Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio April
By Sarah J.F. Braley
SAFETY IN NUMBERS
Travelers welcome security measures&IRS backs off
frequent-flyer miles' more
All hassles aside& In
February, the travel reservation Web site Travelocity (www.travelocity.com)
surveyed nearly 3,400 members, all of whom had traveled between
Jan. 4 and Feb. 3, to gauge their feelings about airport security.
The majority said, “bring it on.”
On the topic of travel ID cards, 76 percent of those polled
strongly support or somewhat support a voluntary system for cards
containing encrypted information such as a photograph,
fingerprints, flight history and/or facial and eye mapping.
More than two-thirds (70 percent) support giving federal
law-enforcement agencies access to all travel reservations. Yet,
citing privacy issues, 26 percent are opposed to giving access to
“personally identifiable travel information” such as itineraries
with names attached.
What makes these travelers feel secure? More than half are
comforted by bomb-sniffing dogs inspecting luggage; 47 percent also
cited manual baggage searches, and 43 percent said allowing only
ticketed passengers past security checkpoints helps calm their
Tracking travelers. Reacting to corporate
concerns over the security of international travel, Rosenbluth
International (www.rosenbluth.com) has launched a technology product
called the Global Security Suite.
Among the features is the ability to send custom news and travel
alerts related to individual itineraries to any e-mail-enabled
wireless device. The alerts are sent out from one week before
through the end of the trip. The system also automatically submits
the traveler’s itinerary (name, hotel, air travel information and
trip dates) to the local U.S. Embassy.
Another component of the system offers a Web-based global
database with overviews on every country, including political
structure, monetary policy, business conditions, safety and more.
An additional searchable database holds significant events whose
anniversaries might fall during a trip.Coming soon will be an
interactive travel locator, compiling information on all employees
currently traveling in one place.
Fly for free. The IRS has announced that
frequent- flyer miles garnered during business travel and redeemed
for leisure travel or promotional products are not considered
income and don’t have to be reported on April 15.
Basically, the agency admits it doesn’t want to deal with the
paperwork, citing numerous technical and administrative issues
involved in calculating income from frequent-flyer miles.
This does not mean, however, that the IRS won’t take up the
issue again in the future, but for now, those free flights really
Best sellers. Many travelers have discovered
convenient products like wrinkle-proof clothes offered by the
Travelsmith catalog and Web site (www.travelsmith.com).
Here are the company’s 10 most popular goods:
• Coolmax Piqué separates, designed to keep you
comfortable and dry (shirt, $39; pants, $49)
• The Packable Panama hat, which springs back
into shape ($37.50-$39.50)
• The Indispensable Black Dress in
Supplex/Lycra fabric, which never needs ironing ($79-$89)
• Suede-soft microfiber raincoats (jacket,
$149; trench coat, $179; raincoat, $189)
• Tencel travel denim jeans, in stretchy fabric
• The Ultimate Travel Skirt, made of
poly-Supplex twill ($59)
• Expandable 25-inch Pullman suitcases, with
built-in garment bag ($259)
• Men’s Explorer’s cargo pants ($54)
• Tropical microfiber clothes that keep you
cool (blazer, $159; jacket, $149; shorts, $59; pants, $79)
• The Great Escape shirt made of cotton and
polyester, which doesn’t require dry cleaning or ironing ($59)
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