The DOT and FAA have implemented a travel ban on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
This ban includes all new and replaced Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones.
Customers who own or possess a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 device may not transport the device on their person or in carry-on baggage, checked baggage or cargo on flights to, from or within the United States.
For more information, click the link below:
The Elkhart Truth’s Angelle Barbazon has a feature on Menno Travel’s Doug Risser.
Employees, Friends, and Family joined together to thank Doug Risser and wish him well in retirement. Doug Risser joined Menno Travel as his first “real” job out of college back in 1972. From his start as a domestic agent to Manager in 1980 and as Co-Owner with Geof Landis since 1995, he has worn many hats, including marketing, group and incentive travel (he loved that!), financial oversight, and general management. Although Doug has always enjoyed the benefits of being in travel, he and Sharon will travel even more starting May 1.
Doug and Sharon will continue to host cruise groups for American Express Travel including an Imperial Capitals of Europe river cruise with Uniworld at the end of August and a Spice Route cruise in December from Chennai to Singapore via Myanmar, Malaysia, and Phuket with Azamara Club Cruises (information on both of these are on Menno Travel’s website).
Doug is proud that in his more than forty years with Menno Travel, the Goshen office has built a reputation for ethical dealings, has high employee retention, has always been profitable, and is solid financially. Menno Travel is recognized nationally within the travel industry through involvement with the American Society of Travel Agents, ARTA, NTA, American Express Travel, and others.
Doug will “retire” to manage The Exchange Business Suites, the completely remodeled office space on the second floor above Menno Travel (see related article).
Menno Travel employees volunteered with United Way of Elkhart County and Goshen Schools to help students improve their reading skills. The United Way sponsored this program for all second grade classes in Goshen Schools to bring men from the community into the classroom to read to students. There is also a pilot program in the first grade classes at Model Elementary with the hopes of expanding next year. This was the second year that Menno Travel participated in the program coordinated by Michelle Kercher. Owners Doug Risser and Geof Landis along with Kendal Sommers and Brandon Rasler from the Technology Department took one half hour each week over the last four weeks to go to the classrooms in Chamberlain and Prairie View Elementary Schools.
Menno Travel Saves Companies Money on Unused Tickets
Do you know who is monitoring airline tickets purchased online? Are unused business tickets being used for business or personal travel? Once a ticket is issued and paid for its like money! It can be used against another trip anywhere as long as it’s with the same airline. If your company has no monitoring system in place for these transactions, your company could be losing hundreds of dollars in unused tickets.
In 2011, Menno Travel tracked and reused 653 tickets for our corporate clients with a combined value of $316,240!
Through our management reporting feature, we are able to send an Unused Ticket Report to our corporate clients on a regular basis. This report lists the non-refundable tickets that are available for the company’s travelers. This information is also stored in each traveler’s personal profile for immediate access and use when making future reservations.
Old United Mileage Plus Numbers
When United took over Continental, they changed their Mileage Plus account numbers from 11 digits to 8 alphanumeric characters. Every Mileage Plus member has been issued a new account number.
In order for you to continue receiving mileage credit for United reservations, your new Mileage Plus number must be added to the reservation. If you are one of our accounts and have not already done so, please email your new Mileage Plus number to your travel professional.
If you do not know your new Mileage Plus number, you can find it by logging in to www.united.com using your old Mileage Plus number and PIN. Your new number will be displayed.
US Airways Phishing Emails
Recently there have been a large number of phishing emails arriving from US Airways. If you receive an airline ticket confirmation like this, we advise that you do not click on the link in the email. If you do have an airline reservation, go to the carrier site directly to view your reservation or refer to your email ticket confirmation. Emails like these are attempts to acquire your personal information to use for fraudulent purposes. Don’t fall into the trap!
Hotel Priority Club Theft Alert
Recently one of our clients was the victim of credit card fraud involving his hotel priority club card. He received an email confirmation from a hotel that he had not reserved and after contacting the hotel he learned that someone had booked a room using his priority club membership number. Because his credit card information was attached to his priority club card for speedy check-in, the person involved was able to make the reservation, check-in, and charge the room to the credit card.
The desk clerk failed to request ID or a credit card for imprinting. The police were called and upon entering the room found the thieves (a couple) still asleep in the bed, and they were apprehended and arrested! Our client was fortunate that no additional credit card fraud was attempted.
If you have hotel priority club cards, and have provided a credit card number to be attached to the account for express check-in, you might want to contact the hotels and have this changed for your protection to prevent credit card fraud.
Airline On-Time Performance Improves
Airline on-time performance was much better in January than it had been a year earlier, going up to an on-time arrival rate of 83.7 percent from 76.3 percent in January 2011. It was the best January for on time performance in 18 years, according to the Department of Transportation. Cancellations were down, too, with airlines cancelling just 1.5 percent of flights, down from 3.9 percent in January 2011. And, airlines reported no tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic or international flights.
Allegiant Adding Flights from South Bend and Ft Wayne to Florida
South Bendand Ft Wayne airports announced new nonstop jet service toPuntaGordaAirport, located along the southwestFloridacoast, thirty minutes from Ft Myers. Service will begin June 27, 2012 fromSouth Bendand June 28 from Ft Wayne. Introductory one-way fares will be as low as $94.99* one way if booked by April 30. (*Limited seats and subject to terms and conditions.)
Allegiant To Charge For Carry-on Baggage;
Allegiant now charges $35 for a carry-on bag. The airline will allow customers to bring on one personal item free of charge, but only if the item can fit under the seat in front of them. Bags that must be put in overhead storage bins will cost $35 if not reserved in advance. If paid for in advance, a carry-on bag has varying charges based on the route, however, most fees are about half the cost when reserved and prepaid. The same is true for checked baggage charges.
Allegiant also recently reduced the allowable weight of a checked bag to a maximum of 40 pounds before additional charges apply. Be sure to check with the airlines website www.allegiantair.com for the most up to date fees, terms and conditions.
2012 Notre Dame Home Football Game Schedule
Plan ahead when traveling into and out ofSouth Bendairport on these dates:
Sept 8 Purdue
Sept 22 Michigan
Sept 28 OPEN
Oct 13 Stanford
Oct 20 BYU
Nov 3 Pittsburgh
Nov 17 WakeForest
Pinnacle Airlines Files Chapter 11
Pinnacle Airlines Corporation, which provides regional jet service for Delta, United and US Airways, filed for Chapter 11 court protection. The company’s reorganization plan calls for “restructuring its key operating agreements with Delta Air Lines and winding down its operations with United Airlines and US Airways”, according to a company statement. With a Chapter 11 filing, operations will be business as usual so we do not expect service problems.
GasBuddy App Handy for Rental Car Fill-ups
This is a great Smartphone app for locating gas stations near you and to see their current gas prices. Use this in places where you need to return a car rental with a full tank of gas. Not only will you find the least expensive gas prices, you can locate the station closest to the rental return location. For more information on this app, go to gasbuddy.com.
Congratulations to Debi Riegsecker – 25 Years at Menno Travel!
Debi began her career in travel more than 30 years ago, and we have been fortunate to have her with us for the past 25, working with our corporate travelers. We appreciate her loyalty, her proficiency, and the cheerful, caring attention she gives to each of her clients. Thank you, Debi for 25 wonderful years!!
National Car Rental Emerald Club Members Enjoy Free Upgrades
One reason to become an Emerald Club Member; Almost no Emerald Club Member who paid for an intermediate car actually took one. Most got full-size, SUVs, or crossover vehicles at the same price. Also, over 99% of all Emerald Club vehicles now have less than 20,000 miles on them. And when you sign up through Menno Travel Service, your Emerald Club Membership fee is waived!
Additional Member Benefits Include:
– Reserve a midsize vehicle, then bypass the counter and choose any car on the Emerald Aisle®
– Drop & GoSM for faster rental return
– Choice of rewards – free rental days or frequent travel miles/points
– Ability to earn rental credits for qualifying rentals at participating Enterprise Rent-A-Car® locations.
Delta Adds Atlanta Flights
Beginning in June, Delta Air Lines will be adding another daily inbound and outbound flight toAtlantafromSouth Bend. With a total of four daily departures toAtlanta, and six a day toDetroit,South Bendtravelers will find it easier to find connections to any of Delta’s 350 worldwide destinations.
Beginning this summer, Delta will also begin offering an additional flight betweenFort WayneandAtlanta.
Preferred Seating on Delta Available For Purchase
On select international flights, Delta customers who do not qualify for complimentary Preferred Seats will now be able to purchase unassigned Preferred Seats starting 24 hours prior to departure. Preferred Seats for purchase will be available on all international flights exiting theUnited Statesand on other select international flights. Preferred Seats remain complimentary for Medallion members.
Preferred Seats include desirable window, aisle and exit row seats, which may be purchased for a fee as little as $39 USD per segment. Customers who were assigned Preferred Seats prior to the launch of the seat sales will retain their seat assignments at no additional charge.
For additional information on Preferred Seats, click here.
New United Mileage Plus Numbers
With the merger of Continental into United, the new UA Mileage Plus numbers have changed from 11-digit to 8-digit numbers. United says they’ll accept the old number “for a short time”, and then it will not be recognized by their system.
If you are one of our travelers and have a new UA Mileage Plus number, please update your traveler profile or advise your new number as soon as possible. For complete information regarding the two mileage programs, click here.
United Still Working on Merger Issues
FYI – United Airlines said because of their merger with Continental, they are still having problems with the following: Boarding passes occasionally reflect incorrect boarding groups for Premier members; Delays in crediting flown mileage to MileagePlus accounts; Isolated cases of lower Premier Qualification balances, that can result temporarily in an incorrect Premier level reflected; Intermittent delays with Complimentary Premier Upgrades; Difficulties redeeming electronic and paper certificates online; Difficulties redeeming upgrades online; Flights displaying out of order when viewing itinerary online. They also said there are longer wait times to reach the airline’s phone contact centers and the airline is increasing staff to handle this.
Patience is appreciated as they continue to work on their challenges.
More Travelers Taking Advantage of PreCheck Program
The Department of Homeland Security’s PreCheck “trusted traveler” program now has about 420,000 members — frequent fliers who pay a fee and undergo an investigation so they can skip long waits at the airport. An additional 570,000 trusted travelers have paid to be part of an international travel program run by Customs and Border Protection. Global Entry, which “is open toU.S.citizens and permanent residents as well as Canadian, Mexican and Dutch nationals,” is the largest program.
Click here for more information on this program and how to begin registration.
Another Reason to Book Air/Hotel With Menno Travel!
Did you know that when you book hotels and air flights on supplier websites you give up certain rights? Click here to read an article detailing how the terms and conditions are much stricter when booking online than when booking with a travel agent.
Virtual Concierge at Hyatt Hotels
Hyatt Hotels Corporation, during the next two years, plans to install virtual concierge technology in 60,000 full-service guest rooms across theUnited States,Canadaand theCaribbean. Supplied by Roomlinx, the system provides a television interface through which guests can print documents and presentations, obtain information on group functions, order room service and amenities and search the Internet. Hyatt already installed the technology in a few locations, including its Andaz property inNew Yorkand Hyatt Regency properties inNew OrleansandDenver.
Go Africa Pass from SkyTeam Offers Discounts and Flexibility
SkyTeam has launched its new Go Africa Pass providing discounted travel and greater flexibility throughout 36 African countries on flights operated by Kenya Airways.
The pass is available to travelers flying with any of SkyTeam’s 15 member airlines on an intercontinental round-trip toAfricaor a Go Round the World ticket.
You can opt from a minimum of three to a maximum of 16 flight coupons. Fares are calculated based on the number of miles flown non-stop, offering discounts of up to 75% off standard fares, depending on the itinerary. Coupons have no minimum stay, open-jaw itineraries are permitted and passengers can stop in each city multiple times.
For more information on the Go Africa Pass click here.
Use Individual Incentives to Reward Your Best of the Best
While group travel incentives are right for many programs, there are times when individual incentives are the right choice. Royal Caribbean International® brings you a program that recognizes individuality, and rewards it accordingly. Unlike group incentive travel, individual incentive travel gives recipients the freedom to go where they want, when they want and with whomever they want. This is the highest form of recognition; a huge value for your most valued sales people, staff members, dealers, suppliers or others that you work with.
Key Program Benefits:
Choose from a wide range of certificates at a variety of price points
No minimum/no maximum – order as many or as few certificates as you like
Endless choices for departure ports, ships, itineraries, nights and accommodations
Upgradable and transferable certificates
No expiration date on certificates
Vacation Value – Europe Wine Cruises This Fall
Experience Europe’s centuries-old vineyards on an updated luxury vacation. Wine enthusiasts and culture seekers alike will savor Celebrity Cruise’s Immersive Europe Wine Cruises aboard Celebrity Constellation®. Open for sale now!
• Visit classic wine countries such asFrance,Spain, andPortugal.
• Overnights in Paris (Le Havre),France,Bordeaux(Le Verdon),France, andBilbao,Spain, you’ll have plenty of time to sipChampagnein the City ofLight—and visit Normandie orVersailles.
• Taste robustBordeauxin… where else,Bordeaux.
• Discover the Rioja region outsideBilbao—and visit the Guggenheim museum.
• These sailings take place at the height of the wine year—fall harvest—a highly anticipated time for every vintner.
• Your onboard experience will be enhanced with activities—developed in partnership with local wineries—that highlight this amazing region of the world and time of y ear.
• Enjoy Rioja tastings. Champagne brunches. Bordeaux Chateau Tours (featuring up to five wines from well-known Bordeaux Chateaus). Port and Food Pairing Dinners. And so much more.
Cruise pricing starting from $899 on November sailings. Gateways and air pricing starting from NYC $821, DTW $978, ATL $945.
Contact your Menno Travel Vacation Specialist at 574-534-1521 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Menno Travel Service Phone: 574-534-1521 / 800-635-0963 * Fax: 574-534-2158
Incentive Travel Program Success with Royal Caribbean Cruise
What a way to achieve business objectives while realizing a good return on investment! On a Royal Caribbean cruise, your company can accomplish your goals with unparalleled value, ease of planning along with the delivery of a meaningful and memorable experience for you and your participants.
Mid-City Supply, headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana, returned last week from taking 153 employees and customers on a Mediterranean cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas visiting Spain, southern France and Italy. This is what they had to say about the experience:
“Since we started planning our Mediterranean cruise back in early 2008, Maureen, Mary Ann and Dorothy (Menno Travel Incentive Travel Staff) have been along side Jeff New (Mid-City Supply Owner) and myself every step of the way. Their attention to detail during this process was simply fantastic. While on board the ship, they interacted with our customers in every professional way possible. They were always available to answer questions or to help with any situation. Plus, they provided us with some nice surprises during our final night on board.
Our goal is to give our customers the very best travel experience possible and once again, thanks to the Menno Travel ladies, we delivered another “trip of a lifetime.“ In a word, your team is Outstanding.“
– Jeff Stevens, Vice President Sales and Marketing at Mid-City Supply
American Express Platinum Cardmember Benefits Expanded
Take advantage of these new Travel Benefits for Corporate Platinum Cardmembers:
► Global Entry Membership Application Reimbursement: With Global Entry, there’s no need to wait in the passport line. This U.S. Customs and Border Protection program allows participants to enter the United Statesby using automated kiosks located at 20 major airports around the country. Corporate Platinum Card members will be reimbursed the $100 application processing fee when paid with the Corporate Platinum Card. Apply online at globalentry.gov.
► Complimentary Gogo®: Corporate Platinum Card members can now enjoy 10 complimentary in-flight Internet sessions on any Gogo-equipped flight each year. Participating airlines include Air Canada, AirTran, AlaskaAirlines, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, United, USAirways, and Virgin America. Corporate Platinum Card members can simply use their Card to pay for a Gogo session and receive a statement credit within six weeks upon receipt of their bill. For more information about Gogo, please visit gogoair.com.
► Access to Airspace Lounge™: Corporate Platinum Card members, and up to two guests, can now catch up on business in the newly opened Airspace Lounge at Baltimore Washington International airport, regardless of which airline they are flying.
American Changes Boarding Policy For Economy Passengers
American now boards economy class passengers in a randomized order based on how they check in for a flight. First-class, AAdvantage premium frequent fliers and uniformed members of the military still board first. According to American the change was made “to enhance the travel experience for our customers and to make the boarding process more welcoming and more personal.” Flight attendants are not happy with the new procedure saying it is causing “complete chaos in the cabin.” The new policy is similar to the one that Southwest Airlines has employed for years. American introduced “priority boarding” last year, guaranteeing Group 1 boarding. That costs $9 per flight segment.
United MileagePlus and Continental OnePass Merger
All of the 2012 MileagePlus features and benefits will take effect on the day the Continental OnePass and United MileagePlus technology systems are converted to a single system in early 2012. Until then, the MileagePlus and OnePass programs will continue to operate separately as they do today.
At system conversion, OnePass members will be automatically enrolled in MileagePlus and receive MileagePlus award miles equal to their OnePass award miles balance. If you already have a MileagePlus account, we encourage you to link it to your OnePass account now. Sept 30th was the last day to transfer miles from Continental to United.
Go to onepassmergerupdates.com for additional information on the merger.
United MileagePlus New Status-Levels
Beginning in 2012, MileagePlus will adopt new status-level names and terms for qualifying miles and segments. The MileagePlus status levels will be:
► Premier® 1K® 100,000 Premier qualifying miles (PQM) or 120 Premier qualifying segments (PQS)
► Premier Platinum 75,000 PQM or 90 PQS
► Premier Gold 50,000 PQM or 60 PQS
► Premier Silver 25,000 PQM or 30 PQS
All levels will require a minimum of four flights per calendar year on the new United, including Continental or Copa Airlines. If you hold a Chase-issued Continental Airlines Presidential Plus(SM) Card, you are exempt from this minimum flight criteria as long as your Card account is in good standing at the time of qualification.
UA and CO combine/rename airport clubs as United Club
United and Continental airlines renamed their separate airport clubs this past Saturday, another step toward combining the two carriers. The lounges will be called United Club, replacing United’s Red Carpet Club and Continental’s Presidents Club. Together, they have more than 50 lounges at 39 airports.
Delta Airlines Updates
First Class is now available on 228 Delta Connection regional jets. Delta is the onlyU.S.carrier to offer a First Class cabin on every domestic flight longer than 750 miles (approximately 2.5 hours).
This summer, Delta began offering its new Economy Comfort class on international flights on more than 160 aircraft. Located in the first few rows of the economy cabin, Economy Comfort features:
• Up to four additional inches of legroom and 50 percent more recline
• Early boarding
• Complimentary spirits, in addition to all other standard international Economy Class amenities, including complimentary meals, beer, wine, entertainment, blankets and pillows
• In-seat power on most aircraft equipped with personal entertainment systems, along with free HBO programming and other for-fee content. In-seat power and seat-back screens are being installed through 2013.
Delta has in-flight Internet service onboard its regional CRJ700 aircraft operated by Delta Connection carrier Atlantic Southeast Airlines.
SkyMiles members will now have the option to use their miles to upgrade on AirFranceoperated flights between the domesticU.S.andEurope.
Delta Raising Bag Fees on International Flights
Tickets Issued on/after Oct 1 for travel on/after Oct 15:
2nd bag fee to $40 USD/CAD for travelUS, CA, MX, C. America, Caribbean to/from MX, C. America,Caribbean
2nd bag fee of $75 USD/CAD and $60 USD/CAD online for travel US, CA, MX, C. America, Caribbean, S. America (excluding Brazil) to/from Asia (excluding JP, PH), Australia, New Zealand
2nd bag fee of $75 USD/CAD and $60 USD/CAD online for travel US, CA, MX, C. America, Caribbean to/from S. America (excluding Brazil)
2nd bag fee of $40* USD/CAD for travelJapan(entire country) to/from Guam/Saipan/Palau
2nd bag fee of $75 USD/CAD/EUR and $60 USD/CAD/EUR online for travel between South America (excludingBrazil) andEurope
Tickets Issued on/after Oct 1 for travel on/after Nov 1:
2nd bag fee of $75 USD/CAD and $60 USD/CAD online for travel US, CA, MX, C. America, Caribbean, S. America (excluding Brazil) to/from Middle East and South Africa
2nd bag fee of $75 USD/CAD and $60 USD/CAD online for travel US, CA, MX, C. America, Caribbean, S. America (excluding Brazil) to/from India
1st bag fee of $25* USD/CAD for travelUS, CA to/fromCaribbean(excluding DO, GY, HT)
*Same fee applies for online or airport check-in
Note: There are no changes to existing baggage exceptions for Military, Elite etc.
Stiffer Airline Consumer Protection Laws Now in Effect
It’s official. The new Department of Transportation rules designed to give airline passengers more protections are in effect. That means airlines now have to refund your baggage fees if they lose your bags. If you’re bumped from a flight, they now have to pay double what they used to for that inconvenience. The ban on lengthy tarmac delays now covers international carriers as well as domestic carriers.
An Airline-Related Funny
A vulture approaches the gate to board an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess stops him and says, ‘I’m sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.”
– thank you, corporate client BJ Thompson
Aviation, Past and Future, Viewed Through the Prism of 9/11
What’s the state of the airline industry a decade after 9/11? Airlines today are leaner and more resilient than they’ve ever been, according to the International Air Transport Association’s just released “The Impact of September 11 on Aviation.” Airline revenues this year will be nearly double what they were in 2001 and they’re flying one billion more passengers than they did a decade ago. Still, 9/11 cost airlines about three years of growth and profit margins remain slim.
The report’s main focus, however, was less on the past and more on the future. It looked specifically at how to improve the check-in experience, turning it from an obstacle course to a more streamlined experience. The goal is to use data the airlines already have to judge the risk travelers present and allocate security resources toward screening and checking high-risk passengers. Scans of passengers’ passports or tickets would send them to one of three different lanes. Most travelers would simply stroll through a checkpoint that can detect metal and other dangerous substances–without having to stop, unpack or strip. This type of progress is certainly good news!
International Driver Permits Now Required in Some Countries
When traveling abroad, many foreign countries do not recognize yourUnited Statesdriver’s license as official identification. However, most countries do recognize a valid International Driving Permit (IDP) — and, in some countries, such asItaly, it’s now a requirement.
Major car rental companies in foreign countries often require you have a valid IDP, in conjunction with your validU.S.driver’s license, before they will rent you a vehicle.
If you are 18 or older, you can apply for an IDP at any AAA full-service branch location and receive it in the same visit. The application form is available online. You will need to provide:
►U.S.driver’s license valid for at least six months past the issuance of the IDP.
► Completed IDP application.
► Two original passport-type photos. (See guidelines for specific requirements.)
► $15 fee.
You may also obtain an IDP through the mail; however, you will need to allow 4-6 weeks for processing and delivery. For more information on IDP, click here .
Here’s An Interesting Phone App
Jibbigo is a language App that can be used on any iOS iphone, iPad, iPod or Android
product. The App costs $4.99 per language and is available for translating English into and back from Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Iraque, Arabic, Chinese, Tagalog and Korean. Each language has a 40,000-word vocabulary and costs $4.99 and 10 minutes to download. The program works entirely on the mobile device and is not connected to any server therefore no roaming charges. You speak to the device and it answers in the chosen language. For more information go to jibbigo.com.
Hertz Launches eReturn Service
On your Hertz car rentals, you can now receive an eReceipt as part of their new eReturn Service. To sign up for this service, you must go to the Vehicle Preference page of the online Gold profile (Hertz #1 Gold Club membership is free through Menno Travel!) and check “eReturn” to sign up. And then, when you return your car, just fill in the Express Return slip on the Rental Agreement and leave it with the keys on the dash. Simply drop and go – Hertz takes care of the rest.
After doing a hotel search, look in the left column for the “By Amenities” box. Scroll down and put a check by “Free airport transportation”.
This will automatically filter the results to show only hotels that offer free shuttle service. Or, if you want to see if a specific hotel offers shuttle service, click “Amenities” under the hotel name:
If free transportation is offered, it will be listed: