Business Traveller Flying to London? A London City Guide for Getting to the Centre

London. The vibrant, beating heart of the United Kingdom. It’s one of the world’s most popular destinations for tourists, and for business travellers too. The amount of commerce that goes through London is staggering, with a financial centre second only to New York, and service industries that cater for both the UK, European and international markets. As the world’s most multicultural city – there are over 300 languages spoken by a population of over eight million people (twelve million if you include the metropolitan area) – the opportunities for business are clear.With the UK strategically positioned for the business traveller on the western edge of Europe, London is a global hub for air travel, providing easy access to mainland Europe, and a stepping stone to the United States. Primarily served by five airports – Heathrow, Gatwick, City, Stansted and Luton – London is easily reached from anywhere in the world. But with the exception of London City Airport – smallest of the five and located in East London, close to the business district of Canary Wharf – the other four airports are satellites evenly dispersed around the city. The most popular, Heathrow, is located to the west of London; Gatwick is situated to the south; Stansted to the north east; and Luton to the North West. Knowing this before you make your travel plans can be useful. Since the greater metropolitan area of London covers over 1,000 square miles, your final business destination may not be right in the centre. Researching which airport is closest to your destination can save you time, effort and money.However, whether you’re a business traveller flying from within the UK or from overseas, your starting destination may often determine the airport you arrive at. Other factors, such as your chosen time of travel, budget and availability will also make a difference. For example, if you’re travelling with a major international carrier from a major city, such as New York, the chances are you’ll arrive at Heathrow or Gatwick (Stansted also receives flights from New York but is the smallest of the three). If you’re travelling locally from within the UK with a budget carrier you’re more likely to arrive at Stansted or Luton (though not exclusively). And if you’re travelling from a major European city, particularly a financial capital, such as Frankfurt, London City Airport is a likely arrival point (the airport was created specifically to cater for short haul business travellers, particularly between financial centres).Each airport is served by comprehensive rail and road infrastructure, providing business travellers with a variety of options to enter London. All five airports offer direct rail travel into the heart of Central London, coach travel to the main Victoria terminus, and hire car, mini-bus, licensed black cab and taxi services by road. If you’re a VIP business traveller, chauffeur services are also available, and with the exception of London City Airport, each also offer direct helicopter transfer into the heart of the city.London Heathrow AirportThe busiest of the five airports is London Heathrow. Located less than twenty miles from central London, Heathrow is situated to the west of the city within the M25 motorway metropolitan boundary. The fastest route into London is via the Heathrow Express train service, taking just 15 minutes from terminals 1, 2 and 3 to Paddington station (located on the western side of Central London). If your flight arrives at either terminal 4 or 5 it’s a further four and six minutes travel time respectively, and you’ll need to transfer on to the main London-bound service at terminals 1, 2 and 3.The service is excellent, offering comfort and convenience, but does not always suite everyone’s travel budget. The standard ‘Express’ single journey ticket costs £21.00 (€25.00 / $35.00), but business travellers can get better value when purchasing a return ticket, priced at £34.00 (€40.00 / $56.00). The ‘Business First’ ticket is more expensive, with singles costing £29.00 (€35.00 / $48.00) and returns £52.00 (€62.00 / $86.00), but it does afford business travellers considerably more leg room, the privacy of a ‘single seating’ layout, and a fold out table. The experience is akin to that of air travel. All passengers across both pricing structures enjoy access to electrical sockets, USB ports and free Wi-Fi. The overall quality of service and passenger experience generates a ‘wow’ factor, and if your budget can afford it, is certainly the smoothest, quickest and most convenient way to travel into London from Heathrow. Trains run regularly every fifteen minutes in both directions, particularly useful for last minute dashes to the airport.There are two further rail options available to business travellers, both considerably less expensive, though this is reflected in the quality of service. That’s not to say either is not a good solution for business travellers, just that there is a noticeable difference in convenience and comfort.With a service typically running every thirty minutes, and a journey duration – depending on the time of day – of between 23 and 27 minutes from terminals 1, 2 and 3, Heathrow Connect is more than adequate for business travellers who are not in a hurry. Like the rival Express service, Connect also arrives at Paddington station, but unlike its faster rival stops at up to five other stations before reaching its terminus. The ‘inconvenience’ of this less direct journey is compensated for by a considerably less expensive ticket price. Single journey’s cost £9.90 (€12.00 / $16.00) while a return is £19.80 (€24.00 / $32.00). There is no saving to be made from purchasing a return ticket. While the convenience and comfort of the traveller experience cannot match the Express, the Connect business travel solution is an acceptable compromise that suits a greater number of travel budgets.The third – and least expensive – rail option is the London Underground ‘tube’ network. Despite the network’s name the majority of the journey from Heathrow is overground, until the business traveller nears Central London. Starting on the Piccadilly Line, the service connects all five Heathrow terminals and provides frequent trains into London, stopping at a considerable amount of outlying stations before arriving in the capital’s centre. This continually ‘interrupted’ journey – there are seventeen stops between Heathrow terminals 1, 2 and 3 and Paddington Tube station (the nearest equivalent tube terminus for a fair comparison) – and takes approximately fifty minutes journey time on average, considerably slower than its more direct rivals. This journey comparison also requires the inconvenience of a transfer between lines.So why would the business traveller consider using the tube from Heathrow to Central London? Simple. The frequency of service, the array of destinations, and the cost. At a cash price of just £5.70 (€6.80 / $9.50) for a single journey in either direction during peak hours (06:30am to 09:30am), financially the Underground is an attractive option. At nearly half the price of the Heathrow Connect, and at just over a quarter of the price of the Heathrow Express, this service is comparably good value for money. Further value can be found if the business traveller purchases an ‘Oyster Card’, the ‘cashless’ electronic ticketing system beloved by so many Londoners. Available to purchase at Heathrow London Underground stations, this useful option allows you to get tickets cheaper than for cash – in this case a reduction to just £5.00 (€6.00 / $8.30). Off-peak travel with an Oyster Card offers even greater value, with Heathrow to Paddington in either direction costing just £3.00 (€3.60 / $5.00) per journey. The Oyster Card can also be used for unlimited travel on buses and trains throughout London, with a maximum daily spend capped at £17.00 (€20.00 / $28.00) peak time and just £8.90 (€10.60 / $15.00) off-peak for a six zone ticket (destinations across London are divided into six main zonal rings. Travelling from Heathrow to Central London crosses all six zones).The Underground is primarily a city-wide mass transit system, rather than a ‘train’ service. As such the level of comfort and convenience is substantially less than that of both the Heathrow Express and Connect services, and at peak hours can be considerably uncomfortable. Having endured a recent flight, business travellers who choose this option run the risk of having to stand up the entire journey if travelling during peak hours. If the carriage is full to squeezing point (as is often the case at peak time) managing your luggage can be a challenge. It should also be noted that the tube network – which, as the world’s first urban mass-transit system is over 150 years old – is often prone to signal failures and delays. If the time between your arrival at Heathrow (don’t forget to factor in clearing immigration control, luggage collection and customs) and your business appointment is tight, particularly during peak hours, it is not unfair to say that you are taking a risk if you choose to use the Underground.Compared to using rail, travelling by road into Central London is far less convenient. Like every major city around the world, traffic congestion plagues the streets of London. The M4 and A4 route from Heathrow into London is always busy and in parts can be slow moving at times. No matter what your method of road transport, the business traveller is vulnerable to the risk of delays and accidents.Buses and coaches are plentiful. The dominant carrier is called National Express. They operate services between Heathrow Airport and London Victoria, the main coach terminus in London. From here travellers can travel to many other destinations around the UK. The coaches run from Heathrow Airport Central Bus Station, which is located between terminals 1, 2 and 3. Its well sign posted so easily found. If you’re arriving at terminals 4 or 5 you’ll need to first take the Heathrow Connect train to the central bus station. From Victoria Station you can get to any other part of London with ease, via the Underground, plentiful buses, local trains and licensed black cabs / minicab taxi services.A single journey tickets start from £6.00 (€7.20 / $10.00), while returns cost £11.00 (€13.20 / $18.00). Although you can purchase your ticket at Heathrow, it is advisable to do so in advance, and online. This will ensure you have a guaranteed, reserved seat on your coach of choice, and also provide you with the opportunity to select a time of departure and/or return that best suits your needs. Typically this service runs three coaches per hour to and from London Victoria coach station. The journey time can vary, dependent on the route taken, the time of day and traffic conditions, but you can typically expect your journey to take between 40 and 90 minutes.National Express also offers business travellers a Heathrow hotel transfer service to and from the airport, known as the Heathrow Hoppa. With hundreds of services each day running around the clock, it’s a clean, comfortable and affordable way to get about, costing £4.00 (€4.80 / $6.60) for single journey and £7.00 (€8.40/ $11.50) for a return journey. This service is particularly useful if your business appointment is located close to Heathrow and you have no need to travel into Central London.An alternative to coach travel is taking a bus. This can be particularly useful if you arrive at Heathrow late at night. Depending on the day of the week, the N9 night bus runs approximately every 20 minutes to Trafalgar Square in Central London, from 11.30pm to 5am. The journey time is approximately 75 minutes, subject to traffic delays. It’s a very affordable service, and as part of the Transport for London infrastructure a single journey can be paid for with an Oyster Card (£1.40 (€1.70/ $2.30) or by cash (£2.40 (€2.90/ $4.00).If your journey into London requires the freedom to choose to travel whenever you want, to wherever you want, or you simply require privacy, then private hire transport is readily available at Heathrow. If you’re just interested in getting from A to B and back again, without any other journeys in between, taking a licensed black cab or minicab taxi may suit your needs. Travelling in an iconic licensed black cab into Central London will take approximately 45-60 minutes, subject to traffic delays, and can typically cost between £50.00 (€60.00/ $83.00) and £80.00 (€96.00/ $132.00). If you do find yourself delayed in traffic the journey will cost more, since black cab meters also charge for waiting time when not moving. Black cabs are readily available at all hours, and good sign posting at Heathrow means they’re easy to find. At a squeeze up to five business travellers can be accommodated, though if you all have large luggage it will be a problem.An alternative private hire to black cabs are licensed taxi services. This could be a better option for the business traveller, particularly if a number of people with luggage are travelling together. An array of vehicle types are available, ranging from standard 4/5 seater saloon and 6/7 passenger people carrier cars, up to 15 or 17 seater minibuses and even coach taxis. An added advantage is you can book your vehicle of choice in advance and at a fixed price. With so many different companies offering these services, prices – and quality of service – can vary, but typically for a single journey the business traveller can expect to pay a fixed, advance price of £40.00 (€48.00/ $66.00) for a saloon car; £50.00 (€60.00/ $83.00) for an estate car; £55.00 (€66.00/ $90.00) for an executive car; £55.00 (€66.00/ $90.00) for a people carrier; £65.00 (€78.00/ $108.00) for an 8 seater minibus; £80.00 (€96.00/ $132.00) for an executive people carrier; and £165.00 (€198.00/ $272.00) for a 16 seater minibus. Savings can be made on all tariffs if a return journey is booked in advance.Travelling by black cab or licensed taxi affords the business traveller the freedom to travel at his or her own pace, and can take the hassle out of a journey. It can be a very relaxing way to commute from the airport into London, particularly after a long flight, and offers the business traveller an opportunity to unwind prior to their business appointment.If you need to arrange senior executive or VIP transportation, chauffeur driven services are readily available (booked in advance) between Heathrow and London. The vehicle type and the length of time you require it for will dictate the price you’ll pay. Chauffeur driven services are readily available to find online. The same is true of helicopter charter services which can transfer the executive business traveller from Heathrow into Central London (Battersea Heliport) in approximately 15 minutes. Flightline Travel Management is experienced at providing our customers with both modes of transport, and we’re happy to take your enquiry.© Copyright Flightline Travel Management Ltd. All rights reserved.All prices correct at time of publication.

Choosing the Right SEO Company for Good SEO Results

SEO Company – Authentic Solution to Enhance Online BusinessThe role of an SEO company is very important when it comes to promoting your online business. According to current day trends in internet marketing, it is essential to choose the right SEO service provider for good results. Some common responsibilities of an SEO company include website design, creation of back links, content writing, website optimization, directory submissions, video creation, press releases, blog posts, selection of suitable keywords, and much more.How to Identify a Professional SEO Firm?A professional SEO company is capable of delivering the best results to satisfy the requirements of clients. By availing of the services of professionals in the SEO field, you can enhance your website rankings and online presence. SEO experts are well-versed in the latest techniques that will help in achieving high ranks for your website in search engine result pages.Certain things are to be confirmed before signing a contract with an SEO company.

Credibility – Check the authenticity of the SEO firm. Ensure that it can deliver quality SEO services in accordance with your demands.

Experience – Experience in the field always matters with regard to delivering quality output without errors. Do background research about the firm to ensure its consistency, reliability and confidentiality.

Affordable solutions – Compare the price tags of different SEO companies to select an affordable, professional SEO company.

SEO techniques – A professional SEO firm implements the latest SEO strategies to bring about optimum results for client websites.

Expert workforce – Eminent and experienced team of employees are the backbone the company. They are dedicated to performing various tasks accurately and consistently to satisfy the website requirements and goals. They often focus on creating brand awareness and enhance your online revenue by placing your website in top positions in search engines.

Customer relationship – A professional SEO service provider always give preference to customer care and round the clock customer support. They also keep in contact with you to inform about SEO developments and current market trends.

Client testimonials/feedback – Portfolios of clients help to identify the best service provider out of many. Also, check the authenticity of feedbacks and testimonials posted on the website.

High profile client list – Evaluate the success stories of previous projects for well-known clients. Analyze the procedures involved in completing a particular project.

Seek the advice of business partners or relatives- Talk with people who have already used search engine optimization services to make an informed decision.
Relevance of an SEO companyYou must clearly set your goals about search engine optimization services to improve website traffic and search engine rankings. SEO services help to integrate your website with social networking sites for international brand recognition to generate leads and increase online sales. Hence take enough time and choose the right SEO Company for good SEO results that will fuel the business growth in the long-run and help avoid wastage of money and time.

Business Marketing on Mobile – The Latest on Mobile Marketing and Advertising

The world we live in gets easily bored and craves novelty. Smart marketers look for new ways to put a twist on old standby marketing and advertising techniques. Marketing through television and radio channels has been done to death and has more nuisance value than anything else as far as the audience is concerned.For marketers seeking new ways and means to expand their reach anywhere their prospects are — the future is here. Smart marketers and advertisers create a personal touch in their ad campaigns. This is one of the reasons why mobile advertising is rapidly increasing in popularity as an effective marketing tool. And the astonishing use of mobile devices leveraged this trend.There are over 1.5 billion mobile phone users worldwide according to the International Telecommunications Union with the highest growth percentage coming from emerging economies like China, Russia and India. The US has about 200 million mobile subscribers. Smart marketers are tapping into the potential to reach their prospects as they’re on the move. Mobile devices are practically a permanent attachment for people under age 34.Mobile Advertising is delivered in a number of formats. Text messaging, mobile internet advertising and mobile radio advertising are some of the common advertising formats. Out of these, text messaging (SMS) is the most widely used format.According to the joint Mobile Advertising Report (MAR) released by Limbo and GfK Technology, text message usage is about 74% in India, 48% in the UK and 22% in the US. Projections predict in the near future mobile internet advertising will surpass text message advertising (FierceWireless).In June 2008, Nokia launched the Nokia Advertising Alliance that aims to make mobile advertising easier for advertisers. This particular program includes services like providing marketing strategies, geographic targeting and related technologies to enhance customer captivation. Now advertisers can work in conjunction with Nokia to expand the coverage of mobile advertising with emerging mobile technologies for more powerful ad promotions.The best part about mobile marketing is mobile devices are more heavily used than traditional PCs. Mobile advertisements are delivered to the customer no matter where they are. Even with these advantages, mobile advertising is still in its “early adopter” stages with a long way to go. The main obstacles are in the form of data tariff structures, handset and mobile internet interactivity and quality of subject matter.Like the early days of the Internet, there are more advertisers than quality content. Add to that an acute lack of tools to assess the performance of mobile ad campaigns. Even though most of these difficulties will be solved in the future, mobile advertising will still face competition from other advertising and marketing methods. Google, Microsoft and Nokia are the prominent players in mobile advertising. The future holds a huge potential in terms of revenues from mobile marketing spend..According to a report released by Informa Telecoms & Media, it is estimated that marketing on mobile will generate USD 1.72 billion in 2008 and will rise to USD 12 billion in 2013. The report also advocates the use of banner ads as an effective tool in mobile advertising. The report highlights the significance of focusing on the long run and not the short term stumbling blocks.Yahoo jumped on the bandwagon in June 2008 when it partnered with Publicis to integrate Publicis mobile advertising agency (PhoneValley) with Yahoo’s mobile developer platform language (Blueprint). The partnership is aimed at developing brands, reaching customers and maximizing sales through new techniques. It also aims to initiate cutting edge advertising strategies in the future.Since the potential market for mobile advertising is huge, a few companies are exploring new horizons and expanding in new territory. For example, Millenial Media Inc., is venturing into Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Millenial develops ads for cell-phones and mobiles. Its CEO Paul Palmieri says “There is a tremendous growth opportunity for advertising on mobile on a global basis, as evidenced by a rich and active mobile direct marketing industry, as well as surging demand from top brand advertisers.”The media industry and brand advertisers are slowly catching on and making use of mobile advertising to increase market penetration. Mobile advertising has added support from applications like ringtones and pictures. Bluetooth advertising is also growing in popularity. Here, a company can advertise its products or services over a fixed area.The three major search engines: Yahoo, Google and Microsoft have already realized the potential and the possibilities of the mobile advertising market. MSN uses banner ads on MSN mobile pages. Earlier MSN’s mobile advertising was confined to countries like France, Japan, Spain and UK. Recently it expanded coverage to include the US. Google also launched mobile image ads. When the cell phone browser is opened these image ads are displayed on the screen. However, the ad size is much smaller as compared to those for web pages. These image ads are connected to a web page and they follow the price-per-click model Google AdWords uses.Advertising on mobile is one of best forms of mass medium advertising. It’s personal, and has a wider reach than any other form of advertising. It’s still early to comment on exactly how big or how successful it will prove to be. However, by all indicators “the future’s so bright you gotta wear shades.”The predictions about the future revenues generated through mobile advertising optimistic. A brand advertiser, a mobile advertising company and the consumer will have different perceptions of mobile marketing. However, advertising on mobile also comes with its fair share of drawbacks. Mobile ads are sometimes viewed as another form of spam and the advertisers as spammers. To resolve this issue, there are programs developed to give subscribers free talk-time for performing certain activities related to viewing ads. As far as the opinions of consumers are concerned, it’s a mixed bag. This is because people are simply not accustomed to being paid to view ads. Even if they are paid to view them, many still view the ads as a nuisance. It doesn’t make sense for the advertiser to pay a consumer to view ads if there are no conversions.