How to Make Flight and Hotel Reservations for the Business Trips

Published on August 24th, 2014 by | Category: Management

Thanks to the Internet, it has become so easy to reserve flights and hotels these days. Although the last stage can be done through the Internet, all the companies and business people should know the detailed procedure which is explained here in this article. Make sure to read these 2 articles here and here too.

Pointers on Flying

If a businessman is pressed for time and cost is not a major factor, he can get aboard a first class jet and arrive swiftly, comfortable and well-fed. If both time and money are a consideration, he can go jet economy class, which is actually cheaper on many commuter runs than propeller first class. If the only consideration is keeping expenses to a minimum, the traveller can fly propeller economy class.

First class jet and economy jet seats can be on the same plane, as can first and economy class propeller accommodations. On first class flights, either by jet or propeller aircraft, excellent meals are served. The meals on economy flights, although usually of fine quality, consist of sandwiches and beverages. Some airlines, however, are inaugurating a “one class” schedule. That is, the traveller will be able to get first class service and meals at prices only slightly higher than those for economy class.

Certain airlines have a service between major cities whereby the traveller can simply go to the airport and get aboard the plane. He pays his fare on the plane, eliminating bothersome reservation procedures.

The traveller is the one who must choose the type of accommodations he will want. You can help him by giving him all the information possible on airline services so that he can make an intelligent choice.

You might find the Official Airline Guide, published by American Aviation Publications, Inc., 139 North Clark Street, Chicago 3, Illinois, helpful. The book is an alphabetical listing of the cities in the United States and its possessions, and Canada. It tells of the airlines servicing each city, and gives information on car rental and air taxi services there.

Making a Plane Reservation: After the traveller decides which air line he will use, you should get that line’s timetable. Remember, however, that the timetable is subject to change. You should check all times carefully when making the reservation.

When placing reservations, you phone the reservations desk of the individual airline. Make sure that you get the name of the reservations clerk so that you can make any further arrangements through that person. This will save your traveller time, because it will get his reservations handled much more quickly and efficiently. It also eliminates that “I’m sorry, but I think Miss Jones can help you” problem.

A typical conversation might go something like this:

“Good Morning. This is Mr. Doe of the Wilson Company. I would like to make reservations for Mr. Paul flouts of this company on American Airlines flight No. 6 from New York to Los Angeles, economy class, at 10:00 a.m. on July 15. Is space available?”

“Yes, Mr. Doe, we have economy class space available on flight 6 on July 15, but that flight leaves at 10:35 am.”

“That will be satisfactory. When does the plane arrive in Los Angeles?”

“It gets into Los Angeles at 1:30 p.m., Pacific Standard Time. It’s a non-stop jet flight.”

“Thank you very much. Please book Mr. Houts on that flight. May I have your name in case any question arises?”

“Surely. Just ask for Jon LeCompte at the reservations desk. And now let me take down complete information on Mr. flouts.”

“The reservation is for Mr. Paul Houts, the Wilson Company,313 Fifth Avenue,New York City. The phone number of the company is WA-6-223 3, and Mr. Houts’s home phone number is HA-7-7019.”

“Thank you very much, Mr. Doe. I have Mr. Bouts booked on that flight.”

It is not always possible to get just the flight you want. This is no reason to be disheartened. Tell the reservations clerk to put your traveller on the waiting list for the flight he wants. Then if reservations become available you will be notified. While you are waiting you can phone any of the other airlines to see if they can accommodate your traveller  If after this you are still unable to get the reservation, consult the reservations clerk, who can, in most cases, suggest a suitable alternative.

Note: As soon as you receive confirmation from one airline, cancel any other arrangements you may have pending for some other flight. This will help you keep the good will of the people you deal with at the airlines. It will also show consideration for other people who may be on the waiting list for that flight. Wouldn’t it make you happy if someone would cancel just in time for you to get the seat you want for your traveller?

Unless the traveller has an account with the airline, you or he will have to pay for the tickets when they are picked up. Many air lines have credit plans that make it possible to travel now and be billed later. Check with the airline you decide to use if your traveller wants to do business on a charge basis.

Be sure to Confirm Reservations

One last word about air travel reservations: It is necessary to re-confirm plane reservations for each lap of the trip, except for the initial point of departure. The traveller should do this in each city on his itinerary. You confirm, or re-confirm, a reservation simply by calling up the airline ticket office and telling them that you would like to confirm a reservation. It is best to ask for the person at the reservations desk that you spoke to when you first made the reservation. Make sure that you give the clerk all information as to flight number, date, destination, and the like.

Reservations must be confirmed at least six hours before flight time on domestic flights. On international flights, reservations must be confirmed twenty-four hours before flight time. You are thoughtful if you remind the traveller of this just before departure.

Pointers on Train Travel

In order to give the traveller complete in formation on rail reservations and accommodations, you should know just what is available. The various types of Pullman accommodations are listed below:

  1. Upper or lower berth: A single bed, with a space provided for personal articles. Toilet facilities are located at one end of the car.
  2. Roomette: A private room, usually for one person, with a bed folding into the wall and with a sofa seat for daytime use. Toilet facilities are in the same room.
  3. Bedroom: A private room with a lower and upper berth. The lower serves as a sofa for daytime use. Toilet facilities are in the same room.
  4. Compartment: A private room with lower and upper berth. Toilet facilities are in the same room.
  5. Drawing room: A private room with lower and upper berth, and a sofa that can be converted into an additional lower berth. There is a private toilet adjoining.

Not all overnight trains have all of the above accommodations. Some day commuter trains have none of them. Most of the time tables for the various lines list the accommodations available. If the information you want isn’t in the timetable, you can get it either from the reservations desk of the railway or from a travel agency. Find out, too, whether the train has a diner or club car, observation car, and so on. By telling the traveller these facts you smooth his way toward a more pleasurable trip.

Making a Train Reservation

When you are ready to make the reservation you will find that the procedure is similar to that of making plane reservations. You should have a concrete idea of what you want before you phone. Note that railroads will not make reservations for the entire trip if it is broken by plane travel; air lines, on the other hand, will handle plane reservations all the way through, despite interruptions.

You can find all the schedules and timetables for all railroad and steamship lines in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico in the Official Guide of the Railways. The Guide is published by the National Railway Publications Company, New York. Single copies can be purchased and the publication can also be obtained by subscription. Included in this publication is information such as accommodations offered by the different lines, mileage between stations, maps of the roads, and so on.

Another source of information is the individual line itself. You can either telephone or call at the company’s offices personally.

When you are ready to make the reservations, it is best if you become acquainted with the “passenger representative” of the rail road. If you do, you will have an advantage in that you can deal with the same person every time you have to call. If you don’t know the passenger representative, call the reservations desk.

It is considerate to give the person you are talking to complete and precise information on departure point and destination, time, train number and accommodations desired. 11 what you want is not available, this enables him to suggest an alternative.

If your traveller wants to do business with the railroad on a charge basis, accounts based on his personal credit rating are available. These accounts work in a manner similar to that of the airline accounts. If the traveller has no account, you or he will have to pay for the tickets when they are picked up.

Whoever picks up the tickets should check them carefully. Check for time, date, destination, train number, railway station, and the like.

Travelling by Automobile

If the business trip is fairly short, the traveller may want to go by automobile. Being a member of the American Automobile Association will be a great help if this is the case. Aside from their emergency road service, they will prepare a special “Triptik” which is a detailed, up-to-the-minute strip map of the entire trip. Also provided with this service is a list of recommended hotels, motels and AAA service stations along the route.

The AAA will also help its members obtain advance hotel and resort accommodations.

If your traveller is not a member of the AAA, you can get all the necessary road maps at any local gas station.

The traveller may want to leave his own car at home and rent one for the trip. If this is the case, you can get in touch with a car rental firm in your area- There is a service charge plus a mileage charge ranging from around six to fifteen cents a mile. You can leave the car at any of the branch offices of the firm in any city. The cars are covered by accident insurance, which protects the driver as wall as the renting firm. Car rental is a very convenient service, but it can be expensive.

Making Hotel Reservations

Never wait until the last minute to make hotel reservations. Begin the job as soon as the travel arrangements are decided. It sometimes takes a long time to get the travel plans just right, but you can begin making hotel reservations as soon as you know the traveller’s destination and approximate time of arrival.

Most communities have a local hotel association you can phone for information. The association is usually happy to supply you with the names of reliable hotels.

You can get a wealth of information from the Hotel Red Book, issued annually in June and published by the American Hotel Association Directory Corporation,221 West 57th Street, New York, New York. This book lists hotels by state and city, indicates the number of rooms, rates, and whether the hotel is on the American plan where rates include meals or European plan, where they don’t. It also gives the telephone and teletype numbers for each hotel, and tells whether or not the hotel belongs to a chain.

Another source of information is Leahy’s Hotel Guide and Travel Atlas of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, published by the American Hotel Register Company, in Chicago.

If you don’t have access to any of these sources, you might write to the Chamber of Commerce in the city of destination, asking for the names of recommended hotels, but remember that it takes quite a while for correspondence to travel back and forth. You will need a lot of time to write first to a Chamber of Commerce and then, after receiving a reply, to a hotel. Perhaps there is no vacancy at the time the traveller needs a room. You would then have to write to some other hotel. Usually you won’t have time enough for this exchange of correspondence.

If the traveller is going by automobile, you can get information on places to stay from Lodging for a Night, a book published by Duncan Hines, Inc., New York. This book lists good hotels, inns, motels and overnight guest houses.

How Reservations Can Be Made

Below are mentioned some of the ways you can go about making hotel reservations:

1. You can call the hotel directly. Some hotels list their numbers in the directories of distant cities to make it easier for customers to call and make reservations.

2. Some hotels, particularly in large cities, have a service where by you can phone the hotel in your city and have reservations made for you at the hotel in the city of destination. This service, of course, applies only to hotels in the same chain. If this service is available, you receive your confirmation from the hotel in your own city. You can get the information from the Hotel Red Book.

3. You can make the reservation by letter. Naturally, there must be enough time for an exchange of correspondence before the traveller is to leave on his trip.

The following letter asking for a hotel reservation is short and to the point, but gives all necessary information.

Sherman Square Hotel

70th Street and Broadway

New York, New York

Gentlemen:

Please reserve a single room with bath for Mr. John Rafferty, beginning Friday night, April 17. Mr. Rafferty plans to leave the afternoon of April 20 and would appreciate knowing your check-out time.

Since Mr. Rafferty will not reach New York until Friday night, please hold the room for late arrival.

Please confirm this reservation as soon as possible.

Yours very truly,

Henry Roe

4. If your firm has a teletype machine and the hotel chosen also uses this service (you can find out from the Hotel Red Book), send a teletype message.

5. If you don’t have too much time to make reservations, send a night letter to the hotel. You might say something like this:

Please wire collect confirmation single room with bath for John Rafferty April seventeenth through twentieth. Hold for late arrival. Advise checkout time.

6. You can make reservations through the Hotel Reservation Service of Western Union. Phone your nearest Western Union office and give the Reservation Service the destination, arrival date and time, length of stay, room requirements, and the hotel preferred. They will take it from there. They will handle anything from a single- city trip to a complete travel itinerary, for business or pleasure.

7. The traveller may have to leave on very short notice. When this happens, try Western Union’s “Reserve and Hold” service. All arrangements are made while the traveler is en route. When he arrives, he calls the Western Union Reservation Desk to get details of his reservation. There is a charge for this service, but when time is short, the traveler will be grateful indeed if you can get him his reservations quickly.

No matter what method you use to make a reservation:

  • Give the traveller’s name and address
  • Explain the type of accommodation desired
  • Give the date of arrival
  • Indicate the approximate time of day the traveller will arrive
  • Mention the probable departure date
  • Ask what the hotel check-out time is (it may conflict with the traveller’s appointments)
  • If the traveller will arrive in the late evening, mention the fact that the room is to be held for late arrival.

Always get written or wired confirmation of a hotel reservation. If some mistake has occurred at the reservation desk of the hotel (and that is possible even in the best-run hotels) the traveller will not have a leg to stand on without the confirmation. He will at least be able to put up a good argument if you have provided him with the confirming letter or wire. If you have been thoughtful enough to do this, the hotel will be obliged to find a spot for him.

If the traveller is going by car, he may want to make reservations at motels along his route. Various independently owned motels have formed associations that aid you in making reservations. You simply go in person to the association motel nearest you and request reservations at one of the other associated motels. The clerk will then either phone or send a teletype message to the motel and have them reserve rooms. You then pay him the price of the room and he gives you a ticket which the traveller presents to the motel clerk where his rooms are reserved. Once the traveller reaches his first stop, he can have the clerk there phone ahead to make his next reservation. There is usually no charge for this reservation service.

Cancelling Reservations

In order to save the traveller’s time and money there are certain procedures you should follow when it becomes necessary to cancel reservations. Below you will find the correct ways of cancelling reservations and also how to get refunds on unused tickets or deposits for the traveller.

Occasionally a traveller may change his plans en route. If he does, he probably will have to handle the cancellations himself. The traveller should always try to give as much advance written notice as possible to the airline or railroad of any cancellation.

Airlines will usually make refunds en route, and the traveller can cash in his unused tickets at the airline office in the city where he happens to be.

If your traveller brings his unused airlines tickets back with him, return them to the airline at the point of purchase, or to the Refund Accounting Department address shown in the Official A Wine Guide, with a short covering letter. Mention the date, city of departure and destination, ticket number, and the cost.

Your letter might read:

Manager, Passenger Refund Accounting

American Airlines, Inc.

910 SouthBoston

Tulsa,Oklahoma

Dear Sir:

Re; Ticket No. 1oI-15-4M

New York CitytoPhoenix

Flight No. 507

The above ticket was issued to Mr. John Rafferty of this company for use on April 17.

Unfortunately Mr. Rafferty was forced to cancel his reservation and would now like a refund on the ticket. The fare paid for the ticket was $700.30.

Please make the check payable to John Rafferty. The ticket is enclosed.

Sincerely,

Robert J. Roe

The carbon of this letter will give you a record of all the pertinent information you should need to follow up later if there is some delay or error in the refund. It is important that you remember, how ever, to expect some delay in refund if the tickets were paid for by check. When payment has been made in cash, an immediate refund can be obtained by presenting the tickets at the ticket office. Or the amount of the refund can be credited to the account of an air travel card holder.

Pullman refunds cannot be obtained en route. For refunds, send the unused tickets to: The Pullman Company, Passenger Department,79 East Adams Street, Chicago 3, Illinois.

When you wish to cancel a hotel reservation, write the hotel a letter of cancellation if there is time. This is the polite thing to do, especially when you have requested the room be held for late arrival.

When a hotel has requested a deposit in advance, as some of the smaller hotels do, try to have your deposit returned. You may be successful if the cancellation is made in sufficient time before the intended arrival date.

To cancel motel reservations that have been made in advance, usually it is necessary to notify the motel by 6:00 p.m. on the day of your intended arrival. To obtain your refund you can either go to the motel, or, if this is impossible, give the motel your name and address and have them send you a check. Although 6:00 p.m. is usually the latest time for cancellation, it is considerate to give the motel as much advance notice of cancellation as you possibly can.

Using the Services of a Travel Agency

The easiest method of obtaining reservations, either for domestic or foreign travel, is through the services of a travel agency.

If you have had no previous contact with an agency, obtain a list of qualified travel agents from The American Society of Travel Agents, Inc., 501 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York.

You can make the agent’s job simpler by giving him complete information on what you want. Tell him the traveller’s name, his business and home phone numbers, and detailed information on dates, times of arrival and departure at each city, and the type of transportation preferred.

As far as expense is concerned, there is no charge for obtaining airline or hotel reservations because the agency receives a commission from the airline or hotel. There is a charge for obtaining rail reservations, unless they are part of a “package” deal; that is, a prearranged package tour. The service is excellent and generally everything is planned without a hitch. You owe it to your traveller  however, to make sure that everything is perfect. For this reason you should always follow up with the agency. Call them a few days be fore the scheduled departure to make sure that all reservations are in order and that everything is ready for a pleasant, well-planned trip.

Arranging Appointments

When making appointments for a traveller keep in mind the pointers below:

1. When arranging the traveller’s appointments, make sure that you get all the necessary information from him. This means the name of the person to be visited, the date, location, and time of the visit, the phone number of the firm and any special remarks or reminders about the visit.

2. If an appointment is made quite a while before the actual visit, it is best to confirm the appointment with the secretary of the per son to be visited, a few days in advance of the actual visit.

3. Always find out from the traveller if he has made any appointments on his own. If he has, include them in the appointment schedule.

Once the appointment schedule is set up, make sure that the traveller has at least two copies (one for his wallet and the other for his briefcase) with him.

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