Corporate travel in Alaska: rich in private, commercial, and collaborative options for business travelers.

Author:Anderson, Tom
Position:SPECIAL SECTION: Conventions & Corporate Travel
 
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Business executives in the Lower 48 states with meetings to attend, whether in a community within the state or in another continental state, enjoy ease in booking a private or commercial flight, a rental car or executive limo service, or even a train to promptly make the destination. The processes are fairly straightforward and accessible, options of transport abound, and everything seems to flow without major obstacles and in light of many alternatives.

Juxtapose standard US travel to the weather rigors and geographic complexity in Alaska, and suddenly it is clear why managed travel companies and customer service representatives for flight, vehicle, and waterway travel earn their money.

Think fog, high winds, and ice storms--and then add large pesky mountains in the way when trying to get somewhere. Even the United States Environmental Protection Agency's website states, "Alaska is a huge state with a wide range of climatic and ecological conditions."

In Alaska, "Your flight has been canceled because of weather," is truly part of aviation nomenclature.

When it comes to traveling city to city in the 49th state, if the communities are along the road system, options for businesses spread across the spectrum. The most popular is a regional air service or a national air carrier like Alaska Airlines. If time is not of the essence, which would be rare in standard business practices that value and assiduously track time spent commuting, options such as a rental car, executive transport service (bus, limo, or car/ truck), and even the Alaska Railroad can get corporate employees and guests to and from meetings and events. Traveling in the Southeast region between coastal communities, if there's extra time, the Alaska Marine Highway System is an option. It has been operating year-round since 1963, servicing more than thirty communities in Alaska and, in the past ten years, carrying an average of 312,000 passengers and 98,000 vehicles per year.

But how does one book a flight or rental vehicle or seat on a ferry? Perhaps more important, what is the easiest way to manage corporate travel in such a weather-fickle state?

Travel Management

Corporations in Alaska recognize the value of hands-on travel management. Corporate management typically assigns internal staff to supervise and secure travel logistics themselves or outsources to a travel company whereby the corporate staff member serves as a liaison to the travel consultant in contouring the right...

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