Hello from Guangzhou, China –

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I’m writing you today from Guangzhou, China as I am on a short three-day visit to the Canton Trade Fair in Guangzhou. The Canton Fair takes place twice a year and is the largest trade export fair in the world. Manufacturers from China and southeast Asia come here to display their goods to buyers from around the world. You can buy anything from umbrellas to golf carts at this massive event. I usually come twice a year and use it to buy things for a couple of businesses I own. This is also where I come to dream big dreams and see how big and how small the world is. There is nothing like it on earth.

Business class airfares to Asia are a bargain compared to flying to Europe –

The cost of flying business class to China is about 2 to 3 times the cost to fly coach. Compare that to the 5 to 6 times it costs for business class to Europe, flying to China in a business class seat almost feels like a bargain. Also, I’ve have had good luck finding business class seats to Asia using my airline frequent flyer miles. For about 150,000 miles (low season) you can fly in style.

Luxury hotel prices in China allow you to travel in style and not break the piggy bank –

The service, food, and facilities of all these hotels are some of the best in the world. One hotel told me they have 4 staff members for every room in the hotel. Even with this amazing service, the price for a 5-star hotel in China is 50% less than the same brand in the U.S.

Here are some more observations (the good, bad, and ugly) about China this year.

Bike sharing in China has gone crazy –

Start-up companies have planted millions of bicycles in many of the major cities in China. Unfortunately, so many bikes have been added, now giant piles of abandoned and broken bicycles have become a familiar sight in many big cities. It does not seem the Chinese people understand public etiquette. When they are done riding the bikes they simply leave them in the middle of the streets and sidewalks. What a mess.

E-Bikes are the new hot thing in China –

They are everywhere. These electric bicycles allow the Chinese to cheaply travel up to 25 miles with little to no effort. The Europeans have also quickly discovered e-bikes as well. Our team is bringing a few of these bikes home with us to test them for quality and safety. As the prices come down, I think Americans will also join the e-bike craze.

Very few people speak English in China –

If you’re not staying at a “western” hotel, you may have a lot of difficulties finding someone to speak English.

New translator apps on your mobile phone makes travel in China much easier –

This trip I am testing iTranslate and WayGo. I am lucky that we usually have a translator with us for business trips that makes things much easier. Here is a great article on the top 5 translation apps. CLICK HERE to view the article.

Everyone loves the U.S. Dollar –

Officially businesses do not accept any currency except the Chinese RMB. However, you will get an even bigger bang for your buck in many places by paying with the U.S. dollar.

You would have to be crazy to travel to China (or most places outside the U.S.) without using a professional travel advisor –

Remember, it’s not what you know (Internet), it’s who you know (travel professional), that turns travel into memories for a lifetime.

Travel with Women of Nebraska!

Our fast-growing Women of Nebraska travel concept creates tailor-made tours for solo or two-by-two female travelers. With a focus on different activities than what is usually offered to couples, we are excited to provide five domestic and international journeys, experienced through the eyes of a woman. All tours are escorted by our Women of Nebraska Ambassadors. Take a peek at our tours HERE and don’t miss our great SPRING OFFER to join Women of Nebraska as a member. But remember, you don’t need to be a member to join a tour.

Need information on any of the above?
Call our friendly travel advisors…
Lincoln – 402-435-8888 Toll-free 800-737-0582




Here are 8 things you need to know about getting bumped by an airline –

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We will soon be entering the busy summer travel season and I thought it would be a good time to explain the process of being denied boarding (bumped from a flight). Most people don’t know the rules and protections they have if a flight is oversold. Below are 8 things you need to know what to do if you are either involuntarily or voluntarily bumped.

#1 – Most people are voluntarily bumped when a flight is oversold –

This is a simple process where the airline will see they have sold more tickets than they have seats on a flight so they announce to the passengers that they will offer them compensation if they are willing to take an alternative flight to their destination. Usually, the airline starts out offering a travel voucher of $400 and continue to increase the amount offered up to $800 or more, until enough people agree to take an alternative flight (CLICK HERE to read how Delta this week announced they are allowing up to $9,950 offered for volunteers). It is important to know that this is all highly negotiable and some people are now asking for cash instead of vouchers for future flights. Keep in mind there are no federal rules that must be followed for voluntary bumping. It is almost like an auction to see who will be the first to put up their hands for the lowest amount offered.

#2 – Involuntary bumping (denied boarding) rules are prescribed by the government –

An involuntary bump is when a flight is oversold and not enough people voluntarily agree to get off the plane and take an alternate flight in return for negotiated compensation. Ironically, by law, the airlines do not have to compensate you if they can get an involuntarily bumped passenger to your destination within one hour of the originally scheduled arrival time. If they can’t get you there within two hours they must pay you 200% (maximum of $675) of the one-way fare in cash (for example, if the one-way fare was $220, they must pay you $440). If you can’t get there within four hours they must pay you 400% (maximum of $1,350) of the one-way fare (for example, if the one-way airfare was $220 they must pay you $880). CLICK HERE for more details on denied boarding compensation.

#3 – Negotiations for overbooking usually happen before passengers enter the airplane –

The airlines usually know in advance if they have oversold a flight and will start announcing offers to be voluntarily bumped sometimes hours in advance of a flight. I have even received notices when I checked-in online that they are excepting volunteers for alternate flights with a set amount of compensation. Very rarely does an airline board a plane first before they make an offer.

#4 –The Federal law says that if a crew member gives you an order you have to obey –

For obvious safety reasons, the government has given the airline crew almost universal power to control the flight from passengers getting out of hand with the potential to disrupt the flight and affect other passengers. I have personally seen crew members abuse this power as they try to show people “who is boss”. However, the bottom line is that if a crew member tells you to get off the plane you are obligated by law to obey.

#5 – Gate agents are limited in what they can offer so always ask for a supervisor for a richer offer –

Delta Air Lines made national news last year when they announced they were increasing the amount of compensation they would authorize an employee to offer a passenger who is denied boarding. The gate agent (the one checking you on the flight) is authorized to offer up to $2,000 in compensation. The airline supervisor can go as high as $9,950. If a flight is overbooked and they are asking for volunteers, always ask to speak to a supervisor. They have the power of the purse strings.

#6 – Planes filled with business travelers are less likely to accept voluntary denied boarding compensation –

Business travelers are usually least likely to volunteer to be bumped as they have meetings they must attend and the compensation is not as important as the meeting. A plane full of families with children usually can easily find a family that will accept free travel vouchers to pay for their next family vacation, for FREE.

#7 – When you buy an airline ticket you agree to be bound by their contract of carriage, and everything is in the airlines’ favor –

When you purchase an airline ticket every passenger agrees to be bound by their contract of carriage. These terms are all very one-sided. Basically, you give all your rights away to the airline. I’m not sure anyone would ever buy an airline ticket if they actually read all the rights that you give up when you buy that ticket. CLICK HERE to see all the rights you give to an airline every time you buy a ticket.

#8 – In the last year bumped passengers have dropped dramatically –

The good news, from the bad news the airlines suffered last year from bumping customers, is that the airlines have responded by dramatically reducing the number of overbooked flights and passengers have much less stress by not having to deal with overbooked flights.

Join my wife Marie and I as we travel to the Big Apple this June! –

Along with the Lied Center for Performing Arts, my wife Marie and I will be hosting an exceptional tour of New York City this June. This fun-filled, custom tailored tour includes three extraordinary performances; Disney’s “Frozen”, the Tony Award-winning “Come from Away”, and “My Fair Lady”. Get an inside perspective on the most exciting city on earth, with the greatest shopping, dining, and photography opportunities. Space is very limited, so do not hesitate to call our friendly Group Department at 402-435-8888 or email me at steveg@executivetravel.com for more details. To see the full tour program CLICK HERE – do not wait, travel while you can!

Attend our FREE Travel Night featuring football and our famous Germany beer tour! –

If you are a fan of football and beer, then join our FREE and exciting Travel Night this Thursday, April 19th, at 6:30 PM at The Harbor Coffeehouse (1265 S. Cotner Blvd, Lincoln, NE 68510). We are presenting two of the coolest tours this year; the “Huskers vs Northwestern Football Tour” and the “Germany Brewery Tour and Oktoberfest.” Travel with us to Germany to tickle your taste buds as we visit some of the most spectacular breweries and enjoy a day at the world-famous Oktoberfest in Munich. A tour combining culture and history, beer and fun! RSVP by clicking HERE or call our friendly Group Department at 402-458-9845. See you on Thursday!

Need information on any of the above?
Call our friendly travel advisors….
Lincoln – 402-435-8888 Toll-free 800-737-0582




Hello from Cancun, Mexico –

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I am writing you this week from the Ritz-Carlton Resort in sunny Cancun, Mexico. When I tell people I am going to Cancún for a business meeting they usually laugh and say “sure you are”. But this time it’s true! The weather in Cancun is a hot 85 degrees and sunny. You can never go wrong if you stay at a Ritz-Carlton and the one here in Cancun was the first Ritz-Carlton built outside the U.S. 25 years ago. This hotel has two of the five best restaurants in Mexico, plus a white sand beach highlighting the most beautiful azure blue water in the world.

Is it safe to travel to Mexico? –

This question comes up a lot by my friends who are thinking of traveling to Mexico, but have read the news about drug violence, Zika, and tainted alcohol. Mexican officials say the majority of the violence in Mexico is limited to 7 areas with the rest of Mexico being as safe to travel to as most cities in the U.S. My opinion is that if you are traveling to Cancun, the Riviera Mayan, and areas along the Yucatán peninsula on the gulf coast side and Cabo San Lucas on the Pacific side, you should be safe. If you travel to other areas in Mexico, you had better take extra safety precautions.

Cancun has really cleaned up its act –

I visit Cancun about every three years. I must say I have been impressed how much Cancun has cleaned up and improved their image. My first trip here over 25 years was an eye opener with no air conditioning in many buildings, bad roads, and hotels that looked great from the outside, but were horrendous on the inside. Today, you can find dozens of world-class resorts throughout Mexico. South of Cancun is the Riviera Mayan area, which has been the hot destination the last 10 years. World-class resorts offer great value and fantastic facilities. One great thing about travel to Cancun is that you can jump on a jet in the morning and be on the beach just after lunch. Plus the airfares to Cancun are really reasonable right now. If you are interested in the fun and sun of Mexico call one of our friendly travel advisors at 402-435-8888, they will be happy to help get you started.

Here is a great new way for women to travel solo…together!

Check out our brand new travel concept “Women of Nebraska!” A concept creating tailor-made tours for women, catering to the needs of women wishful of traveling together – solo or two-by-two. All tours are designed with a focus on activities that women enjoy and travel at a pace that women appreciate. We offer a great variety of domestic and international journeys, all safely hosted by our experienced Women of Nebraska Ambassadors. There are great benefits by signing up as a member; don’t miss the awesome Spring offer. Check it all out by CLICKING HERE!

Attend our FREE Travel Night featuring football and our famous Germany beer tour –

If you are a fan of football and beer, then join our FREE and exciting Travel Night next week. On Thursday, April 19th, at 6:30PM at The Harbor Coffeehouse (1265 S. Cotner Blvd, Lincoln, NE 68510), we are presenting two of the coolest tours this year; the “Huskers vs Northwestern Football Tour” and the “Germany Brewery Tour and Oktoberfest”. Travel with us to Germany to tickle your taste buds as we visit some of the most spectacular breweries and enjoy a day at the world-famous Oktoberfest in Munich. A tour combining culture and history, beer and fun! RSVP by clicking HERE or call our friendly Group Department at 402-458-9845. See you next Thursday!

 

Need information on any of the above?
Call our friendly travel advisors….
Lincoln – 402-435-8888 Toll-free 800-737-0582




New business travel study says average per diem is now $325/day –

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The average daily cost for meals, car rentals and hotels for business travel in the U.S. rose to $325 per day according to the recently released 2018 Corporate Travel Index compiled by Business Travel News. The most expensive city is no surprise to many as New York City, which has the highest priced city per diems in the U.S. at a whopping $609 a day, which is $100 a day higher than it was just 3 years ago. San Francisco came in second at $567, Boston $515, Washington D.C. $465, and Seattle rounds out the top five at $447. Biloxi, MS was the lowest priced per diem of the top 100 cities at $246 a day and Omaha came in at #48 at $308 a day. For a complete look at the 2018 Corporate Travel Index please CLICK HERE.

Every time a business sends a traveler on a business trip it costs $1,425 –

Many businesses focus their attention on the cost of an airline ticket ($450 average) when they figure out what the cost is to send a business traveler on a business trip. Using the per diem cost of $325 a day and considering the average business trip lasts 3 days, this means that $975 will be spent on meals, car rental, and hotels, plus an average of $450 for an airline ticket for a total of $1,425 every time someone gets on an airplane for a business meeting. The next time a supervisor sends someone on a business trip you need to ask yourself, “Will we get more than $1,425 of value out of this trip?”

Hotel costs average of $180 a night –

The 2018 Corporate Travel Index study also showed that the average daily hotel cost in the top 100 U.S. cities was $180 which includes taxes. New York City was at the top at $392 followed by San Francisco $387, Boston $344; Washington D.C., $325, and Chicago at $279. Three cities that our company does a lot of work with include: Omaha, Nebraska, which came in at; #63 at $155 a night, St. Louis came in at #42 at $172 a night, and Dallas came in at #31 at $188 a night. The average taxes you will pay per night is an amazing $23.30. Looks like the government has found the goose that lays the golden egg.

Think about it! It costs more for your hotel room than your airline ticket –

Once again many companies focus the majority of their attention on trying to lower the cost of the airline ticket for their business travelers when the average hotel cost is now more than your airline ticket. Take a 3-night stay, multiply that by $180 per night which equals a total hotel cost of $540. Compare that to the $450 cost for the airline ticket. If a company wants to get serious about managing the cost of their business trips, then hotel cost should be their number one priority.

Average car rental cost is $47 a day –

This is one of the big bright spots in the 2018 Corporate Travel Index. Car rental prices actually have stayed flat the last three years. Taxes and fees now make up an amazing 36% of the total car rental prices. That means you pay an average of $12.44 in taxes and fees per day for every car rental.

Business meals now average $98 a day –

One of the hardest areas to control costs is in the area of meals on the road. The 2018 Corporate Travel Index says that business travelers spend an average of $15.86 on breakfast, $25.07 on lunch, and $57.16 on dinner in the top 100 cities. This seems a little high to me, but I also realize this can go much higher if a business traveler has to entertain on the road.

Now, I must do a little bragging –

Executive Travel is excited that we are one of the premier companies today that businesses engage to help them build a comprehensive travel management plan which implements systems that can dramatically reduce the cost of your travel expenses. If saving money spent on business travel is part of your job, you should call me at 402-435-8888. You will be amazed at how much money we can save your company and how easy we can make the system work for you.

FINAL CALL: Join my wife Marie and I as we travel to Iceland, Norway, and Sweden!

My wife Marie and I will be hosting the exceptional “Nordic – Naturally” tour this July, a true bucket-list experience. We have 4 seats left, so do not hesitate to sign up and join us as we visit some of our favorite places in the Nordic region, including Reykjavik, Oslo, Bergen, and Stockholm. Call our friendly Group Department at 402-435-8888 or email me at steveg@executivetravel.com for more details and to sign up. To see the full tour program CLICK HERE – do not wait, travel while you can!

Need information on any of the above?
Call our friendly travel advisors …
Lincoln – 402-435-8888 Toll-free 800-737-0582




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