Five Holiday Travel Tips from Frequent Business Traveler Editorial Director Jonathan Spira and AmTrav President Craig Fichtelberg

By Paul Riegler on 14 December 2017
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When it comes to holiday travel, it pays to consult the experts.

Craig Fichtelberg is president of AmTrav, a travel and technology company that helps companies manage business travel. It built its own booking tool and its technology also powers

Our own expert, FBT Editorial Director Jonathan Spira, sat down with Craig to discuss holiday travel best practices and here’s what the two came back with.

1.) Use videoconferencing tools such as Skype or Facetime instead of traveling.
Both agreed that when what seems to be the entire world heading to the airport, that the smart move is to travel at a different time and hold necessary meetings using online tools instead. If travel is unavoidable, pick the lightest travel day possible

2.) Avoid connecting flights.
It may sound obvious but many travelers fail to take into consideration that each takeoff and landing can delay a flight when inclement weather strikes. Always go for the non-stop option where available, Craig reminds, and remember, as Jonathan has pointed out so many times, that a “direct” flight is not the same as a “non-stop” flight.

3.) Don’t check bags.
This is something Craig and Jonathan both agreed on but for different reasons. Craig points out that it’s far easier for travelers to change flights without having checked bags while Jonathan merely suffers from separation anxiety.

4.) Avoid airport parking lots.
Airport parking facilities are notoriously overcrowded as are their shuttle vans during the holidays. If a friend or relative can’t drop you off, try a taxi or an app-based ride-hailing service.

5.) Make use of the lounge.
Lounges, Craig points out, are an oasis that are intended to offer a better travel experience with complimentary food and a place to recharge oneself and one’s devices. Jonathan suggests using LoungeBuddy, an app that locates lounges travelers may access for free based on airline status or the type of credit card held. In addition, when it comes to irregular operations, Jonathan reminds us that lounge staff sometimes hold magic powers in rebooking travelers and lines will be shorter than what the great unwashed masses will face.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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