Archive | October, 2013

Why Should I Bother Getting Status on More Than One Airline?

If you’re a travel manager or a line level traveler responsible for their own budgets, it’s very important to find any opportunity for cost savings. If you are one of those travelers that is on the road constantly, logging thousands upon thousands of miles each year, you may think it odd that I’m always telling travelers that they need to obtain status with more than one airline. They tell me there’s no need because they are loyal to one airline in particular. Who could blame them? If I can stick with one carrier and accumulate miles more quickly, I can take the family on that vacation next summer on the cheap. My response is that there are a couple of compelling reasons to get that status on an alternate carrier.

First of all, if you have status on a second airline, you have something very valuable: OPTIONS. If you are open to the possibility of flying with your secondary airline, you have the option of several schedules to choose from. For busy travelers whose time is very valuable, multiple options can be critical. With multiple options you become that much more efficient. That means more business productivity and maybe even more time home with your family. And who wouldn’t want that?

Secondly, with the option of flying on a second carrier, you may find that you can save yourself or your company significantly. Many people believe that if two airlines are flying into the same market, the fares must be equal. While the airline industry is certainly very competitive, you’d be surprised how often you can nab a lower fare on the same routing on different airlines. So it can pay to be open to that second option.

How can you get status with an airline that you never fly? Well the first way to do it is to actually log miles on that airline, but that really defeats your original purpose of traveling comfortably on your preferred carrier. It can take a year or more to get status with another airline. But the faster way to get status is through a STATUS MATCH. Most airlines will match your status on a competing airline because they want to earn your business. All you need to do is contact the competing airline and talk to their frequent flyer department.

You will most likely need to supply them with some kind of documentation that proves you have a certain status on your favored airlines. You’ll usually be immediately bumped up to the comparable status on the new airline. For example, an American Airlines Gold status traveler will be given United Airlines Premier status. Your miles won’t transfer over, so you’ll still have to build miles to keep your status indefinitely. But you will still get the extra perks of space available upgrades, preferred boarding times, exclusive seating options in coach class, shorter lines at the counter and at security and so on. So it really can be a benefit to get status on multiple carriers. And it’s easier than ever.

Keep in mind that some airlines will grant you provisional status for a certain period of time and ask you to fly a certain amount in that 3 or 6 month period. After you do so, your status becomes permanent for a year. If not, you’re knocked back down to your original status. Usually if you travel frequently, these hurdles can be easily obtained.

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When Is the Best Time to Post Your Facebook Status Update?

Updating your status is regarded in some circles as microblogging. It’s an opportunity to either tell your pals your views or perhaps let them know what you are up to. Needless to say, people have come up with several original uses for the status update (for example, publishing your preferred lyric from a song), however, the two mentioned above tend to be by far and away the most popular use for it.

Just what exactly can make a popular status update?

Well, the first thing to consider is what number of individuals are going to view your update. By this I am not only referring to the amount of friends you have (which will tell you the highest possible number of people that will see it and perhaps like or comment on it). I’m also speaking with regards to the timing of your own status update. This is an frequently overlooked point when posting an update, even though it is significant if you would like to receive the most activity as possible on your status. So this brings us onto the major question of this article…

When is the best time to post your status update?

Well there are many factors you need to take into account as there is no one particular set time that necessarily yield the best results.

Is the update time critical? – By this I mean, are you updating your own status about something you’re doing right now? If so, then the most effective time to post is either before or during the event. People are more likely to comment on a status about something that you’re about to do rather than something you’ve previously done. Posting later on also runs the risk of someone different posting about it previously and stealing your thunder (e.g. viewing a sporting event).

If the status is not really time critical (e.g. you happen to be posting a joke or some sort of intriguing remark) then the best moment I have found to post status updates is weekday evenings. The most amount of individuals I have witnessed on Facebook (looking at exactly who is on-line through Facebook chat) has been Monday to Thursday evening.

The reason for this I believe to be twofold. First of all, numerous people log on often when they are about to finish or have just finished work. This means generally there is typically a spate of activity between roughly 5 or 6pm. I post quite a few of my status’ at 5pm as that’s when I normally finish work and log on. Several other people do the same thing and will therefore view your status near the top of their own news feed.

Secondly, individuals usually tend to go out much less on weekday evenings in comparison to weekends, consequently far more people are usually on-line for this reason when they’re returning home after work, usually somewhere between 7 and 9pm approximately.

One more very good time to post, is weekday lunchtime (between 12 and 2pm). This will mean your status is shown to people who are looking at Facebook from work at lunchtime as well as college students who are just getting up (probably with a rather tender head! ).

When is not a good time?

Weekends aren’t a good time to post status updates that you would like to be popular for a couple of reasons. For starters, most people have a tendency to go out more at the weekends and will therefore use Facebook less, therefore fewer people will see your status update. Furthermore, even the people who do log on often will not want people to know they’re on-line at the weekend because it will imply that they are not social and staying in at the weekend while they should be out and about having fun. As a result they will not socialise with anyone during these times on Facebook so that it looks like they’re not on-line and potentially out and about.

Various other factors to consider

  • Time-zones - if you have pals in another country, you may want to look at posting at a time when the vast majority of your buddies are awake for maximum exposure. For example, I live in the UK however I have a few pals on the east coast of the United States. Posting at about 5pm GMT will mean my friends in the good old US of A will view the status at midday, their time.
  • Buddies age group - The time your pals are on-line will differ based on their age. I’ve already been referring above to people at work. Now obviously, if you’re still in schooling then it may well be that plenty of your good friends are also. University students and more youthful people usually tend to go on-line later into the evenings. These are important aspects to take into account. Make a point of spotting when your buddies are posting updates and post at similar moments for greatest exposure.
  • Smart phones - many men and women today view Facebook on their smart phones. Although the quantity of individuals using this approach of being able to view Facebook is ever increasing, I do not think they interact as much as individuals viewing Facebook on a laptop or computer. The key reason for this I believe is mainly because of the lack of a stable web connection. Many individuals commuting haven’t got the luxury of an internet connection on their whole journey to work and as a consequence, have a tendency to read a lot more and interact less.

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What Role Status Symbols Play In Negotiations

When it comes to sitting around the negotiating table, we’re all equal, right? In a perfect world, the answer would be yes. We don’t live in a perfect world and so the answer is a very solid “no”. So what does this mean for us – do some negotiators deserve to get more?

Where Negotiating Status Comes From

Where does this status thing come from? It seems to play a role in our negotiation styles and negotiating techniques. I’m pretty sure that we’re all very aware of the role that social status used to play in European society back in the day. You had your upper class folks and then the rest of humanity. If an upper class negotiator sat down to negotiate with a lower class person, then they would be starting with a huge advantage simply because of their social status. This would undoubtedly affect the final deal that was negotiated.

Those days are long gone – or are they? In Europe, as well as in places like India, although officially the social classes have been removed, traces still linger. When two negotiators from two very different backgrounds sit down to negotiate, the ghosts of their family’s backgrounds can at times haunt the room.

Additionally, a new type of social status symbol has arrived on the scene. A person’s success in life as represented by all of the “bling” that comes with success – money, power, acclaim, etc. can elevate their social status. If you don’t believe me, then just imagine how you would feel if you were sitting across from Donald Trump trying to negotiate a deal with him!

How You Can Deal With Status At The Negotiating Table

I’d like to be able to tell you to just ignore status when you are conducting your next negotiation. Focus on the deal that you’re trying to create and ignore who the person that you are negotiating with is or where they come from.

That’s easy for me to say and very hard for you to do! It’s never going to be easy for you to overlook the other side of the table’s status – it’s going to affect your negotiation process. Instead, I’m going to suggest that you do something else that will help you to work through this issue.

In order to retain your composure when you are negotiating with someone who has more status than you, you need to boost your status. The easiest way to go about doing this is to do additional work preparing for the negotiations. I have found that people with status often assume that their status is going to help them to reach a deal and so they will often not do as much preparation for a negotiation as they should have. Do your homework and you’ll be better prepared than they are and their status won’t matter as much.

What All Of This Means For You

We do not live in a perfect world – we are not all equal. Instead, status and status symbols play a role in every negotiation – this is almost a part of the negotiation definition.

What this means for you as a negotiator is that you need to realize that status can play a role in how you both view and treat the other side of the negotiating table even when you are conducting a principled negotiation. You need to work to overcome any status advantage that they may have by working extra hard to prepare for the negotiation – you need to be the best prepared person at the table.

Status as something that makes people different is something that we’ll always have to live with. As long as you know that this is an issue, then you can take steps to deal with it and make sure that it does not influence the deals that you make.

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