Business Travel: Three Tips To Make It So Much Better
Even in an age where people on different sides of the planet can speak to each other face to face instantly, business travel is still an important tool for relationship building, inspections, and international business expansion. And, even though a trip across the ocean no longer takes weeks, travel is typically still no picnic. Here are three tips that will make your journey much easier.
- Travel like the CIA: Wikileaks, the perennial pain in the side of the United States, recently released two manuals that outline how CIA agents pass through airport security as quickly and easily as possible. The bottom line: be confident. Looking like you belong and being polite go a long way toward speeding up your journey. Not really top secret information!
- Fight the system: This particular hint will only work in the United States, but it could save you a lot of money if you’re prepared to suffer some inconvenience (and a bit of confusion). Airlines in the US have organized themselves into hub-and-spoke systems across the country, which means that they use giant hub airports to connect to other smaller airports, which then connect to other, even smaller, airports. To remain competitive, each airline maintains control over different hubs, and sets up a little monopoly running flights between the hubs that it controls. So, if you take a flight between two hub airports controlled by the same airline, the airline owns all the planes that fly between those two cities, and can charge whatever it wants. However, if you take a flight between two hubs controlled by different airlines the competition between the two airlines will keep the fares down. To save money on the flights between two hubs controlled by the same airline, you just need to play the airlines off of each other. Here’s how to do it: If you want to fly from City 1 to City 2, but only one airline flies between the two of them, simply find a third city (City 3) that other airlines can fly to, and book your ticket to fly into City 3 with a transfer in City 2. When you arrive in City 2, just get off the plane and walk out of the airport. This works because the airline with the monopoly has to lower the price on the flight that it controls to remain competitive with the airline you have to transfer onto to complete your journey. This is called the “Hidden City” method of travel.
- Take Advantage of Technology: Innovative entrepreneurs have been designing algorithms that crawl airline and hotel websites for years to find the best rates possible. Some are famous, such as hotels.com and google’s travel services but many have remained a little below the radar. Do a some searching and find the best rate-finding websites you can, there are plenty to choose from.
Once you’ve mastered the tips and tricks of business travel, saving money and time on your trips will become second nature. Good luck, and happy travels!