Business travelers battle for quiet on flights, train rides
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Business travelers and commuters often hope to work while flying or embarking on train travel, but noise can often put a damper on productivity. This week, European high-speed rail service Eurostar announced the introduction of "quiet" cars on their routes linking London with Paris and Brussels.
Business travelers find that time spent on a train or airplane is ideal for accomplishing work tasks. Rather than having to work nonstop from corporate housing, business travelers can actively engage in company activities while in transit.
Commuter rail services across the United States already make use of quiet cars. Chicago's Metra expanded its implementation of quiet cars to all lines in 2011, Los Angeles' Metrolink added quiet cars in 2011 and the Northeast Corridor's NJ Transit began adding them in 2010.
Air travelers have a slightly more difficult obstacle to overcome: traveling children. While trains and commuter rail service have cars for easy separation, airplanes have no such spatial distinction. Children are allowed in both economy and first class areas.
In 2011, a survey conducted by the Business Travel & Meetings Show found that out of 1,000 business travelers in the UK, 74 percent found flying alongside children to be an unnecessary and annoying hassle. ABC News cited a TripAdvisor survey which found that 40 percent of fliers would pay extra to sit in a designated "quiet" section of a plane.