After a five year hiatus, business travelers are looking to once again catch the Gold Star flight to their destination of choice. However, travel has become more expensive than ever, while flight delays are rising at an alarming rate. How can businesses and elite frequent fliers navigate these roadblocks to profitability and success?

The economy has hit a rough patch, and the oil price has gone up. Global geopolitics are also playing havoc. All that means fewer business travelers, and fares for the most sought-after routes are being slashed. Airlines are cutting fares for premium-cabin flights, while first-class seats for businesspeople are commanding big premium prices. You’ll find elite frequent flyers are buying up these seats, because they are making money hand over fist.

It’s been a while since business class travel has been a mainstream mode of transportation, despite the fact that it’s been available for some time. That’s why we were excited to hear that Delta is once again offering its “Delta One” service, which gets you access to perks like first class lounges and even on-demand chef prepared meals. And because we’re an airline that understands the power of marketing, we took to the skies to test out Delta One for ourselves.. Read more about when will business travel start again and let us know what you think.

Business-Travel-Is-Returning-And-Elite-Frequent-Flyers-Are-In

 

Business Travel Is Making A Comeback, And Elite Frequent Flyers Are Back In The Air

on July 21, 2021 by Gary Leff

Business travel seems to be on the mend, with airlines stating that it has recovered to about 40% of 2019 levels, with 60% expected in the current quarter, thanks to two main drivers:

  • Many employers are considering returning to work in the autumn (and also return to school so parents have childcare making leaving a parent behind in two parent households not as hard)
  • The shift in the calendar year suggests that large corporate budgets aren’t factoring in much travel in 2021, but that it will happen (an unusual method of making business choices – travel is either worth it and a smart investment in future earnings, or it isn’t).

The Delta variation, as well as a revival in Covid-19 instances, loom over all of this. United Airlines said on Wednesday that it hasn’t noticed a drop in reservations as a consequence of Delta, although companies may respond differently than leisure passengers when it comes to asking individuals to fly when (and where) Covid-19 usage is high.

There is also the response of policymakers, in addition to the reaction of companies. To go to locations you’d want to go, you’ll need to be open. The political response to the Covid-19 wave is also important. That’s why I outlined the reasons to be worried that Covid-19 could shut down travel in the autumn.

In the Delta wave of Covid-19, the United Kingdom is well ahead of the United States. And, so far, fatalities from Covid are at 1/18th their previous level, based on similar phases of the current and previous waves, since cases are much more frequent among the less-vaccinated younger population, and breakthrough infections seem to be less severe.

We’re witnessing a resurgence in travel, not only from Spirit Airlines passengers who dominated the skies for the last year and a half, but also from more conventional passengers.

While frequent flyers still make up a smaller proportion of total passengers – they are “7 to 8 points below normal” for even MileagePlus members on a particular trip — United Airlines claims that three quarters of elite members have traveled or planned travel this year. They think that those who haven’t are mainly individuals who travel to closed foreign marketplaces.

United also says that 84 percent of MileagePlus members have received their vaccinations. It’s unclear how they would know. They held a sweepstakes in which program participants had to show evidence of immunization, but it’s unclear if they were able to draw any conclusions from this. Perhaps they’ve conducted a poll. Their Chief Communications Officer has a background in politics.

United’s Chase cobrand card is also popular. According to them, both account acquisition and expenditure volume surpassed 2019 levels in June 2021. Of course, Chase and United have been giving extraordinary incentives to get the card. It’s unclear if cardholders will retain their cards and make a profit. And consumer spending is increasing across the board, whether due to inflation, intertemporal substitution, or household balance sheets supported by good equities, interest rates, and government assistance.

None of this, of course, indicates what the future level of business travel will be. Some business travel will return, some will be replaced by Zoom, and some will be created as a consequence of geographic freedom and work from home workers making occasional visits to the office. It will be interesting to watch how this all plays out for airlines.

More From the Wing’s Perspective

It’s been a while since the last time business travelers flocked to airports, but now travel companies and big name airlines are starting to see business travelers return to the airport. While most airline travelers are still on budget airlines, the trend for business travelers to return to long-haul travel might be a sign that business travelers are getting itchy.. Read more about cdc guidelines for travel 2021 and let us know what you think.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • american airlines
  • spirit airlines
  • southwest airlines
  • united airlines
  • nbc news texas
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