 United Club locations and other select partner lounges worldwide.

Click here to purchase these options.