News, views and information for Amcham’s Business Travellers from Grant Bevin, ATPI Business World Travel

12 Jun 2018 2:46 PM | Tessa (Administrator)

Airline Update:

  • The coveted ‘world’s longest flight’ is about the change again with the front-running Qatar Airways Auckland to Doha 17 hour 40min flight being usurped with Singapore Airlines announcement that they will reinstate the Singapore non-stop to New York route from October this year, which is 400 nautical miles longer than AKL/Doha.  SQ operated the route previously until the GFC; with a flight time of 18 hours 30 mins the flight will depart from Newark daily and will be operated by the latest generation Airbus A350-1000ULR (ultra-long range) for which Singapore Airlines is the launch customer. The aircraft has 63 Business Class (1-2-1 config) and 94 Premium Economy seats (2-4-2 layout) and so is designed for space and comfort for long-haul premium travel. 

  • Also US – bound is Cathay Pacific which will operate between Hong Kong and Washington from later this year. They will also use the Airbus A350 on this route.  Cathay already serves a number of US destinations. Asia to the US connections with Cathay (One World) and Singapore Airlines (Star Alliance) are used as a part of the various Circle Pacific airfares from New Zealand.

  • Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines power around 25% of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet and so the scheduling challenges with engine repair requirements in play at present are not exclusive to Air New Zealand. Key airlines we use a lot such as Thai, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, ANA and LATAM have also experienced similar disruptions, which of course our team of experts here at BWT work to keep a step ahead of. In Air NZ’s case the most constantly affected routes to the US seem to be Houston and so our Travel Consultants are no longer booking connecting US travellers northbound with Air NZ via Houston, opting instead for SFO,  LAX or Vancouver, or via Honolulu to New York JFK with Hawaiian Airlines. If you are staying in Houston or overnighting (try it – Houston is fun!) or flying southbound on your way home,  Houston is fine. This issue will go on for some time. In the meantime Air NZ is using the chartered Hi-Fly Airbus A340 between Auckland and Honolulu. In the near future they are deploying a leased Boeing 777-200 which their own crew are licensed to operate.

  • American Airlines has improved the value proposition of its popular Main Cabin Extra service (extra leg room Economy Class) by including additional benefits such as complimentary beer, wine, spirits and early boarding for US domestic and Caribbean routes. Main Cabin Extra comes with a slight surcharge over any Economy Class airfare. 

  • Delta and Los Angeles Airport Authority has given the go ahead for a US$1.8billion dollar rebuild of LAX Terminals 2 & 3 to become Delta’s LAX home and also provide full connecting walkways into the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

Hotel update:

We’ve taken a sneak peak at Auckland’s newest hotel, the US-based Marriott owned Four Points which is on the corner of Mayoral Drive and Queen Street. Constructed within a former office building, the Four Points is a straight forward business hotel which has the attraction of being crisp,  new and having a Queen Street address! Rooms range is size from 29sqm and up. A show-stopping roof-top bar could be a star-attraction when it opens in a few weeks. We have some very good opening rates available –ask our Domestic team!

The Sheraton brand, more upscale sister chain to the Four Points within the Marriott family is going through a transformation vision. There are 450 Sheraton properties around the world and the brand has lost its way slightly in recent years. Many of the US based Sheraton’s are quite basic but many international ones are more upscale.  Sheraton will be pitched above Four Points toward the 5-star market but short of other Marriott brands St Regis, JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton.  Your old SPG award programme is merged in with Marriott and points can be used at all of these properties.

US brand Best Western’s head office is taking over the Australia/New Zealand franchise operation. There are currently 115 hotels, apartments and resorts operating under the Best Western brand in Australia and New Zealand (only a handful are in New Zealand) – all independently owned and managed. BW which has lost significant market share in this region will have a property-direct relationship with its owners and as with Sheraton will work to re-define its positioning in a saturated market.

Travel better! At ATPI/Business World Travel we’re a member of the prestigious US-based Virtuoso, an invited group of the world’s leading travel agents and where we achieve benefits over and above any other travel agent or booking site for our clients. For the same as any advertised rate including on the hotel site, or Expedia you’ll receive:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability

  • Daily Breakfast for two

  • Food & Beverage or Spa services credit usually around US$100

  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

  • Complimentary Wifi

  • Often some other kind of personalised in-room amenity

  • Take a look at or call one of our BWT Travel Advisors

Executive Leisure and Private Clients:

We partner with All Blacks Tours and we have a reason to extend your business trip to the US in November for this triple header weekend on 03 November. Chicago’s famous Soldier Field sees three games – Black Ferns vs USA Eagles, Italy vs Ireland and finally Maori All Blacks vs USA Eagles.  Those of us who saw Ireland vs All Blacks will know that Chicago knows how to turn on a great party atmosphere. Combine business and pleasure! Tradeshows around these dates include SEMA/AAPEX Autoparts and Pool & Spa shows both in Las Vegas, FLIBS International Boat Show in Fort Lauderdale and Energy Storage in Pasadena. The medical fraternity is also well served that same week with Opthamologists, Neurosurgereons and Cardiologists all well served with Specialist Medical Conferences. Call our team to book your business and rugby trip! Call us to book your rugby trip this November (also Japan in 2019 is selling well! Be quick with that one!).

Why give top performers cash when a memorable adventure away can deliver twice the benefit for less cost? Corporate travel experiential travel is a big part of what we do and we have the expertise to help you incentivise clients or staff member through travel  - choosing something they’re unlikely to do themselves and where the memory will last a lifetime. Research shows that giving cash bonuses is not nearly as effective as a non-monetary reward such as travel. Some steps to a successful incentive travel trip:

  1. Tie earning and selection criteria to your business objectives

  2. Be clear and consistent with communications about the programme and its progress

  3. Build a sense of anticipation with ticklers throughout the year

  4. We’ll design the programme to include a desirable destination, importantly that most wouldn’t go to themselves, include interactive sessions and leisure time.

  5. Have key executives and managers on the trip to act as hosts to reinforce the company’s commitment to the programme.

  6. Never let it be a ‘one-off’. Those who missed out will be extra-motivated to get on the trip the next year – assuming the participants were wowed the first time!

  7. Incentive trips range in the number of participants, length of stay and budget

  8. Always try to include spouses and even families

For more details and bookings contact your BWT consultant on 0800-508 580 or 09-5293700