Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Business Travel Jobs - Getting to Grips With CRS

When you are searching through the wealth of commercial and business travel jobs out there, you will more than likely come across the sentence 'working knowledge of CRS essential', or something to this effect. But to what is that acronym referring? It could be the Cambridge Reference Sequence or Cornered Rat Software, but within the travel industry it is much more likely to be referring to a 'computer reservations system'. If you are looking to apply for commercial or business travel jobs, then a working knowledge of the most popular CRS's is imperative.

What is it?

A CRS is a computerised system used by travel agents to conduct transactions and store information about travel. It began as a system purely for airlines, but soon became a useful tool for travel agents in both commercial and business travel jobs. The larger CRS's now encompass hotels and rental cars as well as air travel, and are known as Global Distribution Systems (GDS).

There are a variety of CRS's used across the travel industry. Here is a rundown on a few of the well-known ones.

Galileo

This is one of the best-known computer reservation systems. It is owned by Travelport (a member of IATA, OTA and SITA) and in addition to being able to make airline reservations you can also use Galileo to book cruises, trains, car rentals and accommodation. Galileo provide such products as Targeted Availability Messaging, which gives travel agents the ability to make bookings directly from within a hotel's message bank, and hotels can deliver marketing messages directly to the agents.

Worldspan

This computer reservation system has also been owned by Travelport since 2006. It has excellent e-commerce capabilities for people in both commercial and business travel jobs, and offers the ability to store information and also book and make reservations for airline tickets, rental cars, accommodation and trains. Worldspan also offers major airlines IT services and product solutions. One such product is the Worldspan interactive maps, which was created to help agents with their bookings. Worldspan has ditched the usual textual booking system and use interactive maps displaying detailed and 'real time' property information, photos and availability. Agents can also book properties through this system and receive instant confirmations.

Amadeus

With its headquarters in Spain, Amadeus is a CRS enabling the sale of tickets for many different airlines. It can also be used to book train travel, car rental, cruises, ferries and accommodation. Originally, this particular CRS was created in 1987 as an alliance between Air France, Lufthansa, Iberia Airlines and Scandinavian Airlines, and today it has one of the highest number of bookings running through its system worldwide. The system assists those in commercial and business travel jobs in all areas of international and domestic travel, including fare-searching, reservations, ticketing, itineraries, airline schedules and passenger check in and departure.

Sabre

This CRS is part of the Sabre holdings group and is part of Sabre's Travel Network division. It hosts Alaska Airlines, Mesa Airlines, American Airlines, WestJet, Cape Air, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Midwest Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. Sabre have a range of travel products which enable those employed in both commercial and business travel jobs to be able to handle high-volume bookings quickly and easily. Some of these products can help agencies to connect customers to up-to-date travel information through the use of wireless and mobile technology.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Business Travel Packing List - Essential Gadgets to Bring on Your Business Trips

When you are packing for business travel, your goal is two-fold. You want to pack light and you want to make sure you have equipment that can boost your productivity and save you time. This article contains four products you need to look at.

You need to get a Roaming SIM Card- If you get an International Roaming SIM card, you will save a fortune, especially if you are a regular international traveller. You can keep in touch with colleagues, family and friends easily from one number. If you need immediate contact with people back home, for example if important business decisions must be made instantly, then this is the best option for you when it comes to mobile communications and avoiding roaming charges. Roaming SIM cards work in nearly 200 countries and you can save up to 70% on your costs. If you use your home phone you will find that you also have to pay to receive calls. With a roaming SIM card you will avoid these costs in many countries.

You need to get a tablet device- You should travel light. What is the point of carrying excess stuff if you don't need it? Do yourself a favour and get an iPad or something that uses Android. This device gives you access to the Internet so you can check emails and it is an entertainment device. You can read eBooks, you can play games or you can watch movies. You can also store important files for work meetings and presentations. There are plenty of apps that allow you to create and edit Word Documents, PowerPoint Presentations and Excel Spreadsheets. If you get a tablet device you should be able to leave the laptop at home.

You need to get a Smart phone with WiFI Access- If you don't have a smart phone with WiFI access then you will spend more money then you have to. You should get a smart phone with WiFI access. That way you can access the Internet at the many free WiFI networks you find littered through major metropolitan cities. You can also store music on them and carry it as an MP3 player. There are also hundreds of thousands of apps available on smart phones that can improve your business or your life. There are exercise apps, language apps and all-round general productivity apps.

You need to get a Skype App on your devices- Skype, or other VoIP providers, can make it cheap and easy to keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues back home. To utilise VoIP, you will either need an Internet cafe or a Smart Phone with inbuilt Wi-Fi. The reason that I recommend the smart phone option is because you are more likely to find a free WiFI area at a time when you need it then you will be likely to find an Internet café.

This article has helped you work out 4 things that need to be on your business travel-packing list.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Business Travel Tips You Should Pay Attention To

As business becomes more and more popular through tools like the internet, and as business people are more able to work remotely, we are only going to see an increase in the number of people who travel overseas for business, or at least keep in touch with their own business back home whilst they are travelling. The purpose of this article is to share with business entrepreneurs six great tips they should pay attention to. Following these tips will make your travel easier, and help reduce any hassles that you may have.

Sign up for frequent flyer rewards and hotel points programs- If you are travelling regularly, you need to sign up for a frequent flyer program and try to fly with the same airline. There may sometimes be cheaper deals out there but if you travel regularly the frequent flyer points you redeem become more valuable as you can exchange them for further free flights down the track. The same goes for hotel accommodation. Look for an international chain with a rewards program and try to stick to that chain, no matter where you are traveling to in the world.

Get a smart phone with WiFI Access- Most major metropolises throughout the world are littered with free WiFI networks. Do yourself a favour and get a smart phone that has WiFI access so you can check your emails regularly whilst you are travelling- you might be sitting at a Starbucks or ordering at McDonalds. This means that you can avoid exorbitant roaming charges for data.

Buy a global roaming SIM card- You shouldn't use your home mobile phone when travelling as roaming charges are huge. You will also pay to receive calls. It's a huge rort. You should instead use a global roaming SIM card. Outgoing call rates will be a fraction of the cost of what you would have spent with your home phone and you will not have to pay to receive calls in many countries.

Buy a tablet device or a Kindle- Reading a book is often a great way to pass time when you are on a long haul flight. The problem with many books though is that they are bulky. Do yourself a favour and get a tablet device or at the very least, an eBook reader like the Kindle. The reason I would more likely recommend the tablet device (think iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab) is that you can also play games or video and music files as well as read eBooks.

Buy toiletries when you get to where you are travelling- Don't pack toiletries in your bag as there is nothing worse than shaving cream or moisturizer exploding and making a mess of your clothes. Buy it when you get there or use the toiletries supplied by your hotel.

Pack light- People pack too much when they travel. Don't fall in to this trap. Pack light because chances are you'll only actually need a fraction of what you do pack or, if you really need something, you can buy it when you get to where you are travelling.

These are 6 business travel tips that you should pay attention to. If you travel regularly, following these tips is bound to make your life easier.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Some Personal and Security Advices When Business Travelling

When you travel many times a year because your business demands it, reducing travel costs, personal safety concerns, stress and other travel related issues is important, since you might save yourself many uncomfortable situations that might affect your business directly.

If you are a frequent traveler, you should be keeping track of all your frequent flyer miles and points in one secure place in order to track different awards program and take advantage of any tour packages that can be redeemed of all accumulated points because of business travel. Be aware that some programs also offer follow up points for hotels and rental cars so you can take advantage of all kinds of opportunities.

When you are at the airport, be certain to keep an eye on your luggage and personal belongings. Even though there are surveillance cameras and security systems deployed on most airports, you should always remember to carry all your belongings with you and not let any stranger to get too close to them.

By using latest communication technology, you can anticipate difficulties of travel and stay on schedule by having information and knowledge into the palm of your hand. Many frequent business travelers never leave home or office without their smart phones that help them stay informed on every part of their trip, such as flight schedules and possible delays because of weather conditions at airports. If you are always connected, even in those situations you can be connected with your office and check electronic mail and important incoming text messages. You can also tell your colleagues in advance if you will be able to arrive on time to your destination.

When you have a security system installed at home, you could also have an internet connection to surveillance cameras installed there, in order to check periodically what is happening at home when you are not around. Being connected this way, you are always in communication with your beloved ones, and can feel better about their safety when they are at home.

If you have updated information on air transport and connectivity with your colleagues, all small scheduling changes can be handled with administrative tasks that will reduce impact on efficiency of your plans and will help you manage your journey as well. This will leave you more time to deal with work related tasks.

When travelling for business, reducing costs is also an issue, so having information about hotel and non-hotel accommodations for working day periods is a common trend among frequent travelers. Many alternative accommodation facilities may appeal to executives who need to travel regularly for business.

Check security measures at hotels where you stay when travelling outside your country. A good hotel will always have security systems insalled and fully operational, in order to keep you and your belongings safe.

Some important issues such as low cost or free access to kitchen, washing and ironing facilities are becoming popular because they lower costs and increase of sense of being at home specially in case of longer stays.

It is important to choose accommodations that are near convention and conference halls, since traffic can be inconvenient in some places around the world.

One last important thing when travelling for business is to feel assured that your family stays safe at home, knowing that some security devices are installed and deployed correctly. Always check safety equipment thoroughly before travelling, bringing safety to your beloved ones.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Business Travel Insurance - Tips and Safety Information for Business Travellers

When you are considering business travel insurance remember to always look into your options. There are many different types of travel cover so be sure you talk to your agent about all of them. One of the most common types of travel insurance will have a good cancellation policy. If for some reason your trip is delayed having an insurance policy with a delay cover option will ensure you get a reimbursement. When shopping for your travel coverage go for the policy that offers medical and emergency coverage. One of the most important things to remember when buying a policy is to always have your lost or stolen items covered.

There are quite a few travel vendors that offer their own type of business travel insurance. However if that company goes bankrupt then you are no longer protected. This is why travel coverage is very important because if you want to protect your investments this is the best way to do so. Without the proper insurance you could end up losing more money than you had in the first place. Do not rush into buying a business insurance policy otherwise you may make a huge financial mistake. Understanding how your travel insurance works is also very important because it is designed to reimburse you in the event that theft or loss of documentation occurs during your business trip. How much you pay for your insurance policy will depend on which company you go with. If you have a lot invested then you should choose the maximum coverage that your insurance policy will offer you. After all, you could lose everything without protection.

If you choose your policy could cover your lost or stolen to a luggage, medical expenses, accommodation or travel delays, stolen items, and any transportation to a medical facility. You can buy your travel insurance at a travel agency or online. There are even some agencies that require you to sign a waiver if you choose to go with another company. As long as you shop around you should be able to find the best deal. If you have questions about your policy be sure to ask your agent before you sign any documents. Following these tips will ensure that you get the best business travel insurance policy that there is out there. However if it doesn't work out there are many other options out there.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ways to Control Costs on Business Travels

Business travel is important but it can be expensive. There are ways to control costs on business travels. That is the purpose of this article- to show you how to save money. Follow the tips that I have mentioned below and you will no doubt find that you are saving money and that means you will have more money in your own pocket and your business can grow quicker.

Here are some things you can do.

Avoid International Roaming Charges- If you travel overseas regularly, don't take your home mobile phone with you. You will pay hugely inflated rates to access data and make phone calls. You will also pay to receive phone calls. We've seen customers with bills totaling thousands of dollars.

Get a global SIM card- If you must call family, friends or the office back home, make sure that you get a global SIM card so that you can make calls cheaply. In most countries you will also get free incoming calls with a global SIM card.

Get a Smart Phone with the Skype app on it- Free WiFI is becoming more and more prominent in major metropolitan cities throughout the world. Get a WiFI capable smart phone with a Skype application and then you will be able to make free Skype to Skype calls with people back home. These could be work colleagues, family or friends. Sometimes Skype can drop out on a smart phone but when it doesn't cost you anything to call back this is not the end of the world.

Book well in advance and stay at the same spot or with the same chain- You should book your accommodation well in advance (avoid peak periods when tourists travel) and you should consider staying loyal to a worldwide chain of hotels. Many of these hotels have reward programs which means that you can earn free nights if you travel often.

Be loyal to the one airline- You should also think about being loyal to a single airline if you want to control the costs of your business travels. Airlines have frequent flyer programs that you let you redeem points for flights. You can also tie this with some global SIM cards and credit cards that also offer frequent flyer points rewards.

Decide whether some of the business be done without travel- I travel a lot for work, but sometimes I make the choice not to travel. Face to face meetings are important but sometimes everything that needs to be achieved can be achieved over the phone.

In this article I have shared with you 6 Ways to Control Costs on Business Travels. Follow these tips and you should see your business grow.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Business Travel Jobs Demystified

All jobs that involve helping people make successful travel plans require a high degree of professionalism, but this is particularly the case with business travel jobs.

Anyone travelling will expect their agent to be excellent at their job: nobody likes to think that they may suffer problems that could have been avoided had their agent been a little more proficient!

But this not only applies in the context of problems. A private or professional traveller is extremely unlikely to be amused if they find that their plans were sub-optimal (e.g. overly expensive) simply because the travel agent didn't really know their trade. So, 'getting it right' and providing an exemplary service is important if you work in a travel agency. Yet in the case of corporate planning, it becomes potentially even more complicated and your customers may well be considerably more demanding.

What makes corporate travel different to recreational travel?

• Business travellers need to depart at their convenience and in line with the demands of their business, meaning that they may be very reluctant to fit in with any plans that do not conform to their needs. Compromise may sometimes be impossible for them to contemplate.

• Clients may have multiple requirements that involve them travelling around the globe, stopping and changing flights regularly - that can be a major logistical and coordination effort for the travel agent.

• Clients may need to depart at short notice and they will expect a fast, efficient and above all, knowledgeable, service.

• Sometimes vast sums of money may depend on the business traveller being somewhere at a specific date and time - if things go wrong, they may be very pointed in demanding an explanation and an alternative from their agent.

How does this affect business travel jobs?

There are some agents that specialise in providing dedicated services to corporate clients. Some other agents may offer general travel agency services but also have a dedicated department/office/team to cope with the specific challenges presented by business travellers.

Typically, agents tend to put more experienced and knowledgeable employees into their business operations, although that may not always be the case and some may offer training opportunities for beginners. There are City and Guild (plus other) qualifications in many aspects of travel and leisure, and some of these may offer specific modules or courses on business travel.

If you are interested in business travel jobs specifically but lack any previous travel agent experience, it may be advisable to consider finding a position in an agency to learn the basics of the trade, then seek further qualifications and the opportunity to move into the business field. If you would like to search for business travel jobs directly as a trainee, and without previous travel agent experience, you may find this difficult unless you can show a relevant higher academic qualification.

The route to take towards business travel jobs will depend on a number of things, such as your experience, qualifications and perhaps your overall financial position in terms of whether you can support yourself through academic studies on either a full or part-time basis.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Preparing for Business Travel

Business trips are different to holidays in many ways, so if you're going for a large conference or a small meeting, you need to think differently. Below are some tips for planning your flights so you will be prepared for any and all encounters before the big meeting.

Most business expenses can be recouped by the business or through tax, but don't let this fool you into thinking that you can travel however you want. Most business's have a limit to how much they will give back, so think twice before booking a first class seat to your destination; you may have to pay the entire thing yourself. Some business trips can be called off at the last minute due to cold feet or other issues arising, so book a ticket that can be refunded. These usually cost more, but the entire amount will be given back if you need to change it to a different time or to cancel it. Booking a ticket that can be changed will also be beneficial if the one hour meeting turns into a two day event.

You can save money by flying in hours before the scheduled meeting and leaving hours later, so you don't have to postpone a flight if the meeting runs over time. It used to be that business people would book a hotel room to store their luggage and freshen up before the meeting, but most major airlines now have business class rooms complete with Wi-Fi, showers and buffet food, so you can relax there before the meeting.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bed and Breakfasts for Business Travel

In recent years, Bed and Breakfast Inns have become popular as a quaint, home away from home lodging for the vacationing traveler. For some who travel alone, a Bed and Breakfast offers a secure feeling in a tranquil setting. And, for those who travel for business, it is a relaxing haven after a hectic day of business and meetings.

There are very few destinations where Bed and Breakfasts are not listed in the accommodation section of the local telephone book. If business takes you to a rural location there is a greater chance there will be a Bed and Breakfast in the area before a motel or hotel.

Farms, working ranches, acreage owners, rural and city families are all diversifying their daily lives to incorporate a Bed and Breakfast business into their homes. Each providing a comfortable retreat for vacationing and more importantly, for those traveling on business.

The home, the host and the location all make sure that the accommodations will vary at every Bed and Breakfast. Heritage buildings offer a characteristic charisma of their own. Often the hosts will play on the historical side decorating with antiques and collectable items. Memorabilia used will bring back memories of childhood times visiting Grandparents and stories of days gone by. Modern homes may offer a chic clean edgy feel and others may offer rooms which are no different than those we would find in our own homes. It is common in all of these settings to have access to the internet; however, this should be confirmed prior to making reservations if this is a requirement needed while away on business.

Some Bed and Breakfasts may offer refreshments in your room and often as not there is a common area for guest to prepare beverages and have a light snack should they choose to do so. Most will also offer a selection of books, movies and board games for your use as well.

Be prepared for a wonderful breakfast. Here, too, the Bed and Breakfasts normally will offer a selection of foods and will be more than accommodating in looking after any dietary needs. Courtesy prevails here. Make any culinary requests when booking the reservation to ensure all needs are looked after.

If business requires that you leave before breakfast will be served, inquire with your host when making the reservations, regarding items of food you may be able to take with you such as baked goods or fruit and a beverage to take in your go-cup.

The morning meal at a Bed and Breakfast is a perfect time to network with others who are staying there. These people may be on business as well or vacationers traveling from all parts of the world and all walks of life. Interesting conversation and connections have been known to transpire during the time it takes to eat your morning meal at a Bed and Breakfast.

Bed and Breakfasts are not hotels or motels. Therefore, there should be no expectation to drive up to the Bed and Breakfast of your choice and presume there will be a room available for you. These accommodations are booked months in advance and in some instances years and they may have black- out periods as well.

After a day of traveling or board room meetings, avoid disappointment and plan ahead by making your reservations online or by telephone before starting your travels.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cafes in Paris - Ancient But Modern

Among the various exciting experiences one will have at Paris, spending an evening in one of the famous Paris cafes with tables on the lovely pavements is exclusive. Though it will be an expensive affair, one should have this amazing experience at least once during the stay in Paris. The bars at the Parisian cafes offer variety of tastes. These restaurants are busy throughout day and night. The thousands of tourists who visit Paris for culture and specialized shopping make it a point to spend some time at least once in one of the famous cafes in Paris.

Most part of the Paris restaurant menu consists of high-priced cocktails. Those who are not willing to spend much will satisfy themselves with a glass of wine. The leading cafes in Paris will be opened for seven days of the week and the visitors include bikers, tourists, students and local Bohemians. For all the customers' sitting outside on the pavement terrace is the most interesting aspect of their visit to the café. The chains of cafes, restaurants, bars and boutiques have transformed many sleeping parts of Paris to centres of brisk activities. Those who are very particular of getting a place outside on the pavement will go earlier and grab their seat.

Montparnasse in Paris where Picasso, Hemingway and Modigliani lived once has undergone a massive change with the upcoming of many modern cafes and restaurants. Being a place where thousands of tourists gather, here also the Paris restaurant menu \is too costly. However, apart from eating a snacks or having a glass of wine it will be much interesting to watch around the students engaged in serious discussions on their lessons, meeting among business men and the fashion loving local people just taking a break from their busy shopping.

The narrow road between Bastille and Belleville in Paris is a calm and quiet place during the day time. But in the evening it becomes so busy with thousands of local people gathering in the cafes. Here again the table on the pavement is the preferred seat by all.

Paris had been always at the helm of culture, art, style, and food. The pavement cafes, bars and restaurants in Paris are the most ideal places to sit for some time and taste a cocktail. These were the spots where once great people like Hemingway and Picasso used to spend time daily. There are famous cafes as well as lesser known cafes. Most of the famous Paris cafes are spots for sightseeing.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Corporate Business Travel Picks Up Again

An airline industry that's for years been casting an anxious eye down the road to see if any business travelers, the cream of its trade, step up at all, is finally being rewarded for its patience. With the recession finally receding, corporate business travel is finally picking up. It is a sign of how strong the revival is that business class travel isn't just attracting rich corporations. Small business owners and executives, sales reps and everyone else who travels on business have begun choosing business class all over again.

Today, cautious travel policies born of an instinct of self-preservation in businesses all over for years, have all but disappeared. No longer are executives required to check to see if they could use videoconferencing in lieu of travel. And when they do travel, no longer do they have to restrict themselves to premium economy and three-star hotels. The airlines for their part, have thrown themselves open to the corporate business travel crowd. Airplanes have new $150,000 business class seats, special spa-like business lounges and superior menus on board. In fact, getting a free upgrade to first class can be quite difficult for any business traveler these days; first class is usually clogged with paying vice presidents. Companies today are beginning to realize that perhaps they cut back too much during the recession.

Still, not everything is hunky-dory in the hopes that airlines have for the corporate business travel. With double-digit unemployment figures, the country still isn't where it needs to be economically - even if Wall Street seems to be booming. Flight reservations have plateaued more or less. Sales have been growing by a mere couple of percentage points each month. And booming fuel prices are beginning to put a tenuous resurgence at risk. Airlines, buoyed by high demand from paying business-class customers, have used the confidence it has lent them in raising prices for economy class flyers as well.

And just to be on the safe side, the airlines are building up their services as much as they can to attract the business custom. One of the more innovative services they have in mind has to do with the use of location tracking. With these airline apps installed on your smart phone, if you happen to be stuck in traffic so that you won't be able to make it, the airline will automatically put you on the next flight. If they are about to close the boarding gates and there you are, rushing down the escalators, the app will be able to tell them where exactly you are and alert the staff manning the gate to hold on for just a minute longer. Things could get really exciting.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

How to Estimate Business Travel Expenses

Business travel expenses has to be estimated depending on the type of trip you are undertaking, for instance the duration of the trip will certainly impact the cost of the entire travel. International travel plans will also include special circumstances such as health vaccinations, etc. Before you start on your trip, it is important that you confirm each and every detail of the trip with your manager and in this way you can also research the travel destination before you take off for your trip. In order to get access to the basic information of the visiting place, you can contact your local travel agent or the visitor's bureau as well.

1) The foremost thing to do would be to conduct a thorough research on the place you are traveling to for business. You can get in touch with a local travel agency and can get information about the average cost which is associated with the transportation and sightseeing. The visitor's bureau will also help you with the necessary information and the international business expenses can also be estimated with the help of an online conversion calculator.

2) Make a spreadsheet with the expected expenses to be filled in the columns and you can approximately compute the expenses by the number of days you will be out of station.

3) In your spreadsheet, include space for both personal and professional expenses and in this way you can understand what expenses you can account for in the business travel expenditure. In this manner, you can clearly distinguish between your grooming needs such as a purchase of an international adapter for shaving or that of a new adapter for your business laptop. Also, create separate columns for tips and gratuity.

4) To understand your costs on fuel, you can make use of the Trip Calculator which will aid you in estimating your fuel expenses while driving in the United States. This tool is a very helpful one and can also be used for other international business travel destinations such as for European trips.

5) Before summing up all the expenses, you have to complete all kinds of currency exchange conversions and you can record the results into your spreadsheet. Before submitting the same for reimbursement, please make sure that you have reviewed the data once again and have included all the necessary business travel expenses which you can claim from your company.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Business Travel Jobs - Becoming a Pilot

If you want to do a job where you can travel while earning a great living, becoming an airline pilot might be a great choice for you. After all, a plane is the most economical way to travel when it comes to going the greatest distances in the least amount of time - especially when you're flying it! You'll also get a front-row seat to the best view of your destination!

Business Travel Jobs - How To Become An Airline Pilot

To become a pilot available for hire, you'll need a commercial pilot certificate. To obtain this, you need to pass commercial pilot ground school and log at least 250 flight hours, with a specific amount of time dedicated to certain conditions and manoeuvres.

Once you have logged your hours and passed the written ground school test, you'll need to pass a "check-ride," which is similar to taking a driving test, to obtain an automotive driver's licence. An examiner of your country's main aviation service will ask you to plan a flight, quiz you on aviation matters, and then accompany you on a flight. This examiner will ask you to perform certain manoeuvres and will direct your course during the flight. If you do well throughout the "check-ride," you'll receive your commercial pilot's certificate.

However, you need more than just your commercial pilot's certificate in order to be hired by an airline for these kinds of business travel jobs! You also need the following:

• A first-class or second-class medical certificate
• An instrument rating
• A multi-engine rating

The medical certificate shows that you meet the health and fitness requirements according to an Aviation Medical Examiner. The instrument rating enables you to fly at low visibility due to adverse weather and being in clouds. The process to obtain this instrument rating is similar to obtaining your commercial pilot's certificate: you need to pass instrument ground school, log a specific amount of instrument flight time, and pass an instrument rating check-ride. The multi-engine rating enables you to fly planes that have multiple engines, which most planes in service have. Again, you'll need to receive some instruction and pass a check-ride in order to obtain your multi-engine rating.

In addition to the three criteria above, to be the pilot in command of a large commercial aircraft you need an airline transport pilot certificate. You can only obtain this if you meet the following requirements:

• Pass a written test
• Have a first-class medical certificate
• Are at least a high school graduate
• Have logged 1,500 flight hours, with 250 hours as being the pilot in command

Just as importantly, you need flight experience - after all, an airline will not hire an inexperienced pilot, no matter what his/her credentials are. Your flight experience is measured by the following factors:

• The number and complexity of the aircraft you have flown
• The quantity and complexity of the flying you did (such as jet versus propeller, day or night flying, using visibility or only using instruments, etc.)
• The crew positions you have held

To work for a major airline, you'll need thousands of flight hours. Working at a regional or commuter airline may require fewer hours.

Timing Is Everything

You may have all of the credentials to be an excellent pilot, but if you enter the business travel jobs market at a time where there are few openings for airline pilots, finding a job can be extremely difficult. Unfortunately, you can't really control the timing of the airline industry as it can fluctuate wildly within the matter of weeks or months, depending largely upon the current cycle in the economy and whether it is a boom or bust period.

If you do find yourself in a shaky business travel jobs market, the best you can do is get trained up to be the best pilot you can be, and continue to gain more experience with flying all types of airplanes. This will enable you to really stand out from the crowd of other new airline pilots, and make it more likely you'll be hired to earn a solid living while also enjoying the travelling aspects of your perfect job!

Barbara Kolosinska (MREC CertRP) is a Sales Director for C&M, a leading travel recruitment agency who specialise in finding their clients the perfect business travel jobs across all sectors of the travel industry. C&M have access to the largest choice of business travel jobs from the UK's top travel employers.