News For Planners

Premium air travel is back in vogue with business travelers

Wednesday, 8/10/2011  3:09:28 PM

According to a recent report by the Global Business Travel Association, premium air travel is again on the rise, indicating a positive upswing for business travelers all over the world. The study, "Consumer Choice in Premium Air Travel," surveyed samples from the American, Asian and European markets and found that not only did many business travelers expect to fly premium in their business travels over the next 12 months, but they expected to travel more frequently than they had done in previous months.

Since the economic recession hit in 2008, business travel has suffered numerous blows. Many businesses have had to rely on phone calls and web conferencing sessions in place of in-person meetings, which in many cases has caused companies to lose sales. Premium travel on the rise again may indicate that business travel has become more possible, and companies can look forward to gaining back the lost revenues they've suffered in previous years.

The GBTA surveyed the greatest growth in Asia, where 42 percent of respondents claimed they expected to fly premium in the coming year and 40 percent stating that they intended to fly as much or more than they had in the past year. European respondent claimed the most premium travel, with 83 percent of business flyers choosing premium class tickets, with 27 percent intending to fly more often than the previous year. Americans trailed Europeans with 81 percent flying premium and a mere 21 percent planning to increase their premium flights.

These numbers indicate a growth in the market, but also a feeling of enhanced financial security, as businesses are clearly willing to spend more on their flights.

A report by American Express Business Insights indicates that hotels may be sharing this new spending surge as well, as spending on luxuries like restaurants and hotels increased 14 percent in 2010, as well as a further 11 percent in the first quarter of 2011. More great news for business travelers!

If you're a part of your business meeting planning committee, now would be a great time to take advantage of the still relatively low prices that can be found at leading air carriers and hotels. Of course you'd like to show your business executives how much you value their work and time commitment by allowing them a little luxury when they're forced to hit the road. However, that doesn't mean you can't show your own business savvy by shopping around for the best deals when they're available. 

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