Archive for July, 2010
Friday, July 30th, 2010
CheckINN Direct members know they are never alone when they’re on the highways for workforce travel. They’ve got the 24-hour support of CheckINN Direct’s Traveler Support Center.
When we say 24/7/365, we mean it. There’s always Traveler Support customer service representatives when you call, ready to assist CheckINN Direct travelers with any business lodging questions or issues.
Just want to check your member rate for the hotel where you want to stay? Call at any hour, and we’ll look it up for you. There’s no charge.
Encounter any difficulty when you’re checking in to one of our more than 10,000 participating hotels? Simply call the number at the top of your CheckINN card to get it solved.
Hotel full when you walk in without a reservation? The Traveler Support Center can help you find alternatives nearby that provide the discounted CheckINN Direct member rate.
Or maybe you’ve in unfamiliar territory and you don’t know which hotels along your route are CheckINN Direct hotels. For $1.95 per hotel lookup, you’ll instantly get the information you need, including hotel address, phone number and CheckINN Direct member rate.
Don’t forget – you can find that information anytime online by logging in to your CheckINN Direct account. No charge, of course. You also can download a directory by state that identifies participating hotels for you.
For those times when you’re simply swamped and need reservations (but don’t have time to take care of it yourself), the TSC will do it for $4.95 per reservation.
The Traveler Support Center always has your back for workforce lodging when you check in with your business savings card from CheckINN Direct, all day every day.
Tags: 24 hour travel support, CheckINN card, CLC Hotels For Workforce Travelers, discounted, member rate, reservations, Traveler Support Center, workforce lodging, Workforce Travel
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Friday, July 30th, 2010
If your workforce travels allow you to take your pet with you, don’t forget the common-sense rules of summertime travel. Here are some timely reminders now that summer’s heat is at its height, including some tips from the Wall Street Journal’s Driver’s Seat blog:
- Make lots of water available. If you’re feeling the heat, no doubt your pet is, too. Bring your own water containers in your vehicle rather than depend on having a fountain or other water source available. Making sure there’s fresh cool water on hand can make the difference between a healthy pet and one that’s suffering.
- Temps in your parked vehicle get way too hot way too quick in the summertime. Don’t leave your pet untended in a closed vehicle. It can be a fatal mistake, literally. Even leaving a pet in a vehicle with the window opened just a little doesn’t work. Temps can get above 100 inside a vehicle in almost no time.
- Sidewalks, streets and roadways bake in the sun, with concrete and asphalt surfaces holding the heat long after evening falls. Make sure your pet’s paws are protected when it’s time for a stretch, run or other exercise.
- Did you know that it’s dangerous to let your pet ride with its head out the window? The practice can cause inner-ear damage. There’s also a possibility that flying debris could strike your pet.
If you’re wondering if the hotel where you’re staying with your CheckINN Card allows pets, check the hotel amenity list when you log in to your CheckINN Direct account online.
Go to the Hotel Search page, use the Find A Hotel page, and select View Details for a hotel when the results are listed. Popular amenities are noted, including whether pets are permitted in hotel rooms.
Enjoy the rest of your summer travels!
Friday, July 30th, 2010
If a book by your bedside is standard whether you’re home or on the road for workforce travel: listen up. The New York Times reports that sales of e-books for Amazon’s Kindle e-reader are outpacing sales of the Web site’s hardcover books.
For every 100 hardback books Amazon sold over the past three months, it sold 143 Kindle books, the Times reported. But in the last 4 weeks alone, the digital sales were 180 for every 100 hardcovers.
That prompted one book publishing expert quoted in the article to predict that within 10 years fewer than 25 percent of the books purchased will be hardcover copies.
There’s no question more readers are e-readers these days, and many of us have oooh’d and aaah’d over friends and co-workers e-readers in the past year. What once was a novelty is more mainstream today – one current ad for the portable device pictures beachgoers lounging by the ocean with their e-readers.
Still, for those business travelers whose bag isn’t packed until a book is tucked in the corner or whose budget is barely managing a couple of used paperbacks these days, e-readers remain a “maybe, someday” purchase.
Just keep pulling out your business lodging discount CheckINN Card – your member savings at hotels across the country just might add up to help your e-dreams come true.
Friday, July 23rd, 2010
Listings of hotel amenities one day may identify plug-ins for electric vehicle batteries, a standard that could be here sooner than we think. The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed a bill July 21 that provides $3.9 billion in funding for electric car infrastructure in targeted communities, Reuters reports.
The goal is to turn half of the U.S. cars and trucks on the road by 2030 into electric vehicles. Estimates are that this would reduce U.S. dependency on oil for fuel by about one-third. It could have positive impacts on workforce travel, too, depending on vehicle range and how quickly charging stations become as common as today’s gas stations.
The funding would promote vehicle charging stations, provide incentives for drivers to buy the vehicles and fund research.
Solar energy got attention from the same committee this week, with a bill cleared that would hook up solar energy systems on at least 10 million properties over the next 11 years. Businesses and households would receive rebates, loans and other incentives in return for purchasing and installing the systems.
It’s unsure whether this electric vehicle bill ends up as part of the broader energy and climate legislation that is being worked to reach the Senate floor before the Congressional recess in early August.
However, it’s becoming more likely that electric vehicles will be a key segment on the road sooner rather than later.
Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
Corporate Lodging Consultants (CLC) will be at Booth 2167 at the 2010 National Business Travel Association’s International Convention and Exposition in Houston, Texas Aug. 8-11. That same week, we’ll move to Pittsburgh, Pa., where you can find us at Booth 1517 at Coal-Gen 2010 Aug.10-12.
We head to major industry trade shows to spread the word about our workforce travel savings and solutions. As the nation’s leading negotiator of workforce lodging rates, CLC obtains rates that are lower than companies can get on their own – typically 20%-40% less. That’s due to CLC’s consolidated purchasing power of 9 million room nights worth nearly half a billion dollars a year at over 10,000 hotels.
Any company with crews, drivers, field service representatives, maintenance teams and other employees on the road can benefit from the low negotiated hotel rates CLC offers.
Company travel administrators who stop by our booth learn more about CLC’s products and services to support their workforce travelers – solutions that save any size business money while improving visibility to their lodging spend.
Smaller companies have the option of using CheckINN Direct with its savings card. Employees simply present the savings card when checking in to participating hotel locations across the country to receive the discounted member rate.
Larger organizations benefit from CLC’s savings card combined with a broader suite of workforce travel solutions, such as custom hotel contracting, streamlined hotel payment, contracted rate compliance, cost coding and detailed reporting.
Nearly 500 large organizations and over 10,000 smaller companies from the trucking, retail, rail, staffing, energy, food service and other industries depend on CLC to provide savings and efficiency to their workforce travel programs.
If you’re in the neighborhood – or already are registered to attend the NBTA Show Aug. 8-11 or Coal-Gen 2010 Aug. 10-12 – stop by and say hello. Who knows what you might save?
Wednesday, July 21st, 2010
A new DriveCam Inc. study, reported by Fleet Owner, serves as a head’s up for workforce travelers on the road for business. The research identifies key seasonal, weekly and hourly indicators when collisions are more likely.
According to results, watch out for long-haul trucking collisions and near-misses on Tuesdays and Fridays, identified as the most likely days for them to occur.
The study shows that long-haul trucking experiences many fewer collisions and near-collisions in the first six months of the year. But starting in July and continuing through November, the rate peaks at 18% and remains more than 14% until December.
Long-haul trucking had a collision/near collision rate that was 5% higher, on average, than industries such as construction, energy, distribution, waste, transit, local distribution and telecommunications.
As for time of day, collision rates are highest between 3-4 p.m. and 8-9 p.m. Rates plummet to lowest levels between 11 p.m.-9 a.m.
Does that mean that more long-haul trucking companies depend on CheckINN Direct for their workforce lodging during those hours?
Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
Looking for additional ways to cut your business expenses beyond saving on hotels? Some great money- and energy-saving pointers are available from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Many of the tips found on the blog for home applications can be applied to small businesses as well. Here’s just a sampling of what you can find:
- Lowering the cost of your air conditioning bill
- Choosing the most efficient and effective light bulbs
- Avoiding heat buildup during hot weather
- Making glass doors energy-efficient
- Tips on chimneys, landscaping, window treatments and more
Don’t forget to check on the status of state-by-state rebates for energy-efficient appliances. Some states are still accepting applications and awarding funds after purchases of Energy Star appliances are.
If you’re a CheckINN Direct member, obviously you’re interested in saving on business lodging for your workforce travel. But with everyone needing a little help with business – and home – expenses these days, why stop there?
Monday, July 19th, 2010
High temps – and higher humidity – might be seen as all part of a day’s work for drivers on the road and crews in the field during July and August, but don’t forget that heat is the number one weather-related killer.
According to NOAA’s National Weather Service, over 1,500 people die in the U.S. each year from excessive heat.
That’s more than from hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and lightning combined.
If your business travel has you outside much over the next several weeks, you could be at risk of heat exhaustion or, even more seriously, heat stroke. It’s important to know the risks, causes and effects of these illnesses
When you’re not in the comfortable confines of your business lodging (saving 20% to 40%, by the way, at more than 9,000 hotel locations across the country), follow these timely reminders so that the summer sun doesn’t put you out of business:
- Drink plenty of fluids, even if you’re not aware that you’re thirsty. (Sorry, alcohol doesn’t count for good hydration when you’re hot).
- Restrict heaviest activities to the coolest times of the day.
- Keep out of direct sun – sunburn makes cooling your body even more difficult.
- Watch for signs of heat exhaustion in yourself and your co-workers, including weakness, heavy sweating, pale and cool skin. If those symptoms occur, get the individual out of the sun, apply cool clothes and provide sips of water unless the person feels nauseous.
- If heatstroke is suspected, seek immediate medical attention. A sufferer will have hot, dry skin with rapid pulse and a body temperature of 106 or higher. It’s also possible loss of consciousness will occur.
And where does that term “dog days of summer” come from, anyway? The answer is in the stars.
Friday, July 16th, 2010
Arizona freeways and highways no longer have speed-enforcement cameras in service. The Arizona Republic reports the photo-radar was shut off at 11:59 p.m. July 15, ending a two-year initiative to slow down traffic and – according to detractors – raise revenue for the state.
But don’t put the pedal to the metal yet. The state’s Department of Public Safety officers are on the lookout for an expected spike in aggressive driving, and many metropolitan Phoenix intersections will continue to take photos of drivers who run red lights or travel at excessive speed. Those live cameras operated by local governments aren’t going anywhere, and the pictures will continue to generate traffic tickets to offenders.
As for the 78 freeway and highway cameras, some say the effort has been disappointing in effect and execution. While more than 700,000 speeding drivers were sent tickets the first year, many offenders didn’t pay within the required three-month time limit. Meanwhile, process servers were so inundated that those who didn’t pay weren’t always served.
In fact, the number of tickets issued should have generated about $900M the first year. Only about a third of that amount was collected.
Detractors maintained the cameras at best were a distraction and, at worst, a violation of drivers’ rights. Proponents believed the cameras forced drivers to reduce their speed to the posted levels, preventing accidents and saving lives.
State officials indicate that process servers will continue to issue tickets through October. While no longer recording, the cameras won’t be completely removed from the freeways until mid-September.
But slow down to the speed limit, anyway; we want you to arrive safely at your CheckINN Direct lodging – wherever it may be.
Friday, July 16th, 2010
If you’re a truck driver wondering whether the BP oil spill will cause diesel fuel prices to soar, here’s the answer: Evidently not. The national average price of diesel actually has dropped every week since May 17.
A Fleet Owner article, written by executive editor David Cullen, provides more details and analysts’ takes on the situation.
One analyst predicts that refiners’ markups will stay low as long as the recession-driven surplus remains. Prices will follow demand, as always, and that’s down a little more than expected.
While the BP spill has captured headlines for months as an environmental disaster, one analyst notes that its supply implications represent a “drop in the bucket” for total supply and that its impact on prices may not be a factor until the middle of this decade.
Bottom line: Truckers are getting a welcome break on diesel prices as they hit the road for workforce travel.