Many business travelers this year have been affected by delays, cancellations and other air travel problems that have plagued airlines around the world, according to a new survey by travel management company Egencia, and nearly half said they would rather cancel future trips rather than dealing with more. disruption.
Staffing issues and supply chain problems, among others, have hampered airlines around the world, leading to flight delays and cancellations and, in Europe, airport capacity constraints and even sales restrictions. About 73 percent of the trips of the 750 business travelers each from the United States, the United Kingdom and France who travel at least three times a year for business surveyed by Egencia and Censuswide this year suffered some kind of disruption.
Some of those travelers have had enough. Although 94 percent of respondents said they see the benefits of getting back on the road for work, 49 percent of respondents indicate they would rather cancel a future trip than deal with a flight disruption.
“About 50 percent of people are questioning a business trip because of what could happen, I don’t think we’ve ever had that before,” Egencia president Mark Hollyhead told BTN on Monday at the Global Business Travel Association in San Diego. “You might have had that in November in Denver, but you didn’t have that as an overarching belief about my plan for a business trip.”
Some of those who still intend to fly have taken steps to mitigate the likelihood of encountering flight problems. Some 46 percent of respondents indicated they booked early morning flights as a way to avoid delays or cancellations, and 40 percent said they avoided specific airlines or airports to minimize disruption.
“Because of your perspective on what’s going to happen, you’re more likely to book an early morning flight because it’s a higher guarantee than waiting until the end of the day,” Hollyhead said. “I think that’s new.” Typically, he said, most travelers would schedule flights based on their meeting plans or business needs, but “if I’m indexing toward my personal life, making sure I have the highest probability of getting there where I need to be. a certain time, that’s a very different lens of business travel.”
Hollyhead suggested that most corporations today are not taking tough stances with travelers about planning around potential disruptions, even if there are additional costs.
Egencia’s parent company, American Express Global Business Travel, unveiled a set of tools designed to help travel managers and travelers deal with flight disruptions, and 74 percent of Egencia survey respondents indicated they are more likely to use technology tools “like apps and virtual agents” already. pandemic.
“People want a mix of confidence defined by the tools you’re going to give me to do my job and the knowledge that I can pick up the phone or use the tools to get me back on track,” Hollyhead said.
Amex GBT adds features to manage flight disruptions