Important

The United States Transportation Security Administration issued new security directives to all United States and international air carriers with inbound flights to the U.S. Effective January 4, 2010. The directive increases the use of enhanced screening technologies and mandates threat-based and random screening for passengers on U.S. Bound international flights. Additional security measures were recently put in place at Canada’s airports for flights to / from the United States. This could cause unforeseen delays with check-in and the security process for all passengers. We strongly advise that you allow extra time, taking into consideration that the airport may be busier as a result.

Tips

A guide for air passengers with carry-on baggage

Items permited in carry-on baggage include:

  • electronic equipment such as cell phones, portable music players, laptops
  • nail clippers, non-metallic nail files
  • disposable razors, razor blade cartridges
  • syringes or needles for personal medical use with needle guard in place, when accompanied by the medication in its original labelled container
  • walking canes
  • umbrellas
  • Items you cannot have in your carry-on baggage include:
  • all knives
  • any sharp and/ or pointed objects
  • replica or toy weapons
  • corkscrews
  • fireworks
  • sporting equipment such as: golf clubs, hockey sticks, ski poles, sqush/tennis racquets, ice skates, baseball basts, pool cues

Air carriers reserve the right to prohibit any item that they consider to be a security risk, contact the airline for more information A reminder:

  • If you do not need an item during your flight, pack it in your checked baggage
  • before departing for the airport, check with the airline to determine when to arrive for your flight and for possible changes to the flight schedule
  • keep an eye on your bags and personal items at all times. Do not carry items on board for anyone you do not know
  • report any suspicious-looking packages or unattended items to airport personnel
  • be aware that all carry-on items are subject to screening. ensure that electronic devices are operational. for security reasons, you may be required to turn on these devices
  • leave gifts unwrapped until you arrive at your intended destination. they may be opened for inspection by security staff
  • be prepared to present photo id. for international flights, inclufding flights to the united states, you must present a government-issued photo id, ideally a valid passport
  • be aware of any baggage restrictions on domestic and international flights.

Reasons why smart consumers use a Roblin Travel consultant

Our culture is entrepreneurial and as such we offer:

  • Entrepreneurial Approach – We create a corporate culture based on innovative responses to our clients challenges, informed counsel for travelers and travel planners as well as flexibility in responding to the ever-changing business environment.
  • Access to Key Decision Makers – Roblin Travel provides you with quick and responsive results for the most simple requests to the most complex set of circumstances. Unexpected situations or services that do not meet expectations receive the highest degree of attention and a speedy resolution.
  • On-Going Business Development Support – We monitor cost saving opportunities, assist with supplier negotiation, enhance corporate travel policy, analyze and make recommendations based on travel patterns and cost-savings summary reports.
  • Exceptional Services – On each and every booking, Roblin Travel believes that without this philosophy all other value-added services are irrelevant.
  • Dedicated Consultants – Our valuable consultants who range from 5 to 20 years in the travel industry are specialists in their areas of expertise and as a whole can effectively service the most exacting business traveler, as well as, the value-conscious leisure traveler.
  • Owner/Managers – Active owner/manager of the company, Doug Rollheiser has a keen interest in being involved with the company and our clients on a daily basis.

Air travel tips

We have been travelling the US and visiting places abroad. Below are some of our observations; please review them prior to travel.

  • Don’t expect security to be the same at every airport. X-ray machines are calibrated differently, and some small airports haven’t spent the money on them. You may be inspected with a hand-held metal detector, in addition to – or instead of – the usual walk-through device. Also, some check points are routinely “patting down” travellers to check for weapons.
  • Do take as few carry-on bags as possible. Even better, don’t take any. (The stated limit is one bag plus a purse or briefcase. The rule may be more consistently enforced as systems change.)
  • Expect to take your laptop out of its case. You may have to open the laptop.
  • You may be asked to show that your mobile phone and camera are working.
  • Be sure to pack any sharp objects (including knitting needles) or potentially dangerous items (such as cigarette lighters) inside checked baggage. Otherwise, they may be confiscated.
  • You may want to eat before you fly or take food with you. Some airlines have dropped or curtailed food service on domestic flights.
  • Heightened security has caused changes in unexpected places. A luggage storage facility we planned to use at a foreign airport was shut down following the September 11 attacks. Try to check out as many details as you can in advance of your arrival, and adjust your plans accordingly.
  • Expect long lines. But the lines do move.
  • Get there early: Everything takes longer than it used to. In an emergency situation, (your flight is about to leave without you) politely ask security personnel if you can slip in at the front of the line. In our experience, they’ve been agreeabe – far more agreeable than the travelers we had to cut in front of (fortunately they didn’t have any sharp objects handy.)
  • If you encounter a glitch, try courtesy. It will get you farther faster. (Airline employees tell us they had one week of smiles. After that, people started getting irate again.)

Our clients have commented that this is truly a time to book through a travel agent: No matter where you are in the world, a travel agent can help you rebook. The same cannot be said about most online booking operations

Are internet fares really lower than agency fare?

With the current perception by many business travellers and some travel managers that they can purchase lower-priced tickets on the internet, TOPAZ put agencies and internet travel sites to the test. Between January and June, 2002, TOPAZ compared approximately 19,000 agency-booked itineraries with various internet travel sites including Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity and carrier-specific sites. TOPAZ found that the itineraries booked through a designated corporate travel agency averages $116 less than the same itineraries booked on the internet travel sites.

The average agency-booked fare during this time period was $478 while the average fare booked through the internet sites was $594. “there is a high level of perception by many travel – industry individuals that corporations must have access to the ‘lower fares on the internet’ in order to provide a worthwhile corporate travel program. We have not yet seen the evidence to support this belief,” states Valerie Estep, President, TOPAZ International, Ltd. TOPAZ found lower internet travel sites compared to a corporate travel agency. Overall, the savings realized was 19% for itineraries purchased through a corporate travel agency – compared to the same itinerary if purchased through the specified internet travel sites. “While sometimes fares found on the internet are lower than those offered by corporate agencies, they are not typically an ‘apples to apples’ comparison, but rather an itinerary within the parameters of a corporate travel policy vs. one that might not even involve the same travel days,” says Estep.

TOPAZ will continue to monitor the fares available on travel internet sites along with fares offered by corporate travel agencies in order to provide valuable information for the travel industry. In addition, with the increase in online booking systems being implemented at many corporations, TOPAZ is now including this data in their research.

About Topaz International, Ltd. TOPAZ International Ltd., based in Portland, OR is an airfare auditing, benchmarking and statistical information firm specializing in the use of knowledge and technology to reduce travel costs for business.