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A new study reveals that the majority of U.S. business travelers are happy to pay out of their own pocket for non-policy conveniences such as hotel room or airline seat upgrades and faster hotel wifi. The US Business Traveler & Travel Policy 2018 survey by Travelport also shows American employees are divided when it comes to security measures – 55% agreed their company should be allowed to use GPS tracking solutions to monitor their location during business trips, while 45% disagree. U.S. travelers are also more willing to sacrifice their personal data for security and other benefits, with 70% saying they’d offer their details in exchange for personalized ads that are relevant to them when booking business travel online.
In terms of booking behavior, 48% of respondents said they prioritize flight departure and arrival times and direct services. Only 12% said they choose based on company cost savings and keeping a work-life balance.
While nearly all of those surveyed claimed to be compliant with company policy, more than 80% agreed they would like to work for an organization that allows them to book travel directly and offers automated, digital expense reporting.
In a bit of good news for the U.S. business travel industry, 57% of respondents said their 2018 budget is larger than it was in 2017. Four in five of those surveyed said they like to travel for business, with 40% agreeing they’d like to work for an organization that asks them to travel frequently. Nearly 90% are allowed to use loyalty points accrued during business trips for themselves.
Travelport noted that the survey suggests standard corporate travel policies may be falling short in addressing business travelers’ expectations. Convenience and a familiar consumer experience are important to business travelers when planning and managing their journeys.
Source: Buying Business Travel