Incentive

Why Incentive Travel Works

Incentive Travel – 10 Powerful Benefits

Rewarding customer loyalty and sales growth and performance with fantastic corporate rewards will benefit your business. After all, giving customers reason to not look elsewhere is part of any successful business. Below, we take a closer look at the powerful advantages of incentive travel.

1. Motivate and Inspire Customers & Sales Staff with a Memorable Reward

Providing desirable travel incentives is a great way to motivate and inspire your customer base. It will encourage business-centric buzz around your industry, with everyone wanting to be sure to not miss out, thus meeting their targets and win the reward.

2. Incentive Travel is a Cost-Effective Alternative

According to the Harvard Business Review, money is the most expensive way to reward. Travel incentives can be more cost-effective and offer greater value in terms of the benefits to staff, customers and the business.

3. Corporate Rewards Can Help Your Business Achieve its Goals

Through inspiring and motivating your customer base, corporate rewards can help you to achieve a number of company objectives, such as:
• Customer retention
• Increasing sales and profitability.
• Maintaining consistently high sales performance

4. Foster Customer Loyalty and Dedication

A great rewards system will ensure your customers feel appreciated. This feeling of appreciation fosters a positive environment, increasing consumer loyalty to the company. Similarly, appreciated customers are more dedicated. This leads to greater sales and increased profitability.

5. Forge Stronger Networking Dynamics

The thrilling adventures and shared experiences of a fantastic trip will hone and develop networking dynamics. It will also allow company and customer to build stronger relationships, and offers an informal forum for honest discussion about the company.

6. Personal Benefits for your Customers

Everyone benefits from some time away. Rewarding your customer with a travel experience will help to relieve stress, boost confidence and reignite creativity. A short break can do wonders for the soul – and your business by extension.

7. A Healthy Customer base is a Happy Business

Studies suggest that perceived benefits that no one else or a select few can get, keeps the loyal customer returning to the company. This comes back to the sense of appreciation and the personal benefits of corporate rewards.

8. Excellent PR for your Organization

Word-of-mouth is a very powerful tool. Customers who have received a memorable corporate reward are likely to rave about it to their friends and family. Also the opportunity to re-connect with past participants is an appealing part of reward packages. This will entice greater sales to your company and will improve your organization’s PR overall.

9. Travel Incentives are More Effective than Cash Rewards

Cold, hard cash is one of the most common, and according to statistics, least effective ways to reward people. The money is often treated as part of a discount and is spent on bills or household items. In contrast, an enticing travel experience is proven to inspire and motivate. In addition, the memory of a fantastic trip will last much longer than a cash bonus, fostering feelings of gratitude towards the company.

10. Flexible Experiences for Every Budget

Incentive travel can be tailored to suit budgets, making travel a practical reward option for small and large businesses alike.

Book your corporate travel experience with a company you can trust. Menno Travel, Group & Incentive Department has the knowledge and expertise to provide your company with unique travel options. Menno Travel’s Group & Incentive Department can manage your customer/sales loyalty travel incentive.

Please contact our Group & Incentive Department at travelstaff@mennotrav.com

Menno Traveler April 2013

Menno Traveler – April 2013

~ a newsletter for our business travelers ~

Our office will celebrate Easter by closing at Noon on Good Friday, March 29.

For your convience, our After Hours Emergency Service will be available.

Call 800-367-1633 and use the VIT Code P3ND. Fees Aply.

Have a wonderful Easter celebration!

Saving You More On Car Rentals

At Menno Travel we help you save money whenever possible. With car rentals, for example, we discovered that some rates on cars that were already reserved actually went down a couple of days prior to the rental date! This allowed us to pass the savings along to our client. This is another quality control check that we use to help you save money. Contact Geof or Holly if you would like to learn more about our managed corporate travel.

Do You Understand Your Company’s Travel Policy?

As businesses continue to clamp down on policy and compliance, research firm Amadeus surveyed 400 travellers and found only 53% fully understand their corporate travel policy and 34% had gone “off plan” last year. Managed travel takes the guesswork out of controlling costs and staying within budget. Contact Holly to learn more.

TSA Allowable Carry-On List Expands

The TSA ruled that airline passengers will be allowed to carry pen knives, corkscrews with small blades and other knives onto planes. Passengers also will be allowed to bring onboard, as part of their carry-on luggage, novelty-sized baseball bats less than 24 inches long, toy plastic bats, billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and two golf clubs. The policy goes into effect on April 25. Click here for the TSA Prohibited Items list.

Get More With Delta and Starwood

By booking Delta flights and Starwood hotels together, you can earn reciprocal benefits with SkyMiles and Starpoints programs. Called the Crossover Rewards program, enrolled SkyMiles Medallion members will have access to benefits including priority check-in, 4 p.m. late checkout and free in-room internet access when staying at Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Starwood elite members can receive one free checked bag, priority check-in and priority boarding when flying Delta.

In addition, Medallion members will earn one mile per dollar spent on eligible room rates when staying with Starwood and Starpoint members will earn points per dollar spent on eligible flights in addition to the miles usually earned for their flight. Starwood includes Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W Hotels, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Le Méridien, element and Aloft. More information is available at delta.com/crossoverrewards or spg.com/crossoverrewards.

Ask for reservations at one of these Starwood hotels the next time you travel on Delta. Menno Travel has preferred rates and availability with several American Express hotel programs. Don’t miss out!

Delta SkyMiles Medallion Changes for 2014

Effective January 1, 2014, a minimum spend level based on the price of tickets purchased will be required to qualify for status in the 2015 Medallion program. This is in addition to the Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) already used to determine the various status levels of the SkyMiles Medallion program. This will not affect customers in 2013. For more information, click here to visit the Delta Skymiles website.

Hertz Carfirmation Technology

Hertz’s Carfirmation™ is a mobile alert service that sends a notice to your phone to let you know which car you will be driving and where it is parked the minute it is ready. It also shows other available cars and upgrades and lets you select the one you want – all on your mobile. Simple, fast and easy.

Go to the Personal and Contact details section of your profile on Hertz.com and opt-in to receive Mobile Gold Alerts by email or SMS, or both. This service is available at Hertz’s top 50 airports.

Southwest Now Flying from Grand Rapids and Flint

Flights on Southwest Airlines from Grand Rapids to Baltimore/Washington, Denver, Orlando and St. Louis will begin August 11. Southwest will offer nonstop flights, add new cities, larger airplanes and more flights. They will offer nonstop service between Flint, Mich., and Las Vegas starting August 11. Service from Flint will also include nonstop service to Baltimore/Washington, Orlando, and Tampa Bay.

New Boarding Option for Southwest

Southwest is offering customers the opportunity to purchase one of the earliest boarding positions for $40 per flight, when available. This new boarding option will only be offered at the gate on the day of travel, beginning 45 minutes before the flight departs. Customers will hear an announcement in the gate area and will be able to purchase an available boarding position via credit card from a Customer Service Agent.

Southwest Airlines A Mixed Bag

Based on an audit it completed in November 2012 looking at 100 major domestic city pairs, Topaz found that competing airlines were lower than Southwest Airlines over 60 percent of the time. Topaz studied only comparable flights between Southwest and its competitors and whether the itinerary was nonstop or had connections.

Of course, if travelers check one bag, Southwest is a lower price 60 percent of the time, Topaz determined. When checking two bags, Southwest Airlines is almost always a lower price in the 100 markets analyzed, beating competitors on pricing in such instances 88 percent of the time.

Recent advertising from Southwest indicates an apparent shift in their image, as they add new fees and complete their merger with Air Tran. We anticipate more changes this year. While Menno Travel actively sells Southwest when it benefits customers, Southwest chooses not to offer travel agent support, so our ability to advocate for you is limited.

AA-US Airways Integration to Take 12 to 18 Months

It will be at least a year or a year-and-a-half before American Airlines and US Airways start merging their operations. The two airlines have to work together to align their policies in the cockpit, in the cabin and on the ground, according to marketing and sales executives from the two airlines. That means it’ll be awhile before the two carriers operate with a single res system.

~ INCENTIVE TRAVEL ~

Putting the “WOW Factor” Into Incentive Trips

A well-planned event, a site that is known around the world, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity are all the trademarks of an incentive travel experience with a “WOW Factor”.

How do you make YOUR incentive pop?  The “WOW Factor” is a way to set your program apart from others. Most “WOW Factors” are right under your nose, so to speak.  Arrange for a private dinner at Fenway Park or Soldier Field.  Local aquariums offer space for dinner under the sea and a museum can offer a setting or a cocktail party surrounded by original art.

Further away from home, the Mayan Ruins in Mexico or Blenheim Palace near London can provide an unforgettable gala experience with local flavor. These are things that your participants would not normally experience on their own vacation and what a dramatic way to present awards at the end of the trip!

Event budgets are tight and the “extras” are a natural place to cut costs. Be careful your incentive program doesn’t go from inspiring to merely rewarding, and your annual meeting doesn’t feel like a training seminar.

While it’s difficult to top your travel incentive programs year after year, it’s important to keep up with the latest trends, newest experiences and current hot spots. Contact Maureen or Ronda and let the experienced staff at Menno Travel help put the “WOW Factor” into your next incentive trip.

~ VACATION VALUE ~

Private Villa Rentals Offer Luxurious Value

Consider a luxurious vacation that will make you feel like the “Rich and Famous” by renting a villa or luxury condo in the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, France or Italy! A dream can become an elegant and memorable reality thanks to The Villa Experience through our preferred supplier, American Express Vacations.

A private villa or condo featuring all the trappings associated with the most luxurious vacation can actually be more economical than a luxury resort. People often envision the concept of a villa vacation as something just wealthy can afford, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. A villa vacation is all about a luxurious travel experience where relaxation and privacy are paramount goals.

Villas are perfect for special needs like Honeymoons, Destination Weddings, Family Reunions, Golf Vacations, or Corporate Meetings. Contact dorothy@mennotrav.com to start planning your luxury getaway!

Menno Traveler December 2012

MENNO TRAVELER December 2012

the newsletter for our business travelers

Our office will celebrate the Christmas and New Year’s holidays by closing for the following days:

December 24 and 25

January 1

For your convenience, our After Hours Emergency Service will be available.

Call 800-367-1633 and use the VIT Code P3ND. Fees Apply.

We wish you all Happy Holidays!

Deb Mangas On the Move!

As Business Development Manager for Menno Travel for the past nine years, Deb Mangas worked closely with many of our corporate accounts. We’re happy to announce that Deb re-joined our Vacation Travel Department and is now available to handle your vacation travel. Deb kept her hand in the vacation travel business over the years and worked full time in that department prior to becoming Business Development Manager.

We appreciate the work Deb has done in bringing in business and servicing our corporate accounts. Deb will continue to represent Menno Travel in the local community and the broader travel community. Contact Deb to plan your next getaway.

New Business Development Manager Hired

Most recently the Associate Executive Director of the Nappanee Division of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Goshen, Holly Yoder joins Menno Travel as Business Development Manager. Holly is responsible for growing our individual and group corporate business. She brings enthusiasm and energy to this job and looks forward to learning to know our current and future clients. Please join us in welcoming Holly to our Menno family. You may contact her by calling our office or email holly@mennotrav.com.

Southwest To Fly To Wichita

Beginning June 2, 2013, Southwest Airlines will offer new nonstop service from Chicago Midway to Wichita, KS and Tulsa, OK. The Wichita service on Southwest begins the day after it ends with AirTran, which is now owned by Southwest.

Delta’s New Website Adds Enhancements

Delta has a new look to their website. Here are a few key updates:

–  SkyMiles members will need to create a password to replace the PIN.

–  You will be able to access and print your ticket and baggage receipts past and present for up to two years with the new feature called My Receipts.

–  My Delta is a feature that provides you with a summarized view of your upcoming trips, SkyMiles, promotion information, and much more.

Hurry and Buy Medallion Status Before the End of the Year!

Delta SkyMiles members have until December 31 to purchase Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) to be applied toward your 2013 Medallion status. If you are close to achieving 2013 status but are unable to acquire the remaining MQM’s, this is a great offer. Up to 10,000 MQMs may be purchased in 2,500 increments at a time. Miles can only be purchased on delta.com.

Incentive Travel – Finding the Perfect Fit
There are many types of incentive travel programs. The effort required to find the one that works best for your company or organization may be the reason you don’t have one.  Understanding and structuring an effective incentive can be a daunting task and some companies just don’t see the value in it. It is worth your time and effort.

We have all heard “It takes money to make money” or “You can’t afford not to”.  These are sayings that are parallel with company incentives.  Whether you want to motivate employees or reward loyal customers, move inventory or increase sales, there is an incentive program out there for you. The incentive travel specialists at Menno Travel are available to help you consider your incentive travel options that will give you the most bang for your buck. Contact Ronda Morris or Maureen Russell to get started.

Argentina Changes Reciprocity Fee Policy

Any passenger visiting Argentina with an American, Canadian or Australian passport will be required to pay the Reciprocity Fee in advance online at the following site:

https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes/. They must register and pay with a credit card and a receipt will be given and must be shown upon their arrival in Argentina. Lack of proof of payment will result in the passenger being denied entry and they will be returned to their departure city by the airline. We strongly urge passengers to take this seriously!

TSA Removes X-Ray Body Scanners From Major Airports

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been quietly removing its X-ray body

scanners from major airports and replacing them with machines that radiation experts believe are safer. The decision was made not because of safety concerns but to speed up checkpoints at busy airports. The machines are being moved to smaller airports. Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles, and JFK have had the machines removed. The replacement machines, known as millimeter-wave scanners, rely on low-energy radio waves similar to those used in cell phones. The machines detect potential threats automatically and quickly using a computer program. They display a generic cartoon image of a person’s body, mitigating privacy concerns.

You Earned It, Now Take It!

A survey by American Express found that 17% of those that earn paid vacation days will leave some of their days unused. The average American has eight unused vacation days and 34% of those days will expire at the end of the year.

What’s stopping you from taking that summer vacation, celebrating that anniversary or planning that once-in-a-lifetime trip? It doesn’t take much time to make a phone call or send an email, so start putting your vacation days to use! Contact Dorothy Shirk, Vacation Department Manager and let us arrange the perfect, well-deserved vacation!

P.S. Just having a vacation scheduled improves morale and productivity…

Menno Traveler – August 2012

Menno Traveler – August 2012

Geof Landis Celebrating 30 Years at Menno Travel!

Congratulations to Menno Travel co-owner, Geof Landis, on celebrating 30 years at Menno Travel! Geof began his career arranging vacation travel, and became the Manager of the Corporate Department and now the co-owner.

Travel Management Reports Help With Budgeting and Forecasting

Recently we assisted one of our corporate accounts with a report comparing what they spent on airline flights for the past two years, assisting with their budget process for 2013. We’ve also had companies call and ask where travelers had been in the first quarter of last year to plan their sales strategy for next year.  In each case we were able to provide a report within a short time.

With iBank corporate reports through Menno Travel, you can:

– Access travel data 24/7 via the web

– Proactively manage travel policy compliance

– Reduce travel expenses

– Negotiate more effectively with suppliers

– Immediately access live travelers location information

– Produce and automatically distribute 120 standard and ad hoc reports

Your Menno Travel Account Manager will review your travel program and recommend the reports with the information you need, in the format you want. An Executive Summary with graphs and the Exception Air Report can be automatically emailed to our accounts. Customized reports are available; however, there may be an additional fee.

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

Frontier Flying Between South Bend and Denver

Frontier Airlines has new nonstop service between its Denver, Colorado, hub and South Bend, Indianawith four weekly nonstop flights beginning on Oct. 11, 2012. For more information, click here.

Comair Shutting Down

Delta Air Lines announced that Comair will cease operations after Sept. 29. Delta has repeatedly downsized Comair over the past seven years. One of the most-formidable regional carriers in the world less than a decade ago, Delta says is now shutting down the operation because Comair’s fleet of smaller regional jets have quickly become outdated and too expensive to fly in today’s market.

Delta claims that there will be no disruption to customers and no significant adjustments to Delta’s flight schedule or locations served.

TSA Pre-Check Expedited Security Program Keeps Expanding

TSA Pre-Check is an expedited screening initiative that is expanding to airports across the country. Houston is the most recent airport to join the program.  Benefits of this program may include no longer being required to remove items such as shoes, 3-1-1 compliant bag from carry-on, laptop from bag, light outerwear/jacket and belt through security.

Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and US Airways are contacting eligible frequent travelers with an invitation to opt-in. Once the passenger opts-in, the airline identifies the individual as a TSA Pre-Check participant when submitting passenger reservation information to TSA’s Secure Flight system.

Current members of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)’s Global Entry, SENTRI and NEXUS Trusted Traveler programs are automatically eligible to participate in TSA Pre-Check. If your airline did not extend an invitation to you, you can still participate by joining a CBP Trusted Traveler program. Click here to learn more.

Note: If you have a Trusted Traveler membership number for any of these programs, please add it to your Traveler Profile.  Contact your travel consultant if you have questions.

The following airport locations are participating in the pre-screening program:

Baltimore/Washington International ThurgoodMarshallAirport (BWI)

Cincinnati/NorthernKentuckyInternationalAirport(CVG)

DenverInternationalAirport(DEN)

FortLauderdale-HollywoodInternationalAirport(FLL)

HonoluluInternationalAirport(HNL)

HoustonGeorge Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)

IndianapolisInternationalAirport(IND)

Lambert-St.LouisInternationalAirport(STL)

LouisArmstrongNew OrleansInternationalAirport(MSY)

LuisMuñozMarínInternationalAirport(SJU)

NewarkLibertyInternationalAirport(EWR)

PhiladelphiaInternationalAirport(PHL)

PhoenixSkyHarborInternationalAirport(PHX)

PittsburghInternationalAirport(PIT)

San FranciscoInternationalAirport(SFO)

TedStevensAnchorageInternationalAirport(ANC)

WashingtonDullesInternationalAirport(IAD)

Note:

► The TSA will determine eligibility for modified screening on a per-flight-segment basis and does not guarantee expedited screening on future travel.

► The TSA Pre-Check only applies to passengers with a domestic itinerary.

► The TSA will still apply a random factor to this modified screening initiative.

Client Testimonial

I just want to let you know that Dee Suski, who always does a great job for us, went “above and beyond” handling a recent situation. She took a potentially large problem and turned it into a non-issue by recognizing and understanding what was going on and figuring out a solution.  I very much appreciate her willingness and ability in solving this problem.  Having the knowledge and experience to help when there are issues is a major factor in making the decision to use Menno instead of booking online.

Sue

Gaska Tape

Hotels Are Considering Charging For Their Now Free Wi-Fi

Some of the larger hotel chains that offer free Wi-Fi are considering charging for it because of the demand for downloading from the internet. Marriott International and Carlson Hotels have some locations that offer free Wi-Fi and a faster choice for an additional cost. Wyndham Hotel Group offers the choice but is also looking at a tiered model. Hyatt, La Quinta and Starwood’s Four Points by Sheraton are in various stages of boosting bandwidth without adopting any new fees.

Travelers are using more mobile devices on the road, hence the increase in Wi Fi use. Free internet access is at the top of guest’s want lists and this is forcing hotels to purchase more bandwidth. About 40% of guests are carrying two Wi-Fi devices and 35% are carrying three or more, and they are using them for more than email. Between March 2011 and December 2011 the amount of data per session in hotels jumped 50%, which translates into higher costs. Hotels are looking at the increase in costs and they have to decide how much bandwidth to provide for free.

Keep Lithium Batteries in Carry-Ons

The risks of lithium battery fires in aircraft have been a matter of concern in recent years as they have been implicated in a number of cargo flight crashes. There have also been incidents in which lithium batteries in mobile phones have burst into flames even while switched off on the ground, including in airport terminals, and inside aircraft in flight as a passenger carry-on item.

The concerns about the batteries have also spread to tablets and PCs, where a small number of incidents have also been reported in general use. Passengers should carry their lithium battery powered devices with them into aircraft cabins so that they are readily accessible if they do ignite. Airlines are training cabin staff in extinguishing the intense fires that can follow a battery meltdown.

American Survey Shows Small Business Travel And Economic Outlook

American Airlines released results of a recent online survey of more than 1,100 American Airlines Business ExtrAA travel managers of small- and medium-size businesses (SMBs). The survey shows that 71 percent of SMB travel managers estimate the economic outlook for their companies is expected to improve in the next 12 to 18 months.

Despite mixed economic data regarding the strength of theU.S.economy, 93 percent of respondents called face-to-face meetings crucial or helpful to the success of their business. Approximately 86 percent of responding SMB travel managers project that their companies’ travel will either stay the same or increase up to 24 percent over the next year. Another 6 percent anticipated a travel increase of 25 percent or more over the next 12 months.

In addition, the survey found that 65 percent of small businesses travel within theU.S.most frequently, 14 percent travel more internationally, and 21 percent engage in both domestic and international travel equally. The top 10 domestic cities most traveled to by SMBs includedNew York,Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth,Los Angeles,San Francisco,Miami,Washington, D.C.,Las Vegas,AtlantaandBoston. Four of the top five domestic destinations for business by SMBs are key financial and business centers. They are among the largestU.S.metropolitan areas in terms of population size and are American hubs.

Like Us On Facebook and Win!

When you “like” us on Facebook during the month of August, your name will be entered into a drawing to win Three National Car Rental Coupons*. Race to the Menno Travel FB page at www.facebook.com/mennotravelservice and qualify!

*coupons are combinable and some restrictions apply.

~~ Vacation Value ~~

Celebrity’s Immersive Wine Cruise Special!

Exceptional new cruise vacations immerse you in the top wine-producing regions of Europe. Book a 2012 Celebrity Wine Cruise vacation and receive exclusive Menno Travel Amenities*. Sail round trip from Southampton, England on the Constellation between September 7 and November 18. Ports of call includeVigo,Spain; Porto (Leixoes),Portugal;Bilbao,Spain;Bordeaux (Le Verdon), France; Paris (Le Havre),France.

But don’t wait too long—this offer is limited! Experience a modern luxury vacation that will take you away and leave you completely restored and renewed. Contact dorothy@mennotrav.com for details.

* Amenities include Free Specialty Dining, $100 onboard credit and a bottle of wine. Terms and conditions apply.

*****************

Menno Traveler June 2012

                                            
Menno Traveler – June 2012

Changes to United Reservations Within 24 Hours of Departure

United’s new reservation system is unable to notify us of schedule changes within 24 hours of a flight departure. Instead, they notify the traveler and when the traveler is already checked in online the reservation is under airport control. Once under airport control, changes can only be made directly with the airline. This includes complimentary premier upgrades and re-accommodations due to flight cancellations or delays.

Even when the traveler is not checked in, the airport takes control of flights leaving up to 6 hours prior to departure for international flights and up to 2 hours prior to departure for domestic flights.

We attempt to assist with these changes when possible; however, we may be limited and instruct you that your best recourse is to present yourself in person at the airport.  Likewise, our After-Hours Emergency Service will have the same limitations that we have in making changes.

Travel Policy Includes Natural and Man-made Disaster Instructions

Part of our service to our customers includes putting together a Company Travel Policy to help control and track travel costs.  Among many cost-saving policies, it also includes safety instructions for what to do if a natural or man-made disaster happens while an employee is traveling on business. Below is an example:

First, always follow the local official’s instructions to safeguard yourself.  Should a natural or man-made disaster happen while traveling in your location or elsewhere that affects your travel or threatens your safety contact Menno Travel, American Express or the After-Hours Emergency Service as soon as possible. Our travel professionals will be making arrangements on your behalf, so contact them by phone, fax, email or whatever means available to you.

If the airlines suspended flights, your Menno Travel professional will make every effort to confirm a car rental for your return. If you are unable to communicate with Menno Travel, locate the nearest rental service and inquire about a reservation.  If you have a rental car and can safely use it to return home, do so.

If you are unable to leave the area contact ‘COMPANY NAME’ and we will inform your family.  If you contact your family please ask them to contact the office or your supervisor. In this way, we can better assist your return.

If you currently have a travel policy in place, contact Geof to have it reviewed. If you don’t have a policy, contact Deb or Geof to learn how a comprehensive travel policy can benefit your company.

Passport Expirations

Whether you’re traveling for business or taking a vacation, if you’re traveling outside the U. S.you will need a passport. In most cases, your passport needs to be valid 6 or 9 months beyond your scheduled return date. The best time to renew a passport is at least nine months prior to the expiration of your old one. New passports are taking about four weeks for processing, so check your expiration date and plan accordingly to enjoy carefree international travel! Click here for more passport tips.

Testimonial of Good Service Received

It’s always nice to get feedback from our clients! Thank you for your kind words, Betty.

Geof and Jill,

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the good service you offer at Menno Travel.  Geof, as you are aware, our commencement speaker and his wife did not connect with the driver who was waiting for them at O’Hare last Thursday evening.  Long story short, they did finally connect (after 3 hours) and the thing that helped save the day was the fact that you have an after-hours phone number on the electronic ticket and there is actually a ‘live’ person who answers!  The benefit of going through a travel service who knows us is that you knew who to call at our office after hours and they in turn called me and the situation got resolved.

Again, thanks for your excellent customer service,

Betty

Average Business Travel Prices Have Risen, Study Finds

First-quarter data released by American Express Global Business Travel indicate that average business-travel prices have gone up. Average domestic airfares during the quarter of 2012 rose 6% from those in 2011, while average domestic hotel rates climbed 5% during the same period. To optimize travel budgets in this environment, it makes sense for companies to look at how they are encouraging compliance with corporate travel policies. It’s also wise for companies to regularly review their Menno Travel corporate travel reports to see how dollars are being spent.

Contact Deb or Geof to learn more about controlling travel expenses with a travel policy.

United and Delta Increase Bag Fees

United Airlines announced that it has matched Delta with an increase in its fee for a second checked bag. The fee has increased from $70 to $100 for flights from North America, the Caribbean, South America (excluding Braziland Venezuela) to Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India. Earlier this year, Delta Air Lines increased its fee for a second checked bag from $75 to $100, for travel from North America, the Caribbean, South America (excluding Brazil) to Europe and North Africa. For more information, see this updated Ancillary Fees Comparison Chart.

Paying More for Seats

It could get tougher to avoid getting stuck in that middle seat without paying an extra fee. Some airlines charge you for the ability to pick your own seat. But some of the larger carriers are increasing the number of seats that they’re holding for premium flyers. This means that on some airlines, you can pay for a seat for more legroom, but you can also pay to get a window or aisle seat or a seat closer to the front of the plane.

Free upgrades to Delta’s Economy Comfort are offered to Delta Sky Priority members as well as those purchasing non-discounted coach tickets (Y, B, M) and are discounted for Silver Medallion members. Click here for more information and a complete description of the benefits of Economy Comfort.

Why Taking a Vacation is Good For Your Business 

You should take a vacation this summer, not only to get re-energized but also to make sure your company can carry on while you are away. Taking a vacation gives you a chance to test the capabilities of your second in command and can set a good example for your employees.

Pre-Screening Now Available to United Mileage Plus Members at O’Hare

If you are a United Mileage Plus member and aU.S.citizen, you may apply for the Transportation Security Administration’s pre-screening initiative program atChicago’s O’Hare airport. If accepted into the program, you won’t have to take off your shoes, light outerwear or belts. And laptops can be kept in cases along with certain liquids and gels in carry-ons.

More than 1.5 million passengers have received expedited screening through the TSA screening program since it began in October.

It’s now available in 16 airports forU.S.citizens who are select frequent flyers of participating airlines or members of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler programs for travel within theU.S.

For more information on the U.S. Trusted Traveler program, click here.

5 Ways to Stay Connected While Traveling

iPads, iPhones and Androids are now in most carry-on bags. Staying connected has become a priority for anyone traveling outside the country. You can save yourself from huge voice and data roaming fees with a few simple tips.

1. Cellular Carrier Discount Plans

Most carriers offer temporary plans for every country and include call time and/or data. While not for unlimited web surfing, they’re perfect for a few calls and basic email while away. Tip: Call your carrier at least a week before your trip to find out what they offer.

2. Cruise Roaming

On top of international roaming charges, the ship’s cellular service adds their own fees. Most carriers now offer discounted roaming for specific cruise lines. Usually you have to sign up for a temporary add-on. Tip: Just type “cruise” in the search box on your carrier’s website for details.

3. There’s More to theUSAthan Just the Lower 48 States

Most phones work in US territories just like they do on the mainland usually with no extra fees. This includesPuerto Rico,AlaskaandHawaii.

4. SIM Cards and Cell Phones

Companies like MRSIMCARD.COM, XCOMGLOBAL.COM, and many others sell prepaid SIM cards for most countries. If your phone accepts a SIM card, place it into your phone to make calls or surf the web. If your phone is locked (most in theUSAare), you can ask your carrier to unlock your phone or rent an iPhone, Android or Blackberry with call time and data.

5. MiFi for WiFi for the Family

MiFi is a tiny wifi hotspot that fits in your pocket. It allows up to 5 different laptops, smartphones, iPads etc. to connect and surf the web at once. The same companies that rent the phones for every country also provide the MiFi. Expert tip: Use web-based calling services like Skype, Facetime or Google Talk and you can call home free.

2012 Notre Dame Home Football Game Schedule

Plan ahead when traveling into and out ofSouth Bendairport on these dates:

Sept 8 Purdue

Sept 22Michigan

Sept 28 OPEN

Oct 13 Stanford

Oct 20 BYU

Nov 3Pittsburgh

Nov 17WakeForest

Incentive Travel Offers Unique Experiences

A travel reward is unique from other types of rewards because it is experiential. The anticipation of the experience drives behavior in a way that other rewards can’t. A cash reward is often absorbed into the participant’s day-to-day budget and is then forgotten about. However, a travel incentive reward contributes to behavior change because of its appeal.

For example, if your group is large enough to do a full-ship charter, such as Windstar or a river cruise, customizing your cruise incentive program offers exclusivity, from company flags to flexibility in scheduling.

Smaller cruise groups on large ships still offer opportunities for customization:

•            Private events onboard in lounges or specialty restaurants

•            Private events and tours on-shore

•            Exclusive transportation to and from port with airport lounge access

•            Private captain’s reception

•            Exclusive seating for dining and shows

•            Exclusive hospitality desk

•            Exclusive daily newsletter

•            Closed-circuit TV broadcast of activities

•            Stateroom door plaques

Whether a river cruise in Europe, around the islands ofHawaii, in the Med, or just a short cruise fromFlorida, the Menno Travel incentive travel specialists will make sure your incentive program brings your group together to build camaraderie and loyalty while helping you increase your profits.

Contact Ronda Morris today to discuss how a well-planned incentive travel program can help your company meet its goals.

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