US business travelers will sacrifice personal privacy for travel convenience

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A majority of U.S. business travelers are willing to spend their own money to pay for non-travel policy conveniences like upgraded hotels, faster hotel WiFi and airline seat upgrades, according to the “U.S. Business Traveler & Travel Policy 2018” survey published today.

The survey also shows the responders are deeply divided – with 55 percent agreeing and 45 percent disagreeing – over whether to allow their employers to use GPS tracking solutions to monitor their movements and location while on business trips.

The willingness of business travelers to trade personal privacy for enhanced corporate security reflects their readiness to make sacrifices in return for other benefits. For example, 70 percent of travelers are willing to offer their personal data in return for personalized ads that are relevant to them when booking business travel online.

Other trends revealed in the survey include:

• Time is money: Convenience is the motivating factor when choosing an airline for business travel. Forty eight percent of respondents prioritized factors like flight departure and arrival times, as well as direct flights, while only 12 percent cited company cost-savings and keeping a work/life balance.

• Booking flexibility could improve: While compliant with policies, travelers want more freedom to self-service flights and manage their own expense reports. While almost 100 percent of travelers comply with their company’s travel policies, more than 80 percent agree they would like to work for an organization that allows them to book travel directly and which allows automated, digital expense reporting.

• Travel budgets are up: Company resources available for travelers to do their jobs. Fifty-seven percent of respondents say their 2018 business travel budget is larger than their 2017 travel budget.

• Business travel is a perk: Approximately four out of five travelers like to travel for business. 40 percent definitely agree they would like to work for an organization that asks them to travel frequently and almost 90 percent are allowed to keep for themselves the loyalty points accrued during business travel.

Commenting on the survey, Erika Moore, Travelport’s vice president and general manager of U.S. Sales said, “The survey suggests standard corporate travel practices may be falling short of business travelers’ expectations while on the road. Convenience and a familiar consumer experience are important to business travelers when planning and managing their journeys. That’s why mobile solutions are so relevant to the needs of today’s corporate travel managers and their clients.”