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 →
At the recent GBTA Conference, Concur, a leading provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions, unveiled its annual State of Business Travel report.
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.
According to a recent survey of more than 1,200 ExpertFlyer Seat Alerts subscribers, 65% of air travelers were able to redeem awards points towards upgrades and free travel in the past 12 months. That’s a good thing, but the survey also suggests that while the majority of travelers say they have been able to redeem points, 50% also said their ability to cash in declined over the past year. We asked travel reward and credit card expert, Jason Steele, to weigh in on this and more in a One-on-One interview.
“Less than 30 percent of respondents were able to redeem awards at the ‘saver level,’ underscoring the difficulty in redeeming award points at this level. The fact that 65% were able to redeem their miles, but 50 percent said their success rate declined tells me that they are simply using more miles to obtain awards and upgrades while others are holding out for saver-level deals, but can’t find them.”
– Jason Steele, Senior Points and Miles Contributor for The Points Guy, an expert in award travel and credit cards
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 →
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)
Among 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.