10 frequent business traveller frustrations and how to deal with them effectively
7th September 2015
Flight delays or cancellations, long waiting times at the airport, travel times outside of normal business hours, no free Wi-Fi at the hotel, journey planning and trip organisation – the list of factors that can frustrate business travellers is long. A recent study carried out by AirPlus revealed that almost half of business travellers interviewed see travelling for work as both a frustration and motivation. The survey also highlights the growing need for companies to have a clear understanding of business traveller frustrations and motivations when it comes to creating an effective business travel management solution that reduces costs and encourages employees to support the business travel programme.
Here we have compiled a simple list of the 10 most common business traveller frustrations, including tips on how travel arrangers and travellers can deal with them more effectively.
1 Research options (finding your way, best local venues, restaurants, bars)
Finding your way, the best local venues, restaurants or bars may take your time and may often not be the easiest to do if the business traveller is not familiar with the location. Try using online guides, peer reviews and expert blogs to compile a personalised travel guide, with options tailored to the needs of your business traveller in advance. Mobile business travel Apps, such as Flightline Travel’s App make it easy for business travellers to access destination information via their mobile device via the touch of a button.
2 Going through security, passport control and customs
Apart from following our advice in a previous blog (7 business travel agents tips to make your time at the airport less stressful) for assisting travellers through security as quickly as possible, travellers should consider the option of using the ePassport gates. If you are a DIY travel arranger, remember to brief your business travellers in advance so they are aware and comply with the legal requirements regarding customs to be able to take the “nothing to declare” line. If your company has an appointed travel management company, like Flightline Travel, then they will do this for you ensuring your travellers are looked after and well-informed at all times.
3 Waiting time
Nobody is usually happy to be sitting around while waiting for their flight; even worse if it is delayed during a business trip which is generally subject to a tight schedule and requires travellers to be in time for their business meetings, no matter what. However, since there is not much you can do about the waiting time, you can prepare for possible disruptions by planning sufficient time for travel. Frequent business travellers may already do this, but having a list of things you may be able to do while waiting you can get some work done and reduce the pressure of your workload later.
4 Short-notice travel changes
Make sure your business travellers are subscribed to airline specific flight updates so they are notified about any gate changes, the flight delays or cancellations ahead of time. Should a whole trip undergo short-notice travel disruptions or changes, ideally have them arrange a “plan B” from the beginning. This way you can avoid being caught on the wrong foot and are already prepared – just in case. Also by using a business travel company you ensure, your business travellers have access to tools, such as Flightline Mobile Travel App informing them while they are on the road, and pro-active support from a dedicated travel consultant team making sure your travellers travel safe and arrive in time despite travel disruptions. Plus, if your employees travel plans change, they are just one call away to re-arrange your trip and amend bookings whenever needed. This way travelling employees have the confidence they have a backup, who is there to help navigate unpredictable situations.
5 Time away from friends/family
According to a recent Airplus Study, time spent away from family and friends is a key factor making business travel stressful for many employees. Although, you cannot do much about this situation, by making sure your employees have a good internet connection to be able to stay in touch with their friends and families while away, especially on longer trip, helps quite a bit. Plus, improving the overall business traveller experience can help minimise stress, making the overall trip more pleasant and thus productive.
6 Long journey times
Make sure your business travellers know how to pull through long journey times, such as getting up from their seats and walking, drinking enough water and having taken something along on the trip in addition to work for a welcome break time.
7 Lack of comfort on trips
Modern business travellers increasingly demand comfort during a trip. By giving your travelling employees the best possible level of comfort may positively impact on duty of care as well as staff retention. Some might say avoiding the comfort issue is hardly possible unless you book business or first class from the beginning. But ensuring employees have a comfortable trip, doesn’t have to be expensive. Today, there are, even when flying economy, there is increasingly the option of booking premium economy with more legroom and better food. Should the economy class be the choice, you may aim at booking a seat in the first row or the emergency exit rows for more leg room at least. In addition, you could use airline corporate mileage schemes offering free perks and additional benefits to travellers.
8 Not enough time at destination
There’s a new kid in town. Whether you like it or not ‘bleisure’ or ‘bizcation’, the trend of combining business trips with leisure time, is on the rise among modern business travellers. By allowing travellers some spare time at the destination to adjust after a long flight and to explore the destination, you may find that especially your frequently travelling employees become more motivated and productive knowing they are working for a company which recognises their need for work-life balance. However, it is still a grey area for many companies, especially in relation to expenses and deciding on “who pays what”. By embracing the concept of ‘bleisure’, provided you have set up a clear travel expenses policy that allows for some room for personal enjoyment you can improve business traveller motivation, productivity and overall traveller satisfaction.
9 Local language barriers and unfamiliar culture
Business travellers may feel uncomfortable when confronted with language barriers and unfamiliar cultures. Provide them in advance with the most important information on the culture at their destination and maybe a couple of words in the local language, such as “thank you” or “please”.
10 Lack of good quality advice regarding business travel services
Many business travellers, but also corporate travel management departments feel left in the dark when it comes to good quality advice regarding business travel services. Apart from using e.g. a kind of memory of expenditure service, make sure you co-operate with a pro-active travel management company, like Flightline Travel, that understands your business and provides you with all the support, information and advice, ideally tailored to your companies and travellers’ needs.
Avoiding business travellers’ frustrations and improve traveller satisfaction with a tailored business travel solution
Flightline Travel Management believe understanding what motivates and frustrates business travellers is a crucial factor when it comes to finding effective solutions that reduce business travel spend without compromising traveller satisfaction. Understanding our client’s needs and goals is the key at Flightline Travel Management, one of the UK’s leading independent business travel agents, delivering great travel booking services, superior support and custom-made business travel management solutions. To find out more, contact us on 01844 299 750 or enquire online to learn more about business traveller transaction services and programme management solutions.