Business Travel: Delayed Flights Are Top Concern
The outlook for business travel in 2018 is positive, according to a new national survey of travel professionals.
Travel Leaders Group recently polled its travel agency owners, managers and frontline agents who focus on business travel about their trends for 2018. When asked how much travel their business clients anticipate in 2018 compared with 2017, 78.8 percent expect the amount to be the same or higher. And 87 percent of respondents say that so far, their bookings are the same or higher compared with the previous year. Overall, 87.1 percent of agents are optimistic about their business outlook in 2018.
The logistics of air travel remains the biggest concern for business travelers, as it has over the past several years of surveys. Delayed flights are by far the top concern, followed by limited airline seat availability, earning frequent flyer/loyalty points and the ease of passing through airport security.
But in 2018, survey respondents report slight improvements in each category among their clients who travel for business. Seventy percent of agents responded that delayed flights were the main concern for business travelers, compared with 73.2 percent last year. That was followed by limited seat availability at 39.6 percent, compared with 43.8 percent in 2017; earning frequent flyer/loyalty points at 36.1 percent, compared with 41 percent last year; and the ease of passing through security at 30.4 percent, compared with 31.4 percent in 2017.
Travel Leaders agents note that they can use their expertise to help lessen the impact of any inconveniences. Over the years, they’ve developed a deep knowledge of airports, airlines, schedules and frequent flyer/loyalty programs. They put that information to work for their clients every day.
When asked which concerns they are most able to address or mitigate for business travel clients, delayed flights was at the top, at 46.1 percent; followed by making sure someone has their back, 40 percent; earning frequent flyer/loyalty points, 31.3 percent; limited seat availability, 30.4 percent; and travel costs, 28.3 percent.
The primary focus for business travelers is, of course, the work that has sent them on the road. The focus of specialists in corporate travel is to ensure that the travel part goes smoothly and fits within a client’s budget. The level of expertise that travel agents bring to their clients is vital, especially when a delayed flight can mean additional expenses and potentially missing an important meeting. For example, if a flight is delayed Travel Leaders’ corporate travel specialists can act quickly to arrange a new flight or connection that will get them to their destination or back home again.
And travel agents have a business traveler’s back while he or she is on the road. That helps reduce stress for travelers and allows them to focus on the job at hand. The peace of mind that comes from knowing there’s someone to call 24/7 is indispensable, both for the employee and employer.
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