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Business Travel Survey of 1,500 Road Warriors Reveals Plans for Increased Travel — Could Signal Packed Flights in 2016

As airlines continue to struggle with effective ways to remain profitable, their biggest challenge remains how to maintain customer satisfaction from millions of passengers, including the business traveler who is the backbone of the airline industry.  In a recent survey conducted among 1,500 business travelers, ExpertFlyer.com and View from the Wing blog asked customers and readers to offer their thoughts about the state of the industry in 2015 and their travel plans for the New Year.  Based on the survey’s results and anticipated travel plans for 2016, travelers in general could see a decrease in the number of available seats, which doesn’t signal relief from higher airfares.

(Click infographic to enlarge)

business travel survey infographicAmong the key survey highlights

  • 43% said they traveled at least 15 times in 2015 and 83% said they would travel as much or more in 2016
  • 79% percent earned more than 100K frequent flyer miles over the past 12 months; 60% said they earned the majority of points by flying, while 39% earned more miles through credit card purchases. 15% of survey participants admitted to padding their expense reports at least once
  • 15% said they participated in one or more activities they would not otherwise do at home, including: participated in an extramarital affair, experimented with recreational drugs, and even pretended to be someone else
  • 25% said they now use ride share services, such as Uber or Lyft, rather than a traditional taxi (17%)
  • 40% said their companies did not allow stays at non-traditional living accommodations, such as Airbnb

“Our survey among ExpertFlyer customers and View from the Wing readers really focused in on the true business traveler who is frequently on the road and has a firm opinion about the travel industry and its impact on them,” explains Chris Lopinto, president and co-founder of ExpertFlyer.com.  “The survey offers some insight into the mindset of the business traveler, what they thought about their experiences in 2015 and more importantly, their thoughts for the year ahead.”

According to View from the Wing author Gary Leff, “Paying attention to the habits and trends among the people who travel the most gives us insight into what to expect industry-wide, and more importantly, we can follow their lead and make our own travel better too.”

Full Business Travel Survey results are available here. To read our Consumer Travel Survey, click here.

“Did you know…Man gets thrown in jail because he was 100 pounds heavier than his passport photo?”

Atterbell Maplanka

Atterbell Maplanka reunites with family – Photo via The Argus

In a recent USA Today story, it was reported that Atterbell Maplanka was arrested at Heathrow Airport after returning to London from his mother’s funeral in Zimbabwe because border officials refused to believe his passport was legitimately his own, since he appeared much heavier than his passport photo.

A resident of the UK for more than 15 years, Maplanka was prohibited from reentering the country. Instead, he was arrested and sent to an Immigration Removal Center after agents failed to recognize Maplanka as the markedly thinner man in his own passport photo. Maplanka did admit that he gained about 125 lbs. since the photo was taken.

Read the full story here.

Expertflyer Top Tweets

ExpertFlyer Top TweetsRecent tweets from @ExpertFlyer that have people talking

ExpertFlyer Top Tweets

ExpertFlyer Top TweetsRecent Tweets People are Reading from @ExpertFlyer.com

What is the world’s top airport? Survey says … ift.tt/1B8u5Mt

Lufthansa flies first Premium Economy-equipped A380 ift.tt/1NLnGkD

FAA Updates Runway Safety Area Efforts at Airports ift.tt/18A9jPg

Delta to further trim Cincinnati flight schedule ift.tt/1B1zSDu

2014 jet accident rate lowest in history, IATA says ift.tt/1GCfgKr

Yes, those are AA Dreamliners in the skies over West Texas ift.tt/1EKjpK5

BA to retrofit newer A320s with sharklet wing-tips ift.tt/1MeTk8t

The Frommers Name Top Travel Trends for 2015 at NY Times Travel Show

New York Times Travel ShowBaby, it may have been cold and grey outside, but the recent New York Times Travel show at New York’s Javits Center offered respite from the chill with dreams of colorful, temperate and far off environs.

arthur and pauline frommerExpertFlyer was on hand to visit with exhibitors and attend seminars presented by venerated travel experts and guide publishers, Arthur and Pauline Frommer. Here’s a cheat sheet on the travel trends and top destinations they recommend for 2015.

Now that travel restrictions have been relaxed, Cuba is the talk of the town for2015.  Experts are advising to get packing quickly before over commercialization overtakes the beauty and nostalgia of this island frozen in time.

If you’re thinking about making the trek, the Frommers recommend some accommodation options:

There are also a number of travel service providers who are quickly expanding their offerings or specializing in Cuban travel, including SmarTours.com and CubaTravelServices.com.

surging US dollar good for travel

There was buzz about the surging US dollar and the benefit that it will offer international travelers, particularly those traveling to Europe and Latin American destinations, like Argentina.

Hotel chains are upping their game this year, including sophisticated technology enhancements that allow your smartphone to open doors, as well as track your purchasing habits for dynamic pricing and targeted promotions — good and bad. Now’s a good time to join hotel loyalty programs, too, as perks will include free wi-fi and room upgrades.

In our next installment we’ll count down the top 14 travel spots to consider this year.

Happy Travels!