Business travelers are
simply not getting enough sleep, according to a new survey conducted by
British Airways and Research International in recognition of National
Sleep Awareness Week*. Out of 1,000 professionals surveyed, 25 percent
admitted to falling asleep in a meeting due to sleep deprivation, and 70
percent felt they were less productive after traveling. Nearly one in five
had a presentation go badly or lost business as a result of poor sleep due
to air travel. While lack of shuteye is common across a broad range of industries, it is
most acute among professionals working in government and politics.
Legal/security/law, computer/software and banking/finance/investment
rounded out the top four.
Citing work stress, family demands and frequent travel, the average
overnight business traveler gets less than the seven to nine hours sleep
per night recommended by the National Sleep Foundation. They lose even
more sleep during air travel. According to the survey, business travelers
only sleep for an average of three hours on overnight flights in economy
class and four hours in business and first.
“Our goal is to help business class passengers get the most sleep possible
during flight so they are at peak performance when they arrive at their
destination,” said Robin Hayes, Executive Vice President, British Airways,
the Americas. “As a result of recent improvements in Club World, forty
percent of British Airways’ passengers are now getting an extra 100
minutes of sleep.”
British Airways is at the forefront of research and innovation when it
comes to understanding the needs of business travelers. The airline, which
was the first to launch flat beds in its Club World business class on all
flights between North America and London, is introducing softer, more
comfortable seat foams with the latest technology to enable better sleep.
In addition, British Airways’ Sleeper Service provides passenger amenities
such as pre-flight dining, a more tranquil cabin with fewer announcements
and nightcap service with comforting hot chocolate and cookies.
The study also addressed the issue of jet lag. Overnight business
travelers cited the following top five methods for overcoming jet lag:
—Showering upon arrival—Drinking water during a flight—Taking a
walk outside upon arrival—Taking a nap after landing—Upgrading to a
British Airways Club World passengers can offset the effects of jet lag by
taking advantage of its London Arrivals Lounge. Services offered include
48 private shower suites and personal valet service.
* National Sleep Awareness Week is March 28 through April 3, 2005.