Business Travellers: Expectations Rising, Good Value Still Important

World-wide business travel budgets look set to increase in 2001 as business travellers use a range of alternatives - such as the Internet - to secure optimal value for their travel spend.
These are the latest indications from IATA`s Corporate Air Travel Survey 2000, released today. The Survey covers business traveller opinions on issues such as choice of airline, mobile phone use and the impact of air travel on the environment.
The Survey provides a definitive view of international long haul business travel by air in 2000. A compilation of the opinions of over 1000 business travellers from key business-generating regions (North America, Europe, and Asia/Pacific), the 2000 Survey indicates continuing cost-consciousness and a realistic interest in exploiting the opportunities of new technology like the Internet for the best deal.
The 2000 Corporate Air Travel Survey shows a steady and marked increase in the percentage of respondents using discounted tickets, especially in the premium classes. Between 1997 and 2000 the proportion of respondents using discounted tickets rose from 39% to nearly 50%.
In 2000, the Survey re-visits the subject of frequent flyer programmes and global alliances, and finds nearly 90% of respondents are members of at least one frequent flyer programme, with over a third arguing that their programme membership always influences their choice of airline. However, business travellers appear more sceptical of the direct benefits of global alliances. Although definite advantages are seen in the fields of more destinations, over a quarter argue that there are `no consumer benefits at all` from airline alliances.
The Internet is fast becoming a popular booking vehicle for business travellers. Respondents generally agree that flights booked via the Internet are cheaper than those booked by traditional methods. However, most respondents believe Internet travel agency websites offer similar value for money to airline websites.
Another technology that has been adopted by business travellers are e-tickets, with a quarter of this year`s sample frequently travelling without a paper ticket, and just under half believing there are no associated drawbacks.
The Corporate Air Travel Survey has been remodelled in 2000 to allow greater flexibility for users. Reports can be tailored via a combination of Modules covering the In-flight Product, Frequent Flyers or New Technology. The Modules are available with a Core Report of essential data on business travel by air.