Biz travellers hang up on in-flight calls

Research released today by Barclaycard Business reveals that despite airlines investing in in-flight mobile phone technology most business travellers are sceptical about the new technology.  Of those questioned in the survey 6 out of 10 business travellers (59 per cent) said that they would not want airlines to allow the use of mobile phones whilst flying, even if the technology was proved risk-free. 

The research comes from the 11th Barclaycard Business Travel Survey.  The survey questioned more than 4,000 business travellers across the United Kingdom and builds a comprehensive picture of the country’s business traveller, gauging views on business travel and travel behaviour.

The survey also found that in-flight mobile phone trials have generated differing reactions with business travellers. Chief executives were more in favour than their junior colleagues: 43 per cent said they would want airlines to introduce the facility of in-flight phone use, compared to less than a third (31 per cent) of company managers.

The research also found that women (62 per cent) were more against the introduction of mobile phone technology than their male counterparts (57 per cent).

Denise Leleux, Director of Commercial Cards, Barclaycard Business said:


“There has been a lot of debate over the last two years regarding the pros and cons of mobile phone calls whilst flying. A number of airlines have publicly announced in-flight mobile trials, however our research shows that a large number of business travellers are wary. This suggests that business people want to preserve this as a time to work or relax without fear of being interrupted, overheard, or having to listen to the person next to them.”

Despite the uncertainty surrounding mobile phones on flights, business travellers are taking advantage of other technologies to reduce the time they spend at airports. Whilst traditional check-in services remain the most used method of checking-in for flights, new forms of check-in, such as self service kiosks and mobile/online check-in, are becoming more popular amongst the business community.

Denise Leleux continues,
“Business travellers want to reduce the hassle of travel as much as possible and queuing to check-in at an airport can take up a lot of valuable time. It is not surprising that many are taking advantage of new ways to check-in. Cutting time at the airport can improve productivity and efficiency and I expect the trend towards online check-in to continue in the coming years.”

But the research confirmed that even though business travellers are keen to make life easier there appears to be no sign of a slow down in business travel. Even with new ways to communicate replacing the need to travel, people still believe that travel is an essential part of their business. An overwhelming number of business travellers (79 per cent) believed that their business had benefited from business travel with only three per cent stating that they could have achieved the same success for their company without travelling.