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Future of business travel?

Future of business travel?

Old Aug 15, 20, 2:55 pm
  #1  
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Future of business travel?

Wow it has been exactly 5 months since I've flown on American (or any airline). It has amazed me how our business has successfully converted to Zoom, Teams, GTM etc

Our T&E spend in Q2 was 1.2% of 2019 Q2. I'm wondering if day trips from Washington to XXX and back will ever make sense again. 12 hours gone or just chat with a 90 min web meeting.

Every year we try to cut costs (like most businesses), so how will a business ever justify going back to old T&E levels? $10,000 for a business class trip to Europe, messing with your sleep for a couple of meetings, doesn't seem to make sense anymore.

I can't see the airlines recovering in years. Am I off base? Are others seeing that business travel will return?
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Old Aug 15, 20, 3:17 pm
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Thank you! More chance for me to buy Business Class or get a free domestic upgrade as a leisure traveler!
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Old Aug 15, 20, 3:42 pm
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Originally Posted by apeortdz View Post
Thank you! More chance for me to buy Business Class or get a free domestic upgrade as a leisure traveler!
Until airlines respond by reducing the size of their J cabins.
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Old Aug 15, 20, 3:51 pm
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There will always be a need for F2F meetings.
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Old Aug 15, 20, 4:53 pm
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In my old career, we were very cyclical (automotive) so we would go through hard times and good times. When travel was banned during hard times we’d always see how we still got stuff done and we’d always predict it wouldn’t go back to the way it was. Then biz would be good and the travel got heavy.

Post 9/11 was the most extreme, as I didn’t fly for nearly 2 months. Everyone predicted business travel was done we had teleconferencing equipment, and the Internet. And then it always seems to come back. Sure the technology has drastically improved now and that might be the reason that business travel doesn’t return to previous levels, but we’ve seen this before and eventually travel comes back. Just like how I don’t believe that these companies will stay permanently work from home.
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Old Aug 15, 20, 5:00 pm
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Originally Posted by SteveinA2 View Post
I can't see the airlines recovering in years. Am I off base? Are others seeing that business travel will return?

many analysts agree with your assessment, as do I.
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Old Aug 15, 20, 5:22 pm
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
There will always be a need for F2F meetings.
Of course, but will it be the same percentage as before? I personally don't think so.

Some things like sales, closing deals, customer management will require travel. That said, if a customer that you have a relationship with asks for a 1 hour meeting, do we need to still fly there? Now that customers in industries that one would describe as luddite-heavy are comfortable with Zoom and Teams, maybe travel for every little thing isn't required anymore.

Travel will definitely rebound from where it is now, but not necessarily to where it was in 2019, IMO.
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Old Aug 15, 20, 5:24 pm
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My last flight this year was Feb 28th. Between Jan and Feb I had taken 29 flights, zero since

Also, my last flight was on United. Part of the inboard flap fell off on my AA flight which resulted in the aircraft getting pulled. Got rebooked on a UA flight as I had to rush back to my best friends wedding.
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Old Aug 15, 20, 7:29 pm
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Unnecessary business travel will definitely be trimmed, however travel will rebound and leisure travel even more.
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Old Aug 15, 20, 8:23 pm
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Originally Posted by SteveinA2 View Post
Wow it has been exactly 5 months since I've flown on American (or any airline). It has amazed me how our business has successfully converted to Zoom, Teams, GTM etc

Our T&E spend in Q2 was 1.2% of 2019 Q2. I'm wondering if day trips from Washington to XXX and back will ever make sense again. 12 hours gone or just chat with a 90 min web meeting.

Every year we try to cut costs (like most businesses), so how will a business ever justify going back to old T&E levels? $10,000 for a business class trip to Europe, messing with your sleep for a couple of meetings, doesn't seem to make sense anymore.

I can't see the airlines recovering in years. Am I off base? Are others seeing that business travel will return?
If itís any consolation youíre not really missing much. Service is pretty much trash in comparison. You have to wear a mask all the time. Even booking flights is a bit of a PITA due to the massive schedule reductions.

There are some positives though. Quiet lounges, quick and easy security, no parking issues. I can roll up to the airport 35 minutes before departure and have no concern about missing my flight.
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Old Aug 15, 20, 11:36 pm
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As this topic is not specific to American Airlines, we will move this to TravelBuzz for more general discussion about business travel and the aviation industry. Thanks. /JY1024, AAdvantage and TravelBuzz moderator
​​​​​​​
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Old Aug 16, 20, 2:16 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by SteveinA2 View Post
Wow it has been exactly 5 months since I've flown on American (or any airline). It has amazed me how our business has successfully converted to Zoom, Teams, GTM etc

Our T&E spend in Q2 was 1.2% of 2019 Q2. I'm wondering if day trips from Washington to XXX and back will ever make sense again. 12 hours gone or just chat with a 90 min web meeting.

Every year we try to cut costs (like most businesses), so how will a business ever justify going back to old T&E levels? $10,000 for a business class trip to Europe, messing with your sleep for a couple of meetings, doesn't seem to make sense anymore.

I can't see the airlines recovering in years. Am I off base? Are others seeing that business travel will return?
Hey buddy , i agree with i am also not seeing the airlines recovering in years
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Old Aug 16, 20, 3:48 am
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
If itís any consolation youíre not really missing much. Service is pretty much trash in comparison. You have to wear a mask all the time. Even booking flights is a bit of a PITA due to the massive schedule reductions.

There are some positives though. Quiet lounges, quick and easy security, no parking issues. I can roll up to the airport 35 minutes before departure and have no concern about missing my flight.
Absolutely agree with you. I was flying twice a month to the States from London last year and all the small things making it bearable for me are gone (like sitting on the hotel bar at LAX after a long flight, pulling myself Champagne in the Flagship bar, enjoying drinks on a late Friday night at an buzzing airport bar, having flexibility with hundreds of flights in every direction, having some some pre-departure drinks...).

If I would go now to LAX I am not sure if a) hotels are open b) what I'll do in Santa Monica when I don't have meetings and I need a reservation for every restaurant (if open anyway) c) if Uber is not ceasing operation and so on and so on.

Normally I went to Dubai 4 times a year for work as well. Now I would need to time a PCR test to fly out, and as I stay normally 4 nights there, would need to find another PCR test after 2 days so they let me out.

Problem is I don't see the situation changing anytime soon as this time we need to wait for a vaccine, and then until a decent amount of the world's population has actually received it.
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Old Aug 16, 20, 5:11 am
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Originally Posted by SteveinA2 View Post

I can't see the airlines recovering in years. Am I off base? Are others seeing that business travel will return?
It always takes years to recover. With 600.000 passengers flying now, many travel for business. A crisis like this is a push towards more digitization, that's the problem.
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Old Aug 16, 20, 6:38 am
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Agreed - less business travel and more video for in-person meetings. Even samples can be sent ahead of time with the buyer opening and studying samples during the meeting. Vendors will have to exhibit more patience and empathy for technological problems while making sure that their own tech stays at high level. expectations for Vendors will adjust, but there have always been expectations for any vendor.
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