Service remains top priority for business travelers
Monday, December 17, 2012
The demands that many executives face while traveling can make for a stressful experience. Closing deals, examining the investment potential of emerging markets and negotiating contract renewals can take their toll on even the most experienced business traveler. For these reasons, it should come as little surprise that many executives choose to stay in serviced apartments and corporate housing while traveling to minimize stress and maximize productivity. However, the commercial travel market remains fiercely competitive, and many of the major players in the industry were recently profiled by Business Traveler magazine for their offerings.
As the cost of business travel remains a top priority for many organizations, it is little wonder that most executives polled by the news source placed the highest value on the quality of service. In terms of the global business travel sector, many of the winners were located outside the U.S.
Asiana Airlines secured first place as the best overall airline, while Qatar Airways was voted the best carrier for international travel. Singapore Airlines took the Best First-Class, Business-Class and Economy-Class Service awards, while Korean Air was commended for its in-flight menu options for executive travelers. In the U.S., Delta Airlines was voted the best carrier in North America for first- and business-class customer service, while United secured the top vote for overall North American travel.
While Business Traveler magazine's awards show that customer service is often at the top of many executive's priorities, business-class passengers traveling to smaller regional cities across the U.S. may not be able to be as discerning.
A recent opinion-editorial published in the Idaho Business Review highlighted the problems that many business travelers experience in rural states. Passengers traveling to and from flight hubs such as Boise often have to wait several hours for connecting flights, due to consolidation of routes operated by major carriers and financial restrictions experienced by many smaller airlines.
While this may be seen as unacceptable by some executives, other cities across the nation are in worse shape. Regional commercial hubs such as Syracuse, New York, Des Moines, Iowa, and Charleston, South Carolina, all have far fewer average seats per resident than cities such as Boise.