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.

For help planning a business trip anywhere across the country or around the world, contact Blue Ribbon Business Travel.


Business Travel: Exercise on the Go

 
For business travelers, one of the downsides of being away from home is missing out on your normal fitness routine. As legroom gets tighter on many planes, it’s even more important to try and get in some stretching and walking whenever you can.
If you have a long layover at the airport, there are many ways to exercise while waiting for your flight. Many large airports have gyms on their property or in adjacent hotels. Some are free, while others offer the option of purchasing a day pass.

For example, at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, the Hilton Hotel, accessible from both domestic and international terminals, has a health club with cardio equipment, weights, a lap pool, steam room and sauna. At Toronto Pearson International Airport, in addition to the cardio equipment, a circuit training area and free weights, you can also rent workout clothing and shoes if you don’t have your exercise gear handy. The fitness center at Munich Airport offers a wide range of massages.

Yoga rooms are increasingly common at airports, offering fliers a chance to relax and recharge in spaces with mats, full-length mirrors and soothing décor. You’ll find them in, San Francisco, London, Miami and Hong Kong, among other places.

If you don’t have time to hit the gym, specially marked fitness trails are another way to stay in shape. At the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, a walking path inside Terminal D measures seven-tenths of a mile and follows colorful tile medallions that are part of a public art initiative. In Phoenix, Sky Harbor Airport offers a mile-long fitness trail. Travelers can stop along the way at water bottle refill stations and take in the view of scenic spots, including the downtown skyline, Camelback Mountain and the red sandstone buttes of Papago Park. The Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport has a 1.4-mile walking path in Terminal 1, where you’ll also find storage lockers that can accommodate a carry-on bag.

But even if there isn’t a specially marked trail at the airport, you can still get in some cardio by going on a brisk walk. If you have a long trek to your gate, instead of a leisurely stroll or taking the moving walkway, pick up the pace and use it as an opportunity to do some power walking. Go part of the way with your suitcase in one hand and then switch hands to give your shoulders and forearms a workout. There are plenty of exercises you can do while waiting at your gate, too. It’s important to stay hydrated before and during your flight, so buy a big bottle of water and, before you drink, use it as a dumbbell to get in some bicep curls. A one-liter bottle weighs about two pounds. Even while seated in the boarding area you can take a few minutes to get in some light stretching on your legs, neck, shoulders and back. It’ll help get you in shape for the long flight ahead.