those science fiction or spy movies where the main character is zipping around
the planet, saving the world for God and Country? And do you know how in those movies, the hero
always has a home-base where some extremely important yet under acknowledged
person provides invaluable support to him/her?
Jack Bauer has Chloe, James Bond has “Q,” Luke Skywalker had R2D2… Well,
I had Jane.
wanted to give this article the title, “My Friend Jane,” but that wouldn’t have
googled very well for those who are searching for a better way to book a trip. My company uses Carlson Wagonlitt for their
travel services. Jane was our “on-site”
travel representative and she was the best!
No matter what got broken, lost, misaligned, or maladjusted, Jane could
fix it, and fix it quickly. Flight
canceled? No problem. One call to Jane, and you were re-booked
before the mass of people sprinting from the gate back to the counter for
re-booking could even assemble themselves into a line. She was that good.
is still booking travel but in the interest of cost savings, she is no longer
our “on-site representative” and that leaves me with Carlson Wagonlitt’s
on-line booking tool. I don’t have a
problem with the tool, per se, it just isn’t the same. It can’t sweet talk me
into an upgrade when I bring her chocolates from
or trinkets from
corporate tool that has been declared as “Mandatory for use in booking travel”
then I have some tips for you:
advantage of the tool’s ability to store information in your profile. Many times, portions of your profile are sent
ahead to hotels and airlines when reservations are made so make absolutely sure
you enter every single solitary membership number you have for Frequent Fliers,
Hotel Chains, rental car companies, etc.
notes in your profile wherever appropriate like, “I prefer upper-floor rooms
away from the elevator” or “I prefer aisle seats to window seats,” etc, because
this information is often forwarded as well.
the SAME frequent flier number in multiple airline records when they’re
partnered. For example, I have frequent
flier numbers for NWA, Delta, and Continental but I really prefer to collect
them all under my Worldperks account so I put my Worldperks number in all three
of those records. The system gave me an
error (presumably because their numbers are formatted differently) but it still
works, all of my miles show up under my Worldperks account regardless of which
partner airline I fly.
your spouse’s email address into the “alternate email” blank and set your
profile to always cc that address. That
way you won’t have to forward your itinerary to them all the time.
advantage of your online travel booking program’s ability to email your
e-calendar. I set mine up to mail to my
email with an MS Outlook client, and my Outlook client syncs up to my
smartphone so now, I book, save, and BAM, the dates, confirmation numbers, etc,
are in my phone ten minutes later.
trust what the program gives you for hotels.
It’s good with flights but for some reason, it missed tons of hotel
rooms. I tend to stay in the same places
when I can, so call hotels that you like, introduce yourself as one of the gold
or platinum members that you are, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly rooms
open up; and often at the same rate you paid last time. This is another good reason to get to know
your hotel managers!
there’s a Customer Service hotline number for your booking service, program it
into your smartphone with the name “Travel 911.” You will eventually need to speak to a human
being, and even though you don’t have Jane, you’ll want one of her co-workers!
if you DO have a “Jane,” don’t forget her!
Bring her trinkets, chocolates, flowers, etc, from time to time. You never know… someday your Indonesian Visa
will expire and you’ll need another one, pronto! What will you do then, hmmmm?
EXTRA: If you have questions for Ken regarding
business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc, please call 1-877-49-EXPERT.
Your questions will be recorded and Ken will answer the best ones in his Ask
the Expert podcast show.