- Posted by Graham Dockrill
- On May 29, 2018
- 0 Comments
- airports, business, flights, flying, hacks, lounge, travel, uk
There is a perception that business travel is glamorous and glitzy with endless networking events where the champagne is flowing and the canapes come with caviar. The reality is long flights, a nomadic lifestyle and hard graft. Networking to ensure you’re working at your peak performance is often fuelled on club sandwiches and warm beer.
There are some very unique solutions to some very unique problems experienced by the business traveller. Below is a list of hacks that will make your business travel both fun and rewarding.
The Priority Pass
The world is divided into two Airline reward programmes; Star Alliance and One World. Both have preferential services for their premium customers and have code share lounges where you can relax and enjoy some time away from the hustle of the terminal. You are most likely often traveling on the reward programme of your preference. When you’re not, the ability to access an airline lounge is a missed luxury. The Priority Pass is a network of over 1000 lounges that you and a guest can access for as little as USD $400 per annum. If you just wish to have a one-off lounge experience Lounge Buddy is a great app to use.
DUFL is a premium travel service, providing a personal valet that simplifies business travel by shipping, cleaning and storing your business attire. DUFL stores your clothing in your personal DUFL closet, and allows you to virtually ‘pack’ by selecting your clothing items from an app. Once you’ve scheduled your trip, you travel bag free, and your freshly cleaned and neatly packed clothing will meet you at your specified destination. When you’re ready to head home, you schedule a pick up from the hotel and they clean your clothes and have them waiting in your virtual closet, ready for your next trip. DUFL claims to save travellers 3-5 hours per round trip and eliminates all the stress of packing, unpacking, doing laundry and dragging a bag through the airport. Pricing starts at USD $99.00 for a round trip (including dry cleaning and laundry). https://www.dufl.com
Registered Business Traveller Cards
Registered Traveller is a membership service that offers faster and more convenient entry at passport control for frequent travellers into the United Kingdom. Members have the choice of using the ePassport Gates and UK/EU Lanes. As a member you will no longer need to:
- Fill in a landing card
- Undergo an interview
- Have fingerprints taken as a visa holder
It costs £70 to apply for the first 12 months membership and the renewal fee for a subsequent year is currently £50. https://www.faster-uk-entry.service.gov.uk
The APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Business Travel Card is a travel document issued to business travellers who are citizens of APEC participating economies. Valid for five years, the card eliminates the need for its holder to possess a visa when visiting other APEC participating economies as long as pre-clearance has been obtained during the application process. New Zealand citizens can apply for an ABTC if they travel frequently on business and are of a good character through Immigration New Zealand for $150.00 NZD. As New Zealand is a full participant of the scheme, foreign cardholders can enter New Zealand visa-free for up to 90 days. http://travel.apec.org/abtc-summary.html
Business Class Consolidator
Consolidator is an airfare broker. They offer a link between airline flights and lower fares. Airlines sell only published fares. They sell a variety of different fare types, always looking for the best deal on the market. Airlines always distribute a small portion of their seats through consolidators at sizable discounts. Such discounted rates are not available every day nor on every flight, so it helps to be flexible. They use a variety of different fares and searching methods to identify better deals than consumers normally see. Often their discounts are very deep, sometimes 70% or more. Average discounts however are 15-35% for most flights. It depends on many factors like destination, airline and seat availability. Keep in mind, even with deep discounts business class will often cost 2-3 times the price of economy fare. https://businessclassconsolidator.com
While flying on a private jet may be considered out or reach, the reality is if you travel a lot the cost/benefit analysis can justify the investment. Jet Smarter offer innovative shared flight services, proprietary algorithms and advanced mobile technology. Using ‘shared rides’ private jet travel is now accessible, convenient, and infinitely more efficient.
JetSmarter members enjoy access to 50+ routes, flying out of more than 40 cities, on three continents. You can book seats as much as two months in advance. In return for a $15,000 USD annual membership fee (This drops to $13,000 USD for your second year), plus a $2,000 USD initiation charge, you can use the company’s mobile app to reserve flights on a private jet as often as you want on shorter shuttles and last-minute empty-leg flights. There are extra costs for flights between New York and London and London and Dubai.
A seat on a Gulfstream GIV SP between White Plains New York and London Luton at 9.00am on 24 February 2018 was $3,430 for a member and $5,990 for a guest. American Airlines were offering a first-class flight for $10,794 at the same time. https://jetsmarter.com
If a corporate jet is a bit out of your range and you’re based in the UK with some spare time Wingly could be for you. Wingly connects pilots and passengers. Private pilots can add flights they have planned on the website, then potential passengers can easily book via their system.
Besides flights to a destination, there is also a huge range of short and long discovery flights. The concept is similar to a carpooling platform and is very affordable. The planes used on Wingly are light aircraft ranging from two to six seaters. You are not taking part in a commercial flight but in a leisure flight with a private pilot who wants to share their passion with you. Therefore the pilot has no obligation to undertake the flight if the conditions are not optimal and if the flight is cancelled the passenger will get fully reimbursed. https://en.wingly.io
Long haul travel often includes a long layover in a city, where you just want a place to shower, rest, and catch up on work for a few hours before an evening flight. Dayuse allows you to do just that. This free app allows you to book a hotel room for use during the day at up to 75% off the price of staying overnight. You can cancel anytime and pay when you arrive. Additionally, you are free to use the hotel amenities and can have services delivered to you. www.dayuse.com
Graham Dockrill is a seasoned entrepreneur and founder of Citrus Tree Consulting (www.citrustreeconsultants.com). He has a passion for start-ups, especially in the FinTech sector. Having established several successful businesses of his own in New Zealand, the United States and United Kingdom, Graham travels the world to work alongside start-ups and businesses wishing to grow or move into new markets.