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David J. Danto

 

Business travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion

 

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eMail: ddanto@IMCCA.org††††† Follow Industry News: @NJDavidD

 

Never Easy Ė November 2022

 

Nirvana for us frequent travelers that have ditched the frequent-flyer programs is ďthe Easy Button.Ē Needing to travel somewhere, buying a ticket on the most convenient carrier traveling the most convenient route, and having an un-eventful experience purchasing and traveling.However, when your immediate family asks to travel to a high-volume destination over a holiday, the easy part goes out the window.Thatís what I went through when my wife and adult kids asked to go to Las Vegas over New Yearís Eve.

There are multiple complicating factors in pulling that off.First of all, we needed a house-sitter to watch our home and take care of our pets.OK, once that family member was secured I could move on-to the reservations.Hotels were relatively easy.Iíve been going to Vegas for so many years that I have a number of great offers to use.These cut way-down on the costs of lodging Ė even over a holiday weekend.Of course, another complication is that I need to stay longer in Las Vegas when my family heads home as I need to be there for CES.And as CES is a business trip and NYE is a personal trip I need to change everything over to a different set of reservations to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.That means returning a personal rental car and picking-up a company rental car, and moving to a different hotel.(By the way, the rental carís weekly rate including fees from my preferred National topped out at about $900 - which is just insane, but that is my penalty for not reserving this months earlier.)Once all those reservations were completed (and then re-completed after my family moaned they wanted to be there two days earlier) we had to move on to arranging the airline travel.

Of course, the greedy airlines take the usual $300-400 round trip airfare and gouge it to $800-1,100 for both NYE and CES.So getting four people there was out of our standard price range.I had some tools I could use, but thatís where it got really complicated.

My airfare there was going to be one-way (sadly for the typical cost of a round trip ticket) because my company would pay to send me home one-way after the business portion.Those flights were booked first.Then, my wife wanted to spend her frequent-flyer miles to save some money.She didnít have enough for a round trip ticket, and United doesnít offer a ďmiles and moneyĒ option (other to buy needed miles which made no sense) so she bought a one-way FF ticket there on her own PNR.Then she bought a return-trip for cash on a separate one. (Thatís four record locators for the trip so far if youíre keeping count.)That brought us to our young adult kids.They each had about a $400 credit in their account they needed use, so each one of them had to book travel on their own account to easily apply the credit voucher.Because they are traveling on the same flight as my wife and I we can ask to bring them up to preferred seating at no-charge companions of Million-Milers.Doing that however requires a call to the United Premier desk.So thatís two more on-line ticket bookings (now a total of six PNRs for one family trip) and a subsequent call.††

After getting all of this done I now have a trip file folder.Multiple hotel reservations, car reservations and flight reservations that I have to keep track of in case anything changes.If United makes any schedule changes between now and the trip then all the dominoes may fall and I may have to re-arrange everything again.

I guess it will be worth it to have the holiday away, but honestly I wish I was rich enough to just book everything on a single reservation.The question of course is would I care about being gouged by the airlines and car-rental companies if I didnít care about the money.I have to think I still would, if for no other reason than on the principle of the matter.Iíll have to hope for not just rich but super-rich Ė enough to afford a private charter or our own plane.Then these hard reservations will be as easy as calling my pilot.

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This article was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions.

All image and links provided above as reference under prevailing fair use statutes.

Copyright 2022 David Danto

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As always, feel free to write and comment, question or disagree.Hearing from the traveling community is always a highlight for me.Thanks!