Business travel increased in 2007 and more than half (55 per cent) of business trips conducted by respondents in 2007 took place in business and Economy Extra.
The research released from Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) into the travel experiences of business travellers over the past year shows that business travel was on the rise in 2007 with almost two thirds of all respondents (67 per cent) claiming to have carried out more business trips abroad than in the previous year. Business class travel continues to sell well amongst business travellers with 24 per cent of travellers selecting this class in 2007 while Economy Extra products continue to grow in popularity with 22 per cent of business travel in 2007 occurring in this class.
Lars Ove-Filipson, General Manager SAS UK & Ireland said:
“SAS’ business traveller products have shown good performance figures in 2007 on our UK to Scandinavia flights, Economy Extra (our premium economy product) in particular has performed exceptionally well for SAS with a 16 per cent increase in passenger numbers year to date with Business Class passenger numbers increasing by 1 per cent for the same time period. When reading our figures in-line with the results of our latest research it is evident that business travellers require the flexibility and added service benefits of a business product.”
SAS regularly canvasses members of its frequent flier programme, EuroBonus, to gauge members’ views on their business travel experience. SAS received more than 1,400 responses to its latest poll, more than doubling the usual number of respondents.
60 per cent of respondents claim to always consider the Economy Extra travel options when making their business travel arrangements. Of this group half (50 per cent) claimed that the overriding reason for booking Economy Extra is the flexibility the tickets give to their business arrangements with one respondent arguing that:
“Travelling for business can be a stressful enough experience without the added worry that you might need to change your travel plans at the last minute because work dictates. When I travel for business I need to focus on my performance, I cannot afford to spend time and effort worrying about having to change my travel requirements at the last minute. Business is not an inflexible concept and I need my travel arrangements to work around my business commitments - not the other way around.”
Following flexibility of travel arrangements the second most popular reason for purchasing Economy Extra when travelling on business was the enhanced in-flight experience (23 per cent) followed rather surprisingly by fast track through the airport at only 19 per cent and price (7 per cent).
Economy Extra provides an efficient business service including business class check-in facilities and fully flexible fares with no restrictions. Economy Extra passengers are seated in a dedicated area between the business and economy sections, receive a complimentary meal with drinks and can earn extra frequent flyer points.