Convenience trumps comforts for business travel flight and accommodation bookings

Business travellers are overwhelmingly happy, new research from Egencia, the business travel arm of Expedia, has revealed following a survey of more than 5,500 travellers around the world to identify the top considerations when booking business trips. The results show nine in ten respondents enjoy business travel with most valuing convenient travel times and hotel locations, along with direct flights, over personal comforts or benefits; such as flying business class or earning loyalty points.


Summary:

  • New Egencia research reveals that business travellers prefer the convenience of travel times and hotel locations over personal comforts or benefits;
  • A survey of 5,5000 travellers by the business travel arm of Expedia reveals that nine in ten respondents enjoy business travel;
  • The survey provides clear evidence of the increasing empowerment of business travellers as employers see the importance of keeping staff happy while travelling;
  • Around half of respondents said the most important element of a travel programme is the ability to control bookings themselves (48%).

The survey provides clear evidence of the increasing empowerment of business travellers as many employers discover the importance of keeping staff happy while travelling on business. Attempts to reduce expenditure by making cost cuts to travel programmes may disappear into history in order to maintain staff motivation.

“The days of mindless cost cutting out of a travel programme are now gone,” says Wendy White, vice president of marketing at Egencia brand. “While travel managers are still expected to deliver savings, the stakes are now much higher. Company culture, employer brand, capacity to attract and retain talent –  these are key to the growth and success of companies. The modern travel manager knows that and will set the travel programme to play a determining role in shaping the company culture.”

The findings of the survey highlight that travellers are motivated to book convenient options, which allow them to save time and show up rested. Nearly one-third (29%) want the ability to fly direct and over a fifth (22%) favour convenient flight times. Overall, respondents want to select times that work best for their schedule (30%). When it comes to accommodation, business travellers favour hotel options in convenient and safe locations (31%). Corporate diligence is also front of mind, with 23% stating that their top priority is booking a hotel that is in policy, followed by getting a good deal or price, at 14%.

Around half of respondents said the most important element of a travel programme is the ability to control bookings themselves (48%) – from initial bookings, to any needed changes – highlighting the increasing importance of empowering travellers and providing travel management tools built for ease-of-use. A distant second was specialised customer support (15%).

The survey results show that most business travellers want to do the right thing, with 82% always booking in policy. Europeans seem the most diligent according to the responses with France, Germany, and Sweden having more than an 87%. Americans are least likely to stick to policy, it appears, with the US having just a 62% compliancy. The most common reason for booking out of policy is that travellers can’t book far enough in advance to meet policy, with 49% globally and 52% in the US making this claim.

The biggest complaint with corporate travel programmes for business travellers is price constraints and its impact on the quality of the lodging (31%), say the respondents, followed by limited upgrade options (15%). Not being able to add perks such as lounge access or expedited security line programs also ranks in the top three factors affecting in-policy booking in the US, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom.