Chapman Freeborn asks, is it time to rethink Business Travel policy?
Thinking like a traveler as well as an administrator, business travel options may need to include some new traveler friendly elements.
Considering most company employees have been working from home for the last 12 months, there will be some change in perspective regarding business travel. Now’s the time to review existing travel policies with a view toward real balance. Not all travelers are enthusiastic about getting back on the road. Perhaps there are areas of opportunity that can be opened for discussion.
One of these areas is private jet travel. This category may not be for every employee, but it does make sense at the Executive Team level. If you look at the benefits with fresh eyes, there are some that stand out and particularly given the commercial airline realities of business travel in the future.
Commercial airlines are coming out of this period smaller and leaner than when they went in. Some saying that it will be a hard reset. Each carrier will need to evaluate their networks. What works and what does not. They will be pulling out of less profitable routes permanently. Frequent flyers with high status, who typically travel business class, are getting fed up with flying commercial. Security lines have grown significantly, legroom is shrinking, and inflight niceties are disappearing.
According to The Points Guy, major U.S. carriers received federal aid ($2 trillion CARES Act) but the strings attached requires them to maintain connectivity nationwide. They were required to serve all their existing destinations (as of March 1, 2020) with a minimum of one flight daily to any city they previously served daily. That’s one daily flight per destination, not per route. The third largest carrier in the US effectively cut 80% of their schedule, across every city in America.
A realistic business travel option that offers the convenience of flying out of smaller airports and private terminals may be private jets. The total value of the flight experience, combined with flexibility and comfort, makes this option a contender. Consider these benefits:
- Save time, an average 4 hours of executive time is wasted when flying commercial.
- Smaller airports, less traffic
- Personal comfort
- Stay productive, confidential meetings
- Privacy and security
Considering the time saved, (on average 4.5 hours) travelers can typically arrive just 15 minutes before departure time. Avoiding the long lines and baggage checks are a huge part of restoring some balance to business travel days. The other side of this balance is that travelers can stay productive from the moment the board or take in two cities in one day and avoid a hotel night. Onboard meetings stay confidential and personal space is guaranteed. Executive level travelers value time over everything else and being able to control the flight schedule is priceless.