Business travel in 2016 will have an overall growth within the marketplace augmented by the substantial increases among those business travel clients who now enjoy expedited passage through airport security with TSA Precheck™ approval according to the latest “Travel Leaders Group” Survey. These business travel trends are based on responses from 423 Travel Leaders Group travel agent experts throughout the United States, conducted November 17-December 8, 2015, whose portfolio consists of 50% or more business travel clients.




A plurality (40.2%) of business-focused travel agents expects their 2016 corporate travel bookings to remain on par with 2015, with nearly as many (36.6%) expecting their bookings to increase year-over-year. By a wide margin, the top concern clients are expressing to agents is the proliferation of “delayed flights” – directly reflecting this year’s increased weather disruptions.

Anticipated Level of Business Travel in 2016

When asked, “What have your business travel clients indicated in terms of either actual bookings and/or client feedback as to the amount of travel they anticipate for 2016 compared to 2015?” agents said:

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Booking levels will increase compared to last year 36.6% 45.5% 38.4% 38.7% 34.5%
Booking levels will remain on par with last year 40.2% 34.0% 39.4% 40.8% 42.2%
Booking levels will decline compared to last year 6.6% 4.9% 5.7% 9.8% 4.7%
Top Business Travel Concerns

When asked, “What are the top three concerns for your business travelers?” survey participants indicated:

2016

2015

2014

Delayed flights

78.7%

68.5%

70.1%

Limited airline seat availability

38.3%

42.0%

46.7%

Earning frequent flyer/loyalty points

37.6%

32.9%

37.5%

Ease of passing through security

33.8%

33.1%

28.3%

TSA Precheck™

When asked, “What percentage of your business travel clients are approved for TSA Precheck™?” 35.6% of agents now indicate that a majority of their business travel clients are approved for TSA Precheck™, up from just 22.3% last year.

Ancillary Fees for Business Travelers

When asked, “Please choose the most frequently charged Ancillary Fees your business travel clients encounter,” the majority of surveyed agents cited three airline-related fees – for changing flights, gaining seat assignments and checking bags. As more hotels offer free Wi-Fi, the percentage of agents naming it among the top ancillary fees dropped to 9.5% from 17.7% last year. Additionally, an increasing number of agents said that clients are paying hotel “resort fees” and airline Internet fees.

2016

2015

2014

Airline flight change fees

73.5%

73.7%

77.4%

Airline seat assignment fees

62.2%

53.9%

52.6%

Airline baggage fees

58.6%

53.2%

55.0%

Hotel “resort fees”

16.5%

11.7%

11.8%

Airline Internet fees

12.3%

8.9%

6.8%

Hotel Internet fees

9.5%

17.7%

18.5%

Hotel parking fees

6.6%

10.3%

10.1%

Hotel early check-in/late check-out fees

6.6%

4.4%

4.0%

Car rental one-way drop-off fees

5.4%

5.6%

9.0%

Airline food fees

3.1%

2.8%

4.5%

Travel Leaders Group is one of North America’s largest travel companies – encompassing nearly one-third of all travel agents – and generated gross travel sales of approximately $20 billion annually. Travel Leaders Group is a leader in both leisure and corporate, consistently ranking as one of the top travel companies nationwide.

 

 

SOURCE Travel Leaders Group/PRNewswire