What Business Travelers Prefer

Special Report

What Business Travelers Prefer
New insights into business travelers’ choices and preferences

The latest study from Certify, a leading travel and expense management software solution, can help employers and travel-related companies understand the motivations behind business traveler choices for meals, ground transportation, hotel, air and other categories. Certify analyzed more than 495 responses from seasoned business travelers representing small to large companies throughout country.

This report provides a comprehensive look at the data compiled for the study, exploring the choices business travelers make and why employers and those in the travel industry should care.

SPEND WISELY: VALUE-MINDED PURCHASING
The majority of business travelers (46.08%) reported they base their purchases on the best value and spend the company’s money as if it were their own.
When traveling for business, my purchases are primarily based on:
Convenience—time is more important than cost 30.72%
Value—I spend the company’s money as if it were my own 46.08%
Price—everybody watches every penny, and so do I 19.88%
Cha-Ching—expenses are just rewards for time on the road 3.31%
SCHEDULING CONVENIENCE: A CONTRADICTION IN THE AIR
When it comes to booking airfare, business travelers are most often forgoing the best price and choosing flights based on their individual schedule.
When booking a flight, I primarily choose a carrier based on:
Price 26.87%
My schedule 40.60%
Company policy/preference 16.72%
Connecting flights 5.67%
Mileage rewards 10.15%
PERCEPTION VS. REALITY: THE FRIENDLY SKIES ARE CHANGING
Actions speak louder than words for business travelers with more than 40% choosing Southwest Airlines as the friendliest carrier.
Which air carrier do you feel has the friendliest service:
Delta Air Lines 20.60%
American Airlines 9.85%
US Airways 8.06%
Southwest Airlines 40.30%
Other 21.19%
FARE SHARE: A SPLIT AMONG CARRIERS
Passenger volume is well distributed across a range of carriers; the majority “Other” carriers mentioned include United Airlines, JetBlue and Alaska Airlines, respectively.
On which air carrier do you most often fly:
Delta Air Lines 24.18%
American Airlines 15.82%
US Airways 11.64%
Southwest Airlines 23.88%
Other 24.48%
HEALTHY CHOICES: TRAVELERS STAY ACCOUNTABLE
While there is an almost even split among travelers who stick to their diets and those who eat and drink a little better than usual, only a minority report splurging on the company dime.
Regarding meals, when I’m traveling for business I most often:
Stick to the same diet I do at home 39.76%
Skip meals because I’m too busy 8.13%
Rely on convenience/fast foods 14.16%
Eat and drink a little better than usual 35.24%
Embrace the expense account and splurge 2.71%
DINING OPTIONS: AN INVERSE RELATIONSHIP
Business travelers overwhelmingly agree on the healthiest dining options; however, Certify SpendSmart™ data shows Starbucks is the most expensed restaurant across all meal categories two years running.
Which restaurant do you feel offers the healthiest choices:
Panera Bread 47.29%
Starbucks 3.01%
McDonald’s 2.71%
Chipotle Mexican Grill 27.11%
Other 19.88%
GROUND TRANSPORTATION: RENTAL CARS ABOVE ALL
As ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft dominate the business news, rental car companies can rest a little easier knowing that business travelers still prefer their services.
For ground transportation, whenever possible I use:
Licensed taxi 20.48%
Limo/private car 6.33%
Rideshare (Uber, Lyft , etc.) 7.23%
Hotel shuttle service 24.70%
Rental car 41.27%
HOTEL AMENITIES: A STAY OF DISTINCTION
There was little difference among major hotel chains when it came to identifying which had the nicest amenities; “Other” included more upscale chains like Westin, Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons.
Which hotel do you feel offers the nicest amenities:
Marriott 32.84%
Hyatt 20.60%
Hilton 27.16%
Choice Hotels 3.28%
Other 16.12%
LODGING SELECTION: LOCATION TRUMPS LOYALTY
Convenience is also driving choice of hotel location with the majority of business travelers making their selection based on proximity to client or meeting.
The most important factor in choosing a hotel for business travel is:
Location—near the airport 0.09%
Location—near client or meeting 54.33%
Rewards program 8.38%
Price/room rate 11.04%
Quality accommodations 20.00%
Other 5.37%
RELATED RESOURCES
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[Infographic] What Business Travelers Prefer

A special report from Certify

When employees are away from the office traveling on business, do you know what drives the choices they make? The latest survey from Certify offers new insight into business traveler preferences, and why employers and those in the travel industry should care.

View the infographic from the "What Business Travelers Prefers" report
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[PDF Report] What Business Travelers Prefer

A special report from Certify

This report provides a comprehensive look at the data compiled for the study, exploring the choices business travelers make and why employers and those in the travel industry should care.

Download the full report of the 2015 research study on "What Business Travelers Prefer"
ABOUT THE DATA
Certify collected data for its comprehensive survey using responses from more than 495 business travelers with wide ranging job titles and responsibilities. Participants included a 50-50 split of men and women representing small to large companies nationwide. The 2015 Business Traveler Preferences study was administered using a third-party online research management firm and all analysis was conducted by Certify, Inc.
ABOUT CERTIFY
Certify is the leading online travel and expense management solution for companies of all sizes. Organizations worldwide book travel and complete expense reports quickly, easily and cost effectively using Certify cloud and mobile applications. For more information about Certify please call 888.925.0510 or visit www.certify.com