Americans waste 1.8 million years worth of vacation time

When it comes to frequent travel, ExpertFlyer subscribers are among the top tier, whether it’s for business or leisure travel.  In fact, a recent survey of more than 1,500 of our Seat Alerts subscribers indicated that 87% of those polled take a minimum of two vacations each year and 28% said they took four or more vacations per year.  Since vacations are worth their weight in stress relief, increased productivity, exposure to beauty, culture and new people – and more, we thought we’d talk to time-off expert, Katie Denis, senior director of Project: Time Off, to see how the rest of the world is using — or not using — their vacation time.

WATCH: ExpertFlyer’s One-on-One Interview with Katie Denis of Project: Time Off

Katie Denis: Generally, most Americans are not taking all their vacation time. 55% of them left time on the table last year to the tune of 658 million unused days. That’s 1.8 million years if you want to break it down. Continue reading →

2nd Annual Summer Travel Survey Reveals Thoughts About Travel Safety, Rewards Programs, and How Airlines Can Keep Customers

Travel experts weigh in on results adding commentary about purchasing habits, security / privacy issues and Facebook’s edge as the preferred way for travelers to share their travel experiences

With families in the thick of planning their summer vacations, ExpertFlyer.com is releasing results from its second annual travel survey. The data reveals, not surprisingly, that the majority (81%) of travelers believe taking a vacation is very important, citing exposure to beauty, culture and new people as the biggest benefit, followed by increased energy, excitement and stress relief.  The survey also discovered that despite vast technological leaps and the convenience of online search and booking, planning a vacation is still a time-consuming proposition with 51% of those polled saying they spend a minimum of 2-3 hours over multiple days hunting down airfare deals and nearly a one-third spending in excess of 4 hours over multiple days. The overwhelming majority (79%) also said they would relinquish some privacy issues to expedite security checkpoints and voiced what they want airlines to do to maintain their loyalty.

WATCH: ExpertFlyer Co-founder and President Chris Lopinto comments on trends emerging from latest survey

ExpertFlyer conducted the survey with more than 1,200* consumer-based travelers subscribing to its free Seat Alerts app to determine their favorite destinations, airlines and award programs, how they pay for travel, and how they communicate with the world while on vacation and more.  The illuminating results are illustrated in the survey’s infographic. Continue reading →

Expert Tips for Taking Great Vacation Photos

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

August is a popular month for family vacations.  Some will travel to Europe and other parts of the world, some will explore our National Parks, and others will visit local attractions or create a Staycation in their hometown.  Regardless of where you travel this summer, there will be plenty of picture-taking opportunities.  While most pictures taken this summer will never go beyond social media posts or the devices that created them, there are opportunities to create truly unique photos for display in the home or office and online photo labs offer several interesting finishes to match any décor.

Pro Photographer, Gary Arndt

Pro Photographer, Gary Arndt

We invited renowned travel photographer and blogger Gary Arndt to share a few tips for capturing memorable photos and telling your story (with pictures).  Gary has been traveling around the world virtually non-stop since 2007. During this time he has visited 120 countries/ territories and all 7 continents.  He has also visited more than 311 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which were created by the Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1978 as part of a global effort to preserve the world’s cultural and natural heritage. Continue reading →

Sharing Economy Lodging Takes Off Among Business Travelers

At the recent GBTA Conference, Concur, a leading provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions, unveiled its annual State of Business Travel report.

state of business travel 2016

Concur analyzed business travel booking and expense reporting data from its database of more than 40 million users, representing more than $76 billion in annual spend.  In an effort to make the data more actionable by companies, Concur categorized six unique personas that represent typical business travelers:

  • Savvy Sam is a power traveler who travels 40 percent of the time, taking approximately 25 trips per year.
  • Jet Setter Jeremy is typically a C-suite executive who travels frequently, preferring to fly first-class and stay at five-star hotels.
  • High-tech Hannah is a young millennial who travels once a quarter, often combining personal and business travel, while staying budget conscious.
  • Approving Manager Alan doesn’t travel much himself, but is responsible for approving travel and expense reports and keeping budgets in line.
  • Travel Arranger Tanya books for others and files expense reports for teammates several times a week.
  • Cautious Carl travels just once or twice a year for business. He typically plans far in advance and isn’t familiar with policies and process.

Business Traveler Behaviors

The State of Business Travel report confirms that not all business travelers are created equal. In some cases, a company may want to tailor its travel policy to account for the unique needs of its travelers, from frequent flyers and road warriors to once-a-year travelers.

  • More than half of all business travelers are “Cautious Carls,” but Carls account for only 14 percent of total business travel spend.
  • “High-tech Hannahs” and “Cautious Carls” care more about price than other types of travelers, while “Savvy Sams” and “Jet Setter Jeremys” (who contribute to 46 percent of total business travel spend) are more concerned with comfort and convenience.
  • When it comes to air travel, “Jet Setter Jeremys” consistently spend the most because they are more likely to book at the last minute and opt for premium seats.

Continue reading →

“Did you know…Delta slowly resumes flights after major computer crash?”

delta resumes flights after computer outage

According to numerous reports, Delta Air Lines is recovering after a massive computer system crash, which occurred at 2:30am this morning.  Among the world’s largest carriers, Delta operates approximately 5,000 departures per day. Reuters reports that flights gradually began taking off again this morning, but the airline said customers should expect large-scale delays.

Southwest Airlines experienced a similar outage less than three ago, which resulted in 600-700 canceled and delayed flights.

According to Reuters, airline industry consultants say airlines face an increasing risk from computer disruptions as they automate more of their operations, distribute boarding passes on smartphones and fit their planes with Wi-Fi.

 

 

 

Brexit and Terror Impact Travel Plans to US and Europe

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

American Airlines President Scott Kirby told USA Today that revenue on seat-capacity available to Europe dropped 6% during April, May and June, compared to a year earlier. A double-digit decline Europe is expected in the third quarter, he added.

Brexit

According to a Wall Street Journal report, “A confluence of negative factors is buffeting Europe’s tourism business. Travelers appear more cautious following a spate of attacks—most recently in Munich and in Nice, France. Economic growth in many European countries is weak, straining some consumers’ pocketbooks. And the British pound is down 8.6% against the euro since the Brexit vote—boosting costs for the bloc’s single largest source of international tourists after Germany.”

In a related story from nsight, demand for US travel from the UK is down nearly 18% YOY. And it’s not limited to Great Britain:

  • France demand to the US for the summer is down with the biggest drop in July (-13.2%) and August and September down less than 5%.
  • Germany demand increased for July (+10.8%) and then dropped moderately YOY for August (-7.5%) and September (-8.5%).