American Express Survey Finds Majority of Global Business Travelers
Balancing Work and Play While on the Road
Employees Off-Setting Travel Related Stress By Opting to Disconnect During
Long Flights and Extending Business Trips into Personal Breaks When Possible
NEW YORK -- September 3, 2013
Business travelers are taking to the skies just as much as in previous years,
but they are increasingly taking time out for themselves, according to new
research released today by American Express Global Business Travel.^1 The
survey, which analyzed the habits of business travelers in the United States,
the United Kingdom and Australia, found that U.S. business travelers are
traveling just as often, and some more frequently, than they did in 2012, but
are increasingly taking time out for themselves while on the road.
Mixing Business with Pleasure
The survey found that U.S. business travelers are taking an average of seven
business trips by air each year. The survey also found that those who travel
outside of the U.S. for business reported taking an average of six
international trips annually. According to the survey, 35% of U.S. business
travelers are making more day trips compared to overnight stays; however,
two-thirds of U.S. business travelers surveyed say they have extended a
business trip in order to take a personal vacation in the past year.
Of those surveyed, 35% of U.S. business travelers reported that their
companies are willing to cover the cost of Wi-Fi while flying. For U.S.
business travelers surveyed whose companies do not cover this expense, 38%
noted that they would be willing to pay for Wi-Fi access out-of-pocket.
However, in spite of overall better connectivity and Wi-Fi access while in the
air, it seems that travelers actually prefer to have a break from work – with
61% of U.S. business traveler respondents saying they look forward to
disconnecting while in flight, as it gives them the chance to take a break and
unwind. In fact, only 23% of U.S. business travelers surveyed work while on
long-haul flights and 56% say they take the time to turn on a movie or dive
into a good book. Socializing or networking seems to be the last thing on
their minds, with only 1% of U.S. business travelers surveyed using their time
to interact with other passengers.
“As Millennials begin to make up a larger portion of the global workforce,
we’re seeing more corporate employee travel behaviors that focus on
alleviating travel-related stress,” said Kevin Carey, Vice President & General
Manager, Global Client Group, American Express Global Business Travel. “These
travelers place a higher value on work/life balance and are savvy about how to
travel efficiently. They make the most of their time on the road and maintain
their mental and physical health while away from the office.”
The Healthy, Relaxed Traveler
In an added effort to relieve stress and stay healthy, the majority of U.S.
business travelers surveyed say they turn to a combination of diet and
exercise in order to maintain good health while traveling. According to the
survey, more than seven out of ten (74%) frequent U.S. business travelers say
they drink extra water, 48% stretch on the plane, and almost half use the gym
at the hotel (44%). In terms of diet and nutrition, 20% of the U.S. business
travelers surveyed avoid alcohol and 41% supplement their diet with vitamins.
The Ups and Downs of Business Travel
According to 21% of U.S. business travelers surveyed, being seated behind a
child or infant is the worst place on the plane to sit followed by the
restroom (14%), next to someone who takes over the armrest (11%), beside a
talkative seatmate (10%), and next to someone who snores (6%).
Further, to make their trips more comfortable and efficient, the most common
travel-related services U.S. business travelers surveyed like to take
advantage of overall are Wi-Fi in the hotel, followed by a hotel breakfast and
pre-boarding options. If their company is picking up the tab, airfare
upgrades, Wi-Fi in the hotel and extra legroom on flights round out the top
three services that are most desired by those U.S. business traveler
The survey also asked business travelers to share their number one tip for
surviving business travel. Tied for first are ‘travel light /carry-on only’
and ‘be patient and relax.’ This might be useful to keep in mind, as the most
common items U.S. business travelers surveyed forget to pack are umbrellas,
phone chargers, toiletries and business cards.
About American Express Global Business Travel
Positioned at the intersection of commerce and travel, American Express Global
Business Travel offers its customers a comprehensive network, service
dependability, and deep insight to help move people and businesses
forward.American Express Global Business Travel provides leading travel
solutions, integrated consulting services, proprietary research, and
end-to-end meetings and events capabilities. These innovative offerings enable
clients to optimize the return on their travel and meetings investments. Learn
more at americanexpress.com/businesstravel.
American Express Global Business Travel is part of one of the world's largest
travel agency networks with locations in 138 countries worldwide.
American Express (NYSE: AXP) is a global services company, providing customers
with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build
business success.Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on
linkedin.com/companies/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and
Key links to products and services: charge and credit cards, business credit
cards, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, business
travel, and corporate card.
^1 The research was conducted among a random sample of business travelers in
the US, UK and Australia, in June 2013. Approximately 500 business travelers
were interviewed in each country.
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