The Vancouver Sun
By Mitch Joel
Sept. 28, 2011
While it’s nice to think that Skype, WebEx or Facetime removes the need for business travel, nothing could be further from the truth. Granted, if all you’re having is a status meeting, those can easily be replaced by technology, but whether it’s a conference, presentation or pitch, no business professional will argue that there is not tremendous value in pressing the flesh. The thing is, that technology can now enhance the business travel experience. As brutal as travel is (and, as a Super Elite member, I can tell you that the road is hard, cold and miserable), it has changed dramatically over the years. Yes, the post 9/11 travel experience is tougher — longer lines, rules and limitations, etc., but for most businesses, it is a necessity.
One of the easiest ways to enhance your business travel experience is to heed the words of the Boy Scouts: Be prepared. Regardless of whether you make many trips to the United States or not, do yourself a favour and get a Nexus card. The pre-screening process is a simple meeting and once you are accepted, you will never have to wait in line at customs again. The advent of the retinal scan machines makes clearing customs a complete pleasure (can you imagine that?). Nexus cardholders also have a priority line for security on domestic flights. For those who travel frequently, getting to the front of the line at both security and customs removes almost 50-per-cent of the travel stress. If you have a smartphone, make sure to download the app for the airlines you fly with. Most of these airline apps allow you to not only be notified of flight delays and airline schedules, but they also allow you to check in and receive your digital boarding pass. This can usually be done up to 24 hours before your flight. The magic here is that you can also choose the most ideal seat. Being checked-in also means that you do not have to deal with lines at the airline counter (another massive frustration for travellers).