Business Travel Tips: Top 5 Business Traveler Nightmares
By Kathleen Ameche
How To Prevent Them
Business travel is on the rebound. As the economy continues to grow, companies are unleashing their employees to travel to seek opportunities and work with clients and customers all over the world. Increased numbers of business travelers bring problems as well. Travel delays and other obstacles simply increase with volume, and the more you travel, the more you suffer from them.
But preparation can at least equip every business traveler with the tools to master the business travel environment and reduce or eliminate the obstacles to a successful business trip.
Here Are My Top 5 Business Travel Nightmares And How To Prevent Or Deal With Them:
1. You’re in danger of missing your flight: you’re stuck in the security line because you didn’t know about some recent rule changes. Today, 3-1-1 is the mantra of the business traveler. If you want to carry on – remember containers of liquid holding no more than 3 ounces, all in 1 (and only 1) quart size zip lock bag. But these rules change all the time. Keep up to date on the government carry-on restrictions. It takes a few minutes at home on your computer before you head to the airport. The best resource to use is www.tsa.gov. Another alternative would be your airline’s website – if you check in on-line, then it’s just an additional click of the mouse.
2. Your flight’s been cancelled, you’re in danger of missing that critical client meeting and you’re 30th in line at the customer service desk. As a standard practice, your travel agent’s, preferred airline’s or website’s customer service number should be in your cell phone speed dial. At the first hint of a delay, contact one of them directly and ask for the flight status. They have access to information that you don’t and can start working on alternatives for you. If your flight is cancelled, there are only going to be so many seats available on alternative flights, and your objective is to get one of those coveted seats before anyone else does. One early phone call can get you there.
3. You are receiving the cold shoulder because you used the 6 words that every ticket or gate agent despises. “Do you know who I am” are the six most lethal words any passenger can use. A gate or ticket agent, unlike your colleagues or your clients or customers, doesn’t care who or how important you are. What’s important to them is your name and flight information, which they have in front of them. So leave your “status” at home. Kindness, deference, respect and a little empathy go much farther as a business traveler than self-importance when dealing with airline personnel. They are the gatekeepers with a lot of discretion, and treating them properly can make them much more interested in helping you when one of the inevitable flight problems arises.
4. You just realized you can’t rent a car (or possibly even get home) because you’ve dropped your only form of identification in the airport that’s 2000 miles away. Remember that you can’t rent a car without a driver’s license and can’t board a plane without your ID. Thus, you must keep your ticket and your ID in a secure place with easy access at all times on the road. Get something to put around your neck or, if that’s not stylish enough, try a separate case, such as the A-Way Ticket Tote. A little expenditure for something that will keep your ID in the same place all the time will be a big help in preventing a disaster or at least keep you from worrying about it.
5. You and your colleagues have been discussing a confidential strategy the entire flight only to find that your competition has been listening from the row behind you. Business colleagues typically discuss their business when they travel together, and if they are going on a trip for a specific purpose, their discussion will probably center on that purpose. But on an airplane you have no idea who is listening nearby. Just be sure that you are guarded enough that you would not be embarrassed or your business harmed if your words were published in the newspaper. Be discreet; you really never do know who is listening to you.
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