Business travellers want affordability and friendly service

Amsterdam, 14 April 2016

Business travellers are increasingly keeping an eye on costs. Almost half of them avoid business class and instead accept the level of comfort offered by economy. These are the findings of a survey by Transavia among over 500 Dutch citizen who regularly fly on business. The survey provides insights that will help to further optimize the network, products, and services for business travellers.

Of those surveyed, nearly 40 percent said they paid more attention to the price of airline tickets today than they did three years ago. Only 10 percent of business travellers always want to be able to fly business class. A third only want to fly business class on flights outside Europe, and 48 percent say they no longer choose business class at all. It is mainly price which is deterring business travellers.

Low cost trend
‘We are seeing a very clear pattern of companies looking to cut travel costs, among other things by using low-cost airlines. Even now that the economic crisis is largely behind us, we are not seeing any change to this trend,’ says Paul de Raad, VP of Marketing & E-Commerce at Transavia. The survey reveals that business travellers are not cutting the length of their trips. Most business trips last about two to three days (46 percent). A quarter of business travellers will be away for four to five days and over 12 percent of trips last at least six days. In the Netherlands, KLM and Transavia are the most popular airlines for business trips within Europe.

Comparison sites popular
Companies are finding more ways to reduce the cost of flying. One of those ways is to book tickets in a systematic manner. For instance, 40 percent of business travellers use comparison sites and try to book at exactly the right time. ‘Of course, savvy business travellers book direct with Transavia, as we offer low rates with no booking fees to a large number of destinations,’ says De Raad. Not nearly all business travellers work while in the air: only a handful will have their laptops out for the entire duration of flights within Europe (4.5 percent); almost 45 percent of respondents will do so for half the flight or less; and a third of business travellers do almost no work on the plane.

It is notable how many business travellers mention cabin staff as one of the most important aspects during their trip. No fewer than 85 percent of respondents attach great importance to friendly staff, so the survey shows. Indeed, nearly 46 percent cite grumpy cabin crew as one of the biggest irritations on business flights. ‘Friendliness has been part of our DNA for 50 years. In addition to an affordable price, you can always count on hospitality and friendly service with us,’ says De Raad.

Max fare extended
In addition to friendly cabin crew, business travellers attach importance to comfort and efficiency, such as the ability to board quickly, extra baggage allowances, and adequate legroom. In order to accommodate the wishes of business travellers, Transavia is extending its Max fare. From 21 April, travellers who have booked a Max fare get to use Priority boarding and take an extra piece of hand baggage on board.

Top five destinations for business travellers in Europe
1. London
2. Barcelona
3. Paris
4. Berlin
5. Milan

Reasons for business travellers NOT to use an airline
1. Inconvenient departure times (44 percent)
2. Not enough legroom (33 percent)
3. High rates (32%)
4. Inferior fleet (29 percent)
5. Poor service (25 percent)