The American Express Business Travel’s new Global Business Traveler Survey reveals that business travelers have a wide range of preferences and perspectives on topics ranging from the value of rewards programs to the components that comprise an ideal business trip. The findings come from a survey of more than 1,000 business travelers in 10 countries around the world.
The majority of survey participants take advantage of reward programs when traveling for business. When it comes to the types of programs they utilize, 63 percent participate in frequent flyer programs with airlines, with a high of 83 percent in the U.S. and 80 percent in Canada. France has the lowest rate of participation in frequent flyer programs, at 44 percent. The most preferred types of rewards are airline tickets (67 percent), followed by hotel stay (52 percent) and car rental (36 percent).
When selecting an airline, global business travelers rated flight schedules (34 percent) and price (30 percent) as the most important factor. Sixty-four percent of the Japanese felt that schedules were most important, while Germans and Canadians were the most price-sensitive travelers (44 percent).
In China, however, the most important factor was an airline’s safety record, selected by 45 percent of those interviewed.
When examining the services airlines provide their customers, the largest group of respondents selected flat-bed seats as the most important feature when traveling for business. Food service and the onboard entertainment (television, movies and video games) tied for second place as the most important features.
When asked what they would consider to be the most enjoyable part of a business trip, 27 percent of respondents identified meetings with colleagues and/or clients as most enjoyable, followed closely by 25 percent for the flight to their destination, 24 percent for their hotel stay and 23 percent who cited the return home.
When evaluating the most irritating factors of traveling on business, the majority of travelers found travel delays to be the most irritating (52 percent), followed by poor hotel accommodations and boarding/deplaning (9 percent), and getting behind in office work (7 percent).
The survey also revealed that business travelers find in-room Internet access the most important service they look for in a hotel. This was respectively followed by complimentary breakfast, hotel business facilities and VIP check-in/out.