New Report Reveals Corporate Travel Policies’ Large Impact on Key Business Goals

DENVER – July 18, 2016Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC), the premier driver of intelligence and commerce in the air travel industry, today released the results of a detailed study concerning frequent business travel and its effects as perceived by travelers. The study, “Traveler Friction: Insights from U.S. Road Warriors,” conducted in conjunction with American Express Global Business Travel (“GBT”) and tClara, was presented today to attendees at the 2016 Global Business Travel Association Convention currently taking place in Denver.

“Traveler friction is the wear and tear caused by business travel. This study sheds new light on how traveler friction affects road warriors, offers important recruiting and retention implications, and helps travel, procurement and HR executives make better decisions about their travel programs,” said Scott Gillespie, managing partner, tClara.

This study examines traveler friction from the road warrior’s perspective. Many of the study’s findings will be useful to companies looking to improve their road warriors’ work and personal lives, bolster recruiting and retention and increase the value created by business travel. This research represents the first quantitative measurement of frequent business travelers’ reflections about their road warrior life, company travel policies and interest in changing jobs.

Key findings include:                                                                                                                                 

Road Warriors Pose Significant Attrition Risks – This study found that 15 percent of road warriors are nearly burned out on travel. Half want to travel significantly less in two years; two-thirds believe they could find a good job that doesn’t require much travel, and eight in ten are interested in job offers from firms that have very favorable travel policies. Most importantly, eight in ten said that a new firm’s travel policy would be at least as important as the new job’s pay and responsibilities. To retain talent, companies should consider altering their travel policy and culture to prevent road warriors from burning out and switching jobs.

Big Benefits of Reducing Traveler Friction – Big benefits come from improving corporate travel environments for road warriors. Sixty-five percent said gaining their top four improvements would have a very or extremely positive impact on their willingness to stay with their firm, and that their productivity would increase by an average of 44 percent. For those nearly burned out on travel, trip quality matters more than trip quantity.

Frequent travelers were asked to prioritize their most wanted improvements from a list of 24 options. While there was no broad consensus, the four most popular choices were:

  • The ability to take non-stop flights where available
  • The option to choose more comfortable or convenient hotels
  • The allowance of business-class travel on flights more than six hours
  • Additional paid time off following a long stretch of travel

MMGY Global, a leader in behavioral insights throughout the travel industry, created and conducted the study on behalf of ARC, GBT and tClara, receiving responses between May 19 and May 28, 2016 from 757 business travelers with the following attributes:

  • Born before 1993
  • Personal annual income of at least $50,000
  • Spent at least 35 nights away for business during the past 12 months
  • Majority of business travel involved commercial airline or train transportation

“Traveler Friction: Insights from U.S. Road Warriors” is available for download at http://bit.ly/29SBdtB.

Lauri Reishus, VP and chief operating officer at ARC commented, “Successful companies depend on the in-person interactions made possible with business travel. This study is significant as it quantifies what for so long we’ve intuitively known: that frequent business travel can also be wearing. But what is most interesting is that it’s not trip frequency that matters, it’s the trip quality. ARC has been pleased to sponsor and support this research by building the industry’s definitive Trip Friction® database for trusted benchmarking of this important issue.”‎

“Business travel can be a seamless and worthwhile experience if travel programs are designed with traveler satisfaction and cost savings in mind,” said Evan Konwiser, VP, digital traveler, American Express Global Business Travel. “More and more, our customers are focusing on the traveler experience and productivity. By understanding this research and having the right technologies in place and partners by their side, travel managers can deliver productive experiences to reduce employee burnout and increase the quality and success of their travel programs.”

About ARC

The Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) is the premier driver of air travel intelligence and commerce in the air travel industry with leading business solutions, travel agency accreditation services, process and financial management tools and high-quality data. In 2015, ARC settled $88.3 billion worth of carrier ticket transactions for more than 9,400 travel agencies with 13,000 points of sale. Established in 1984, ARC is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, with offices in Louisville, Kentucky, Tampa, Florida, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. For more information, please visit www.arccorp.com and www.twitter.com/arctalk

Contact:

Peter Abzug                                                                                                                                       703.816.8158                                                     
pabzug@arccorp.com     

 
About American Express Global Business Travel 

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) equips companies of all sizes with the insights, tools, services and expertise they need to keep their travelers safe, focused and productive while on the road. With approximately 12,000 employees and operations in nearly 120 countries worldwide, GBT empowers customers to take control of their travel programs, optimizing the return on their travel and meetings investments, while, more importantly, providing extraordinary traveler care.

Learn more at amexglobalbusinesstravel.com and 
amexglobalbusinesstravel.com/content/. Follow us @ twitter.com/amexgbt.

American Express Global Business Travel (“GBT”) is a joint venture that is not wholly-owned by American Express Company or any of its subsidiaries (“American Express”). “American Express Global Business Travel”, “American Express” and the American Express logo are trademarks of American Express, and are used under limited license.

Contact:

Margaret Manning
KWITTKEN 
212.352.4651
mmanning@kwittken.com  

About tClara

tClara provides authoritative, innovative and affordable benchmarks for travel leadership. The Air Clarity airfare and Trip Friction® benchmarking tools deliver quick and clear insights for travel programs of any size. tClara is headquartered near Cleveland, Ohio. For more information, please visit www.tclara.com.

Contact:

Scott Gillespie
440.248.4111
scott@tclara.com

©2016 Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC). All rights reserved.