18 APRIL 2011
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European business travellers are turning to flying as a respite from the pressures of daily life, providing a rare opportunity to unwind rather than simply just a means to get to the next meeting, according to a new survey commissioned by Delta Air Lines.
When asked, the vast majority of business travellers in the UK (93%), France (94%), Germany (88%) and Spain (91%), place a high value on being pampered by the cabin staff before settling down to the latest movie or good book during their flight.
In each country, around half of the sample had taken transatlantic flights. The survey, which was conducted by international market research firm ComRes, asked travellers about their habits and choices when it comes to air travel, including the use of technology and their booking preferences. The London-based organisation surveyed 2,000 business travellers in the UK, France, Germany and Spain online between 11 and 21 March 2011. Respondents have travelled by air for business purposes at least once in the last 12 months, with most taking one to five flights per year.
“The survey results highlight some of the key trends for Europeans flying for business purposes,” said Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s Senior Vice President Europe, Middle East and Africa. “More than anything else, it indicates that travellers want to escape the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life and unwind on their flights. And when it comes to deciding which carrier to fly with, business travellers want a well-timed, frequent schedule at a competitive price and quality Business Class product offering.”
The most popular way to relax among survey respondents was reading (UK 64%), (France 63%), (Germany 72%), (Spain 63%), followed by sleep, around 60% signalling that to be a vital component, followed by watching a movie (UK 56 %), (France 54%), (Germany 44%), (Spain 53%).
The majority of travellers surveyed in the UK (72%) and Spain (62%) said the primary reason for choosing an airline is the ticket price. However, 61% of Spanish business travellers say that the schedule and network of an airline are also important. And business travellers in Germany and France cited schedule and network as their No. 1 reason (70% and 63% respectively).
More than half of business travellers across Europe prefer to book their tickets using online travel sites.
The survey also highlighted how European business travellers are relying more on technology to further alleviate the stress of travel, turning in particular to smartphone applications such as weather updates and travel maps to support their trips.
AERBT has also conducted a small straw poll and discovered that most of those questioned were happy enough to fly economy within Europe but found queuing and relaxing at the airport a real strain. Use of executive clubs and priority boarding does cut down the difficulties in this respect.
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