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.
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.”
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