Like many in our industry, I spend quite a bit of time on the road during the first half of the year. This year to-date I’ve logged 60,000 miles, and I’ve grown tired and weary of airports. In my search for a better way, I’ve come across three tips to share. I hope they help to ease some of your travel pain. In addition to individual business travel, these are also great ideas for VIP’s and groups!
The Meeting Planner’s Travel Comforts – Minute Suites
Read about how Minute Suites came to life here. In a nutshell, physicians and healthcare professionals were looking for a wellness-based solution to beat the fatigue and stress of air travel.
Currently available at Philadelphia International, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson and Dallas/Ft. Worth International terminal D, these secure, private suites aim to provide a quiet place to rest or work for busy travelers that need to get away from the crowds.
Each Minute Suite includes a desk, monitor/television, pull out couch with fresh linens and privacy behind a locked door.
Pricing starts at $38 for the first hour, $76 for two hours, $120 for 5 hours, and $130 for an overnight stay. For $15 you can add a shower, and catch your next flight relaxed and refreshed!
Mobile Passport App
I was excited to learn technology has gifted us with the ability to take a selfie and use it to clear customs. The app is available for iPhone and Android, and is really easy to install.
It’s a breeze to set up your profile, fill out the form, take a selfie and submit your electronic receipt with encrypted QR code to the customs agent for clearance.
Try it next time your overseas travel lands you at Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, Miami International, Seattle-Tacoma International and Chicago O’Hare. Many more airports are scheduled to be added by January 2016.
YU Lounge – A Luxury Private Terminal
The mission – “to provide a state-of-the-art private terminal, away from public terminals, and encompassing a luxury lounge designed for discerning passengers”.
The destination options are very limited, but this is a unique and beautifully executed concept that I can see really catching on at many international airports. Available in Mauritius, and where I had the pleasure of experiencing it, St. Kitts, this is truly a luxury travel experience.
After deplaning down the aircraft stairs, you are greeted immediately by a well-dressed man and his white Porsche SUV. You are whisked to the YU Lounge (3 min ride in St. Kitts) where you are welcomed by air conditioning, champagne, hors d’ oeuvres fit for a king, and a private concierge that takes your luggage claim ticket and passport. In 20 minutes, your concierge returns with your luggage and customs forms, which you sign and hand back. That is all.
The departure experience is much the same. You hand over your luggage, passport and customs forms, and your concierge takes you to their private security checkpoint where you are quickly processed. We were served breakfast and 20 minutes later were whisked back to the bottom of the stairs, in Porsches of course, where we boarded the plane before any of the first class passengers. And they gave us chocolate. Need I say more?
The good news is that there is light at the end of the travel tunnel, and time will offer more and more options for safe, convenient and comfortable experiences. That’s great news for those of us who make our living traveling and managing travel for others.
For more tips on how to orchestrate the perfect events, take a look at our Meetings & Events page!