This summer, you were hardly far from a new headline asserting another few hundred or thousand flights cancellations, which was generally attributed to staff shortages rather than the traditional weather delays. As we all know, time is money when it comes to business travel, so the delays or cancellations left travelers frustrated and corporate travel managers fuming.
A new survey from American Express Global Business Travel Company Egencia addressed those headaches and what it could mean for business travel moving forward. The survey found that nearly three quarters (74 percent) of business travelers are more likely to use digital tools like apps and virtual agents once their plans have been derailed to focus their options.
The survey queried regular corporate travelers (at least three trips per year) from the US, UK, and France regarding their experiences and found that 73 percent have had some sort of disruption while 69 percent now expect it will be the norm. Consequently, most (85 percent) say they are employing tactics to help prevent it by such as booking an early morning flight (46 percent) or avoiding certain airlines and airports (40 percent).
The good news: the vast majority of those surveyed—94 percent—still think business travel overall is beneficial. Face-to-face collaboration tops the list of travel benefits with nearly a third (30 percent) of all respondents choosing this reason. Only one age group disagreed—respondents aged 55 and older are more interested in the ability to finalize deals with in-person meetings, according to the survey.
“Business travelers are increasingly concerned about experiencing problems on the road and getting the support they need,” says Egencia President Mark Hollyhead. “Whatever the purpose for a trip, if you make the decision to travel it’s an investment in time. We want to be there for our customers and provide the technology and service to manage disruptions as seamlessly as possible.”
Some key takeaways:
- Younger professionals are more likely (75 percent) to use tech to manage disrupted schedules than those over 55 (60 percent).
- Gaining access to real-time updates was selected as the greatest benefit of using digital tools to manage changes to business travel by 43 percent of all respondents. The overwhelming majority agree that technology adds value to trip management with only 4 percent disagreeing.
- There is an appetite for more automated options to smooth travel disruption in the future, with more than a third (34 percent) of frequent travelers calling for predictive flight alerts and 28 percent wishing for automatically rebooked flights when things go wrong.
Visit egencia.com for more information.