The Travel Industry from the Eyes of an Intern

What is one of the only industries that allow employees to create once in a lifetime memories for a living in some of the most unforgettable places on Earth? While this question may stump some, the answer is the incentive travel industry – a fast-paced yet rewarding career for those organized individuals who love to plan meetings, events and trips of all kinds.

In the past few years, any student who is fresh out of college will hear how tough the job market is and the dismal chances of procuring a fun and lively career. Well stop that negative thinking right there, because according to the New York Times, as of April 2013, about 8 percent, or 7,000 of the total of 88,000 jobs added by employers that year were in the travel industry. These numbers are extremely promising for determined youths who would like to experience this hectic, yet alluring path. Devoting time and energy into this industry has the potential to pay great dividends for the future, as corporations are feeling a greater need to compete on a global scale which has called for greater investment into business travel. This directly translates into a more optimistic outlook for motivated students and graduates alike as they are preparing to enter “the real world” as the Federal Bureau of Labor states that the travel industry is one of the top 10 largest employers of middle-class wage earners.

As an intern, there are a few invaluable lessons that can be learned especially in such a dynamic and ever changing industry:

  • Understand that help is always available when needed and that it is important to ask the appropriate questions, but a sense of autonomy and responsibility through diving in and forging your own path is of equal importance.
  • Patience is key and do not have an expectation of entitlement or instant gratification.
  • Organization is a must. Also, never fail to overlook even the smallest details – those can make all the difference to a client.
  • Flexibility in helping others and taking initiative without having to be asked shows willingness to be a team player and ultimately promotes a more efficient workplace.
  • Creativity in solving problems and clearly communicating opinions and proper solutions shows confidence and a sense of ownership for decision making.

As an intern, it is always a frightening prospect to start a new job, especially one in which very few 20 something year olds have any experience at all. While beginning a career can be overwhelming and nerve-wracking from the start, the incentive travel industry offers a wide array of options for any ambitious adolescent. Starting a brand new journey is exhilarating, yet intimidating, but I hope that through these suggestions and testimonials from a real life intern, it inspires others to accept the challenge and never let the idea of immense change hinder anyone’s abilities and potential. Contact JNR Incorporated if you would like to get a greater insight into this unique industry.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Andy Tallon

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

2014’s Top 10 Best Cities for Employee Recognition

Are you trying to draw savvy employees to your company? Companies with engaged employees have a significant advantage over their competitors. Not only do they see increased productivity and high retention rates, but an engaging workplace culture pulls in the industry’s top talent. Who wouldn’t want to work at a business that visibly values its employees, fosters a vibrant work environment and makes employee appreciation a main focus?

Forbes Magazine reported that a study released by Quantum Workplace revealed which cities have the best employee engagement rates. The annual list, which draws on responses from nearly 5,000 companies representing 400,000 employees, asks employees about how often they feel they are recognized with incentives such as professional development, time off, tangible rewards, and verbal praise.

So who is doing it right?

The Top 10 Best Cities for Employee Recognition

1. Huntsville, AL (Percent of Satisfied Employees: 73)
2. Nashville, TN (Percent of Satisfied Employees: 69)
3. Austin, TX (Percent of Satisfied Employees: 68)
4. San Antonio, TX (Percent of Satisfied Employees: 68)
5. Washington, D.C. (Percent of Satisfied Employees: 68)
6. Atlanta, GA (Percent of Satisfied Employees: 67)
7. Charlotte, NC (Percent of Satisfied Employees: 67)
8. Orlando, FL (Percent of Satisfied Employees: 67)
9. Raleigh, NC (Percent of Satisfied Employees: 67)
10. Tampa, FL (Percent of Satisfied Employees: 67)

 

Employee Recognition Huntsville
Huntsville, AL

Before you buy a ticket to Huntsville, AL in attempts to snag some happy employees, stop and think about how you can start increasing employee recognition with your existing employees. Understanding why these cities rank so highly on the list and applying this knowledge to your organization is invaluable.

Discover how JNR can improve your employee engagement levels with unique incentives such as incentive travel, prepaid reward cards, merchandise and other cutting edge programs by sending us an email at jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com or giving us a call at 949.476.2788.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Kelly Woolsey

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Travel Industry Spotlight: Baggage Allowance Fees

What were once viewed as loose guidelines to make travelling easier and keep the customer happy are now tightening as airlines and frequent flyers see the value of unbundled tickets. ‘Baggage Allowance’ – two words referring to airline luggage policies that vary dramatically between different carriers as consistent industry standards are non-existent.

It was once common practice for airlines to encourage tourists to participate in the activities that their countries were known for, including sports. For this reason, the first item of sports equipment brought onto the plane (skis, golf clubs, fishing equipment, etc.) were free or cheaper than an additional bag. Within the past few years, airlines have gradually stopped this practice and passengers can now end up facing exorbitant costs in unexpected fees if they do not research restrictions before heading to the airport.

While strict enforcement of luggage allowance, in both weight and dimensions, has been common in Europe for the past few years, the emergence of similar practices are becoming common place in other parts of the world.

According to the Bureau of Transportation, domestic airlines within the U.S. alone earned $3.35 billion in luggage fees last year, increasing by an estimated 89% in the last three years according to IdeaWorks. These fees result in big bucks for the airlines’ bottom line and it looks like they will continue to increase.

Source: Market Watch

It is time to take a look at the different practices from some of the main airlines across the world.

Air Canada

Checked Baggage: (standard economy fare): One item, 50 lbs limit

Fee for excess baggage: Between $20 and $100
Carry-on luggage: One bag, 22 lbs limit and one personal item, 22 lbs limit
Sporting equipment: Depends on the item. Some have handling fees.
Music equipment: Can be checked if it meets size and weight restrictions

 

Air New Zealand

Checked Baggage: (standard economy fare): two pieces, 50 lbs per piece

Fee for excess baggage: $150 and above
Carry-on luggage: One item, 15 lbs
Sporting equipment: No charge if within permitted baggage allowance otherwise standard excess charges apply

Music equipment: No charge if within permitted baggage allowance otherwise standard excess charges apply. Subject to oversize / overweight charge if applicable

 

American Airlines

Checked Baggage: (standard economy fare): Charges may apply depending on destination

Fee for excess baggage: Overweight baggage $100 per piece, oversized baggage $200 per piece
Carry-on luggage: One bag and one personal item
Sporting equipment: Additional charges depending on the item
Music equipment: No charge if within permitted baggage allowance otherwise standard excess charges apply

 

British Airways

Checked Baggage: (standard economy fare): One item, 50 lbs limit

Fee for excess baggage: Between $150 and $450
Carry-on luggage: One bag and one personal item, 51 lbs limit
Sporting equipment: Between $150 and $300
Music equipment: “Special tariff” not disclosed online

 

China Southern

Checked Baggage: (standard economy fare): One item, 50 lbs limit

Fee for excess baggage: $20 per piece

Carry-on luggage: Limit 11 lbs
Sporting equipment: Not disclosed online

Music equipment: Not disclosed online

 

Delta

Checked Baggage: (standard economy fare): One item, 50 lbs limit, between $0 and $25

Fee for excess baggage: Second bag, between $0 and $100, third bag, between $100 and $285, plus special handling and additional fees for bags that do not meet size and weight restrictions
Carry-on luggage: One bag and one personal item
Sporting equipment: Between $0 and $150 depending on the item
Music equipment: No charge if within permitted baggage allowance otherwise standard excess charges apply

 

Emirates

Checked Baggage: (standard economy fare): Two items, 50 lbs each

Fee for excess baggage: between $123 and $175 per additional piece

Carry-on luggage: One piece, 15 lbs limit
Sporting equipment: Not disclosed online

Music equipment: Not disclosed online

 

Fiji Airlines

Checked Baggage: (standard economy fare): One item, 50 lbs limit

Fee for excess baggage: Oversized and special handling fee $100, $120 per extra piece, $50 surcharge for each piece weighing 50lbs to 66 lbs

Carry-on luggage: One piece, 15 lbs limit (not uncommon to have your carry-on weighed and in the Nadi Airport it can be weighed at check-in and again when going through security gates)
Sporting equipment: Additional fees for sporting equipment even if within checked allowance

Music equipment: Not disclosed online

 

Japan Airlines

Checked Baggage: (standard economy fare): Two items, 50 lbs each

Fee for excess baggage: between $60 and $450

Carry-on luggage: One piece, 22 lbs limit
Sporting equipment: between $100 and $150

Music equipment: Not disclosed online

 

Lufthansa

Checked Baggage: (standard economy fare): One item, 50 lbs limit

Fee for excess baggage: Between $150 and $450
Carry-on luggage: One item, 15 lbs limit
Sporting equipment: No charge if within permitted baggage allowance otherwise standard excess charges apply
Music equipment: Not disclosed online

 

Qantas

Checked Baggage: (standard economy fare): Two items, 50 lbs limit

Fee for excess baggage: $175 per extra piece, $75 heavy charge
Carry-on luggage: One item, 15 lbs
Sporting equipment: No charge if within permitted baggage allowance otherwise standard excess charges apply

Music equipment: Not disclosed online

 

South West

Checked Baggage: (standard economy fare): Two items, 50 lbs limit

Fee for excess baggage: $75 for a 3rd checked item
Carry-on luggage: One bag and one personal item
Sporting equipment: Depends on the item

Music equipment: Can be carryon or checked if it meets size and weight restrictions

 

Virgin Atlantic

Checked Baggage: (standard economy fare): One item, 50 lbs limit

Fee for excess baggage: first extra bag $100, overweight $60, 70 lbs limit

Carry-on luggage: One piece, 22 lbs limit
Sporting equipment: One free piece, 50 lbs limit

Music equipment: Not disclosed online

 

Virgin Australia

Checked Baggage: (standard economy fare): Two items, 50 lbs limit per item

Fee for excess baggage: first extra bag $150, overweight $100, 70 lbs limit

Carry-on luggage: One piece, 22 lbs limit
Sporting equipment: Can be included as part of your check baggage allowance, certain sporting equipment is charged at 50% of the full excess baggage rate

Music equipment: Can be carry-on or checked if it meets size and weight restrictions

 

As you can see from this varied group of airlines, there are no industry standards and if you arrive at the airport naive to the baggage policy applying to your flight, you could be asked to pay over $100 to see that your baggage makes it onboard.

  • Before you fly, check your baggage allowance with the airline you are travelling with. Airlines often change and update baggage information.
  • JNR takes no responsibility for incorrect information or the baggage policies of airlines
  • This information was taken from individual airline websites and based on similar destinations

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Stephanie Thomas

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

 

Photo: “Budget Airways @ Changi Airport, Singapore” by William Cho is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Why Travel Incentives? Beyond the Research

I recently had a client ask me: “How do you know that Travel Incentives really work?”

There are statistics, and lots of them, proving the value of travel as a motivator and reward mechanism. See Incentive Research Foundation for more details on that.

But I could tell he wasn’t convinced with the “data” I presented. So I went about it another way. So simple, but it seemed to be effective. See if it resonates with you…

Allow your mind to picture a specific time in your life that you were happy. Think of a couple of times like this.

I would place a bet that you’ve pictured yourself somewhere with someone. As much as we also enjoy those moments alone on the couch watching TV, our best times in life are usually spent with others. And very often, they are spent somewhere special.

Did you picture a trip somewhere? A beautiful beach or exciting zip line? Maybe you pictured getting married? Having a baby? Accomplishing a goal? Playing with your kids?

When developing an Incentive or Meeting Travel Program, I always remember that we have the privileged job of designing experiences for people that involve putting them somewhere with someone. I know it’s these moments in people’s lives that have the power to stay with them and perhaps make a difference in their outlook.

I believe our industry does more than only educate, motivate, train and reward. We create memories and joy when we do it right. Now without sounding too lofty, when we take measurement of our impact on the world, I for one am proud to be part of an industry that makes people happy.

Oh . . .I can’t forget the strong close . . . .call JNR to help you create memorable travel programs!!  Really, we will make you and your participants happy.

Contact us by emailing jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com, giving us a call at 949.476.2788 or visiting the Incentive Travel section of our website here or blog titled “Incentive Travel May Be The Key to Engaged Employees” here for more information.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Vicki Kern – Vice President, Travel Planning

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.