Showing posts from July, 2013

Travel Tip: Southwest Airlines is for Regionals

After eight months in this job I have gotten to know several people in this company and others who do what I do.  They may be in Sales, Marketing, Nurse Consulting or whatever field, but one thing they have in common is that they travel all the time.  The other thing they have in common is that Southwest is their airline of choice.  Why? Change Fees!  Southwest advertises heavily that they don't charge bag fees.  However most professional travelers rarely check luggage so that doesn't affect our expenses.  What really does hit our companies' pockets is the $150 per change fee that every other airline imposes if you change after your trip is ticketed.  In order to keep our expenses (and that of our clients) low we need to book as far in advance as possible.  However you never know what is going to come up and it is not unusual to change 30 - 50% of your travel arrangements post-ticketing.  The last time I tried to fly American for one project I had three $150 change fees

Travel Tip: IHG Rewards Club

For years I have been a frequent customer of the Holiday Inn brand of hotels.  Now before you turn up your nose know this: almost all their properties have been remodeled.  There are still some terrible ones (Louisville - North in Clarksville IN) but by and large everything from the Express to the Crowne Plazas are newly constructed or renovated in the last five years. But that isn't my point. These are owned by International Hotel Group or IHG.  IHG appears to be moving their customer loyalty programs into one branded Rewards Club and because they have nine brands there is enough critical mass to staff a 24-hour, 7-day per week customer line.  So as a Holiday Inn Priority Club member I can call and get a live person anytime. And what does said live person do? They find hotels nearby and make reservations for you on the spot. Several times I have ended up in a city only to find that the travel office or the client has failed to properly make my reservations.  Sometimes I

George Zimmerman and the "Low Ready" Solution

This is off-topic for me; it has nothing to do with HR.  It does have to do with a passionate belief of mine: that people have the right to protect themselves and their loved ones from harm. The exercise of that right, I believe, should include the measured and rational use of guns. In exercising this right I have received Conceal and Carry training and permits in two states. Believing as I do in the Conceal and Carry program, the Treyvon Martin case in Florida has grieved me considerably.  It highlighted to the nation, and to the delight of gun control advocates, the exceptionally rare occasion of a permit holder being involved in an unwise use of their weapon.  Permit holders are the most law abiding of citizens and almost never engage in an unjustified shooting. You could argue all day over whether the Martin shooting was or wasn't justified; people who go on about this all-day have no good information and just add their own prejudices about race and guns to the noise. That is

The Healthcare Reform Delay: What it Means for You

Yesterday's announcement by the administration, combined by a new approach by Congressional Republicans, changed the game completely for Healthcare Reform (HCR).  The White House, almost without warning to anyone, delayed by one year the key provision requiring employers to provide affordable coverage to all full-time employees (defined as 30 hours per week or more) or pay a fine. It was to take effect January 1, 2014 and now has been delayed until that same date in 2015. Most of the heat around implementation was coming from the law's quirky definition of a full-time employee.  The issues are: The definition of full-time as 30 hours is at odds with the Wage and Hour definition for purposes of calculating overtime at 40 hours. The definition only applies to medical coverage, leaving benefits administrators a choice to administer coverage differently for medical or adopt the extra expense of changing eligibility rules for dental, vision, etc... The 30-hour rule is not for