Hello from Berlin, Germany –

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I am writing you today as I just arrived for a short 72-hour stay in Berlin to attend the giant ITB European travel market. We network with dozens of companies throughout Europe to make sure our customers have the highest level of service and support. This trip is all work and no play, however, I still plan to test the Wienerschnitzel and great German Beer so I can have bragging rights with my German friends.

Here are 10 big airline improvements in the last 10 years –

The airline industry has seen dramatic changes in the last 10 years. Airline consolidation and technology advances have changed the industry in many positive ways. Here is my list of positive changes that I have seen in the last 10 years.

1. Paperless tickets –

Gone are the days when you needed a paper ticket to fly. When I first got in the business 32 years ago I remember driving around town delivering tickets to customers. We have come a long way baby.

2. Wi-Fi on board airplanes –

One of the most popular new services for business travelers is to be able to use Wi-Fi to do business while flying. Many domestic and international flights today offer Wi-Fi service for a fee.

3. Lay-flat seats –

This is the arms race for the airlines as they are all claiming to offer the biggest and best lay-flat seats for their business and first class customers. Just a few years ago a business class seats were no more than a reclining seat with 6 inches of more legroom. Today it is a lay-flat bed that allows for a full nights sleep on a flight across the pond.

4. Tv’s at every seat –

Today’s new airplanes all have seat-back video monitors that make the flight speed by. Gone are the days of 6 TV monitors all playing the same movies for all passengers. On new airplanes today each passenger has their own video screen with hundreds of entertainment options. Unfortunately, several airlines have recently announced they will be removing video screens from in the future as most people can use their iPhone, iPads, and laptops to access videos on board.

5. Global entry customs clearance –

International flyers will want to invest $100 to get expedited customs clearance using a Global Entry card. It took me only three minutes to clear customs during my last flight returning to the states, while people without a Global Entry card stood in line for as long as 45 minutes.

6. TSA Pre-check –

Many airports today offer an express line for security clearance using the TSA Pre-Check system. If you fly more than three times a year the $80 fee for this is worth its weight in gold.

7. Paperless boarding passes –

I hate paper. Sending a boarding pass to my iPhone to be scanned at the gate is the best thing since apple pie.

8. Self-service check-in Kiosks –

Do you remember the days you would arrive at the airport and the lines at the airline counters would be a half block long? I love the self-service kiosks. They sure seem to make checking in so much easier.

9. Airline alliances –

Today almost every airline is tied together with other airlines around the world to offer seamless routing and baggage handling. Sometimes it does get a little confusing with all the code sharing so when you buy a ticket on United Airlines you might be flying on Lufthansa. Despite the concern about decreased competition resulting in increases in prices, these alliances appear to offer very positive benefits for traveling around the world.

10. Airports as shopping centers –

Airports in Europe started this new trend and gradually U.S. Airports have been catching up by turning airports into dynamic shopping malls offering new fashion and delightful food experiences. These new airports have made me sometimes wish my layover at the airport was just another hour longer.

Attend our FREE Travel Night featuring France and Germany! –

Please join our FREE and exciting Travel Night next week. On Thursday, March 15th, at 6:30 PM at The Harbor Coffeehouse (1265 S Cotner Blvd, Lincoln, NE 68510), we will present two once-in-a-lifetime journeys taking off this year. France – a tour that interweaves kingdoms and stunning castles, D-Day battles, bubbles in Reims, and extraordinary wines in the Bordeaux region. Germany – a tour which will fulfill your dreams of tasting some of the most spectacular beers in the world incl. a full day at the world-famous Oktoberfest in Munich, all combined with the best of German culture and history. Make sure to RSVP by clicking HERE or call our friendly Group Department at 402-458-9845 to reserve your seat at The Harbor Coffeehouse next Thursday! We are looking forward to seeing you!

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