Business travellers returning to first-class travel

Survey reports trends among agents’ corporate clients
Business travellers are returning to first-class flights, luxury travel and expensive hotels, a new survey suggests.
More than two thirds of corporate agents said that more than 11% of their clients flew in business or first class this year, the Travel Leaders Group survey says. Three years ago, only half reported a similar rate.
The vast majority of corporate clients who flew economy this year – more than 90% – did so because of company policy or the cost of a better ticket, not because they wanted to.
Almost 400 US business travel agents contributed to the survey, nearly all of whom said business was as god or better in 2015 than it was last year.
The survey also found that more business travellers are using sharing economy services. More than 40% of agents said that a client had asked about using an alternative supplier for accommodations, while two-thirds said clients had asked about alternative ground transportation services.
“What will be very interesting to watch is how younger ‘road warriors’ shape and impact business travel, particularly with alternative sources for transportation and accommodations,” said David Holyoke, president of Travel Leaders Corporate.
“Already we are seeing a segment of our clientele opting for the flexibility that those services can provide. It will be incumbent upon travel management companies to help their clients incorporate those services into their corporate travel policies for financial reasons and for duty of care.”
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