While Optima is spreading the good news, another AmEx unit is busy giving corporate travel officers something new to worry about. According to the company's yearly travel industry forecast, business airfares this year will jump 10% to 12%.

Hotels and car-rental companies won't get away with similar hikes. A glut of rooms will keep hotel increases between 2% and 4%, according to AmEx' Travel Management Services unit, which produced the report. The rise for car rentals will be 3% to 5%. Airfares account for 41% of corporate travel costs, hotels 22%, meals and entertainment 27%, car rentals 8%. The remaining 2% falls into that useful category "other."

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