Vacation may cost more until you return from business trip – News-Herald


When you return from your trip, you may start to feel the impact of the airline ticket stickers.

Yes, but not necessarily because more and more people are on vacation again. It is likely that this is due to the fact that few people are traveling on business.

And leisure travel can be more expensive when business travelers aren’t traveling. It might seem counterintuitive, but these expensive travelers usually help subsidize leisure travel.

Impact of business travel on leisure travel

There are two important areas where leisure travelers and airlines feel a shortage of business travel.

Revenue: Business travelers spend more

As leisure travelers seek out basic economy class air tickets Cheap getaway to Las Vegas Or, when they jump into another travel deal a year later, business travelers typically buy at the last minute and spend a lot.

And that’s not necessarily because they’re more likely to travel first class. According to an analysis of International Air Transport Association data by American Express Global Business Travel, business travelers spend more for the same economy class seats than vacation travelers.

Looking at spending on economy class flights between the United States and Europe in 2019, American Express Global Business Travel found that business travelers spent 63% more on the same type of tickets than business travelers. ‘approval. ..

There are several reasons why business travelers spend more.

Business travelers value flexibility

These are the people who are willing to pay for the peace of mind that tickets can be changed or canceled at the last minute.

For example, Southwest Airlines’ Nerd Wallet analysis in fall 2020 Southwestern Business Selection Tickets are fully refunded and can be converted to same-day travel if seats are available, but on average 349% higher than the airline’s lowest Wanna Get Away fare on the same flight route.

Wanna Get Away fares may be waived, but refunds will be issued in the form of Southwest travel credits rather than refunds.

Business travelers tend to book last minute

Jeremy Queck, chief consultant for American Express Global Business Travel, said:

waiting for Last minute travel deals Most experts, if present, agree that advance reservations, especially airline tickets, mean better deals.

Availability: business travelers increase travel demand

While business travelers pay more, airlines are luring vacationers into transactions to fill the remaining seats. But that’s not the only reason business travel is beneficial. There is also flexibility.

Growing demand from business travelers means airlines are offering more routes. More routes mean leisure travelers can choose more favorable flight times – perhaps faster flights to avoid Pay extra for late check-out Of the hotel. Vacationers can travel to a small regional airport near the resort. Flexible vacationers can choose the cheapest air route.

However, COVID-19 has forced airlines to cut many routes. Another study by American Express Global Business Travel looked at the number of routes between the two airports, Boston Logan Airport and New York-LaGuardia Airport. This is a powerful route for business travelers, Queck said. In the second quarter of 2021, the number of available flights decreased by 78% compared to the same period in 2019.

“Historically, in this market, leisure activities could have expected 25 to 30 flights per day in each direction,” explains Quek. “Not only the price, but the timing is important. “

What is blocking your business trip?

An analysis done in June by the American Travel Association found that about 35% of U.S. businesses are currently on business trips.

Due to border closures, quarantine requirements, COVID-19 inspection requirements, etc., business travel was reduced and it was difficult to return. The American Travel Association also said confusing regulations and an uneven patchwork of state and local guidelines handling large gatherings contributed to the decline.

And here’s the big deal. Fewer meetings and other specialist events.

According to a report by the American Travel Association, travel spending for major expert meetings and face-to-face events fell 76% in 2020 from 2019, resulting in a loss of $ 97 billion. According to a 2021 survey by research firm APKO Insight, 81% of people who attended work-related events and conventions before the pandemic said they could no longer attend.

Business travelers will ask on their return

When a business trip returns, it gets complicated. According to responses to a survey of 3,850 companies, employees choose direct flights, stay in 4 to 5 star hotels, first class and business class, and so on. in the name of COVID-19 security. We are looking for benefits such as premium seating selection. A traveler made by Wakefield Research in the spring for the SAP Concur travel agency.

Many of these demands come from young workers, and more than half say they will limit travel or seek new jobs if the company does not implement health protection policies. to augment.

And that’s not the only requirement that can complicate travel. Of those surveyed, 62% said they would need a full vaccination from visiting clients or colleagues.

Silver lining

Fewer business travelers are booking Business Class or First Class seats, so if you have Elite status or points to redeem, you’re more likely to get an upgrade.

And while business travel is slow to return, the whole journey is back. On the weekend of July 4, the Transportation Security Administration said more than 10 million passengers passed the national security checkpoint and some airports exceeded 2019 travel volume. Likewise, the American The Travel Association predicts that domestic leisure travel will reach 99% of its pre-pandemic peak by 2022.

“People who travel again have significantly improved their self-confidence,” Quek says. “We are absolutely confident that our business trip will be back. The biggest caveat is the rate at which this will occur. “

Watch the fierce competition for when and where travelers expect price increases.

“Be aware of routes that have undergone significant capacity or schedule changes,” Quek explains.

Expect higher prices on competitors and routes with reduced schedules.

So far, the busy summer season has led airlines to add routes. Southwest Airlines said it would resume flights to all previously offered international destinations by November 7, with a focus on flights to beach destinations such as Hawaii, Costa Rica and Florida. Delta is turning to international flights with relatively low travel restrictions, such as Croatia, Greece, Iceland and Italy.

However, business travel may not return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year. Otherwise, the economic model of airline tickets is at stake.

“If you have fewer competitors, fewer routes and fewer options, that means higher prices,” Quek explains. “Business travel is absolutely important to the overall health of the trip.”

SallyFrench writes to NerdWallet. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @SAFmedia.

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