Barnett on Business Travel for 2014
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT CHRIS
Chris Barnett writes about business-travel tactics and strategies that save time and money and help minimize hassles. He is based in San Francisco and has written for a wide variety of newspapers and magazines. Chris was a contributing editor of Frequent Flyer when JoeSentMe.com founder Joe Brancatelli was the magazine's executive editor. He was the first columnist Joe approached to join JoeSentMe. Chris' column, syndicated for decades in newspapers around the country, has appeared exclusively at JoeSentMe since 2012.


November 20: JUST ANOTHER TRIP IN THE CALIFORNIA CORRIDOR
You know you're in for a rough ride when TSA security checkpoint agents are friendlier than the folks checking you in for your flight. But just another roundtrip in the California Corridor is a stark reminder of the state of business travel today.

October 30: THE GOOD, THE FAST, THE SLOW AND THE STINKY
I've been flying a series of short hops lately, playing the role of a modern-day Willie Loman, just trying to survive the rigors and annoyances of life on the road. Here are some snapshots that could be helpful, possibly even amusing, for those of us who have traded Loman's beat-up Chevvy for commercial flying. I promise you nothing more than the good, the fast, the slow and the stinky.

October 16: IS ENTERPRISE RENT-A-CAR LOSING ITS EDGE?
Enterprise Rent-A-Car has always been the leader of the pack in my eyes. But I've had some encounters at Enterprise rental counters lately that have me wondering if the world's largest car-rental firm is now too big for time-sensitive, deadline-driven business travelers.

October 2: UNITED SURPRISES ME WITH TWO GOOD FLIGHTS
One roundtrip does not signal a rhapsodic return to the "friendly skies" of yore, but after years of carping about United Airlines' cost-cutting ways, indifferent in-flight service, fat fares and fee gouging, I recently had a blissful roundtrip. But considering what United bosses say about what's to come, maybe my felicitous roundtrip was a one-off fluke.

September 11: PENNYWISE AND POUND-FOOLISH FLYING
I saved $50 by choosing Delta Air Lines instead of JetBlue on a transcon itinerary. That saving ended up costing me $100. My knees and my soul were crushed. And I stood virtually all the way on one flight. Needless to say, I've learned a valuable lesson about pennywise and pound foolish flying.

July 31: A HIP, HAPPENING HOTEL--AT AN AIRPORT, NO LESS
Several decades of experience have convinced me that airport hotels are bland, boring, soulless bus stations with beds. But when I showed up at a San Francisco airport hotel, I found a hip, happening property that is looking out for modern business travelers.

June 26: STEALTHY LUXURY IN THE WINDY CITY
The low-profile, nine-month-old Langham Chicago in the Loop is more than a commercial bunkhouse tucked inside an office building. The Langham is a vertical resort and it outclasses every other property in the Windy City. It's got butlers, a lavish club lounge, impeccable service and a general manager who understands what business travelers need.

May 22: THE YOUNG MAN AND THE BAR TALE
My mission, if I chose to accept it, was to walk in the footsteps of the famed literary lion Ernest Hemingway and separate libational fact from fiction. How I ended up in Petoskey, Michigan, to unravel the story of the young man and the bar tale is interesting.

May 1: VIRGIN AMERICA FALLS OUT OF BED
Virgin America made a big splash last week with a fare sale on new routes from Dallas/Love Field, which was interesting considering Virgin doesn't yet have the gates to launch the flights and the gates haven't even been built yet. Meanwhile, while Virgin is fiddling in Dallas, it is falling behind on the transcontinental routes. While its legacy competitors and JetBlue add lie-flat beds on the key transcon runs, Virgin is sticking with its old-style cradle seats.

March 27: REQUIEM FOR AN AIRPORT HOTEL
What's it like to be in a hotel operating under a death sentence? Chris Barnett found out when he checked into the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Airport, which is scheduled to be demolished next week. The hotel that could have been a contender will be bulldozed for a runway expansion. Here's how it limped through the final days.

March 6: HOW MUCH MANHATTAN DOES $24 BUY?
If you ask me, how the classic Manhattan is made, priced and poured is a bellwether of a bar's personality. Some deep thoughts about what bars charge--and why--for the quintessential brown cocktail. And, boy, you'd be surprised what $24 buys these days.

February 20: A TASTE OF A TOUGH TRADE SHOW
Trade shows are always one of a road warrior's toughest battles. But when the products hawked are edible, drinkable, exotic, expensive and free, exhibitors are constantly faced with hordes of buyers and freelance foodies who have their hands out and mouths open. Here's how some road warriors handle it.

January 9: THE THRILL IS GONE, AND YET...
For the first two decades of his 30-year career, Atlanta-based executive search consultant George Olmstead would fly to as many as four cities a day, interview job candidates and still get home for a martini and a late supper with his wife. The last ten years, not so much. He has had to adjust his road life downward.

These columns originally appeared at JoeSentMe.com.

Copyright 1990-2014 by Chris Barnett. All rights reserved.