What Corporate travelers want

biz travel

According to a survey from Virgin Atlantic Airways, today's business trip is much more than a long flight followed by a few meetings. The U.S. Travel Association shows that US residents logged 452 million business-related trips in 2013 - that's over 1.2 million trips a day. The report also notes that for every dollar invested in business travel, businesses benefit from an average of $9.50 in increased revenue and $2.90 in new profits.

Without a doubt, business travel is a crucial element to business success. With the objective to better understand what all these travelers are doing in the skies, airports and new destinations, Virgin Atlantic Airways surveyed their passengers (in premium economy and upper class cabins) and asked them about their perspectives, attitudes and what motivates them in business, travel and life.

The study shows some surprising findings such as that business travelers actually enjoy time at the airport, ignore jet lat and even network at 35,000 feet. Today's business traveler has cultivated a hybrid experience of work and leisure, that goes beyond business needs and meet personal needs as well, viewing travel as an opportunity to benefit their career and their personal life.

Our research shows that there is a new mindset in today's business traveler. They're not just a business person on their way to a meeting, but an individual thinking about making the most of every opportunity they find themselves in, said Chris Rossi, senior vice president, North America, Virgin Atlantic.

In terms of demographics, the vast majority of the respondents were over 35. Over half were 35-54, and 40% were 55 plus. The survey was roughly a 55/45 split between men and women.

According to the study, business travelers live by the rules they break. 44% are risk takers and 66% are willing to bend or break the rules. 81% dine, 65% use Wi-Fi, 42% work, 21% get a massage or facial, 6% socialize at the bar.

They look forward to the airport. Half of them actually arrive over an hour early to maximize their time in the lounge.

Even when they are off, they are on. Travelers use over 3TBs of data a month in US Clubhouses to stay connected. That's nearly 650 DVDs, or over 2 billion pages of text or over 17 miles of shelf space.

They find inspiration in the clouds. 1 in 4 said they get their best ideas while traveling - which is over 300,000 brilliant ideas born inflight every day.

There is a networking scene at 35,000 feet. 1 in 5 has done business with someone they met on a flight. If you are in business class, odds are you might be sitting next to another business professional you might want to do business with and who is open to network.

11% catch some sleep, 57% check out inflight entertainment, 14% order something from the bar, 13% read a book, 3% get right to work.

They know time is golden and as such they want to spend it well. From stimulation to rejuvenation, they make the most of every moment.

They mix business with pleasure as 9 in 10 mixx pleasure into every business trip they take. Therefore, they try to make their own path to explore somewhere new. Over half extend a business trip for leisure with only one plan: wing it.

They try to stay in motion and not waste time. Accordingly, two-thirds are off to a meeting within an hour of arrival.

Most of them are happy with their job, as 61% said they have the best job in the world.