US travellers happy to pay for upgrades

A new study reveals that the majority of US business travellers are happy to pay out of their own pocket for non-policy conveniences such as hotel room or airline seat upgrades and faster hotel wifi.

The US Business Traveler & Travel Policy 2018 survey by Travelport also shows American employees are divided when it comes to security measures – 55 per cent agreed their company should be allowed to use GPS tracking solutions to monitor their movements and location during business trips, while 45 per cent disagree.

Travellers in the States are also more willing to sacrifice their personal data for security and other benefits, with 70 per cent saying they’d offer their details in exchange for personalised ads that are relevant to them when booking business travel online.

In terms of booking behaviour, 48 per cent of respondents said they prioritise flight departure and arrival times and direct services. Only 12 per cent said they choose based on company cost savings and keeping a work-life balance.

While nearly all of those surveyed claimed to be compliant with company policy, more than 80 per cent agreed they would like to work for an organisation that allows them to book travel directly and offers automated, digital expense reporting.

In a bit of good news for the US business travel industry, 57 per cent of respondents said their 2018 budget is larger than it was in 2017.

Four in five of those surveyed said they like to travel for business, with 40 per cent agreeing they’d like to work for an organisation that asks them to travel frequently. Nearly 90 per cent are allowed to use loyalty points accrued during business trips for themselves.

Erika Moore, vice president and general manager of US sales at Travelport, said: “The survey suggests standard corporate travel policies may be falling short of business travellers’ expectations while on the road. Convenience and a familiar consumer experience are important to business travellers when planning and managing their journeys.”