Topic Author
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 1999 7:52 am

Inefficient Flying-businessmen

Thu Nov 08, 2001 12:51 am

First and Business classes recorded a fall of 36 p.c. on BA airplanes.

There is only 2 possibilities :
- Businessmen and other big managers stopped to make business. Then the situation is catastrophic because many firms will have big difficulties....

- Businessmen and other big managers continue to make business like before. Then they were travelling for nothing and they were inefficient because they wasted a lot of time in the air....

Personally I think the second solution is the right one. A lot of businessmen are/were travelling for prestige and because you are a very important person if you need to go to Tokyo and then New York few days after....

....but I'm an aviation fanatic and I hope they will resume travels for nothing  Smile


Posts: 8103
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: Inefficient Flying-businessmen

Thu Nov 08, 2001 12:57 am

Business travellers don't travel for no reason. I know a lot of people who fly a lot on business and they all hate it. They're away from family, dealing with jetlag, restricted wardrobe (therefore having to deal with hotel dry-cleaners, washing socks etc in the bathtub), boring nights in hotel rooms etc.

The other thing is if you're not a sick f*** like us lot, flying is a nightmare. Dicking about for hours at airports, delays, then nine hours upstairs which is for 99.999% of people "hours of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror," breathing gross dry recirculated air, eating gross recirculated food, watching stupid movie about bears playing baseball, falling asleep halfway through, waking up with drool on your chin... Then hanging around baggage claim etc waiting to see how mangled/missing your luggage is, trying to find a cab... Why would anyone who isn't an regular put themselves through that for no reason?
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
Posts: 319
Joined: Wed May 30, 2001 9:06 am

RE: Inefficient Flying-businessmen

Thu Nov 08, 2001 12:58 am

It's hard to travel for business just for the "prestige" as in most companies there is a process that the business traveler has to go through. For example, where I work the trip has to be approved ahead of time. Then when I return I have to submit an expense report. My boss, and others see this information. If I try to arrange a trip to Tokyo without a good reason behind it, they will be likely to ask me whether I am out of my mind. This in turn is not good for job security.

Also some people, like consultants, travel on their client's dime. If the client kills a project to save $$$ or tells the consultant to communicate via internet or phone, then the consultants won't be traveling as much too.

Some of this travel may have been discretionary as you imply, but not just because people were flying for the fun of it or to feel important sitting in business class. Instead, when times were better and the companies were making more profit it would have been easier to justify a trip to go see a client just to check up/see how things are going. Now there usually needs to be a specific need to justify the expense.
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Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: Inefficient Flying-businessmen

Thu Nov 08, 2001 2:22 am

As a very frequent business traveller, I can tell you that my travel has dropped off a bit - not really becasue of fear, but because the whole 9-11 crisis woke up the business community to a very much underutilized asset that we have had for the past couple of years - tele-conferencing. You can do it for cheap, with a $30 digicam on top of your monitor, but in our company we spent close to a million dollars last year outfitting all our main worldwide offices with video-conferencing equipment. Before 9-11, such rooms were generally booked 2-3 hours per week, now they are booked about half the day, every day!

Hope you bought vid-conf stocks before 9-11!

The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
Posts: 488
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2001 8:55 pm

RE: Inefficient Flying-businessmen

Thu Nov 08, 2001 2:47 am

Here in Sweden several companies nowadays force their employees to fly in economy (already before 11/9). Also low-cost airlines are strongly recommended. Ryanair is doing therefore really well.  Big grin
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Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:11 am

RE: Inefficient Flying-businessmen

Thu Nov 08, 2001 2:52 am

We don't have to justify the expense of flying Business Class (thank goodness!)...only that the TRIP is necessary.

Like some folks, while I enjoy the airline business--I'm not a very good flyer. I'd rather stay home.
Posts: 433
Joined: Fri May 12, 2000 6:21 am

RE: Inefficient Flying-businessmen

Thu Nov 08, 2001 5:13 am

my company is making me fly as often as before but as a rule of thumb we can only book economy and then we upgrade with personal or company miles.

As far as I know many companies are tightening the budget on airfares and allow the employees only to fly with special/discounted fare and recommned to book well in advance unless strictly necessary.

At least I can still choose which airline to fly with...
Posts: 6435
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 6:25 am

RE: Inefficient Flying-businessmen

Thu Nov 08, 2001 6:16 am

In my company we have a "travel-agent". We book the travel as early as possible at her, and she has impressive tools to find the very cheapest fare. "Pricebuster" is the name of one of her great computer tools. The company also has very favourable rebate agreeements with some airlines.

Funny thing, when we have to make a trip on short notice, then it happens that we get two return tickets. We use first half of the full fare ticket on the outward leg. Homeward we use first half of a "reversed" economy ticket. The second half of the full fare ticket is refunded on return, while the left over economy half is discarded. A few $$$ are saved that way.

Now we have been mostly forbidden to travel to 24 countries, and the internal web flushes with travel precausions. Earlier there were so many traditional reasons for traveling - quarterly meetings for this, and quarterly meetings for that. Now we have an excuse to stay at home - "don't like flying right now", we can always say, "let's have a tele conference instead". And everybody screams: "Great idea, why didn't we get that idea years ago". Nobody will have the burden to look into the sad faces of wife and children when dad announces that he will be on the run Wednesday and Thursday night - again!

The old airline companies will have to adjust to the facts. The oldfashioned "business travel" will shrink rapidly while leisure travel is what will put butter on their bread in the future. Already today business class cabins are often only 10-20 percent of their cabin capacity, and it is 75 percent filled with stupid upgrades of all sorts.

Regards, Preben Norholm
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
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Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2001 6:02 am

RE: Inefficient Flying-businessmen

Thu Nov 08, 2001 7:11 am

I know of one fortune 500 company who changed its post 9-11 travel policy to, if you can drive to it less than 12 hours, we will rent you a car, if it still is more than 12 hours of driving away, take a company jet. They have or are in the process of getting at least two more G-4s and hiring some more pilots. The people I know who work for that company are A) doing a let more time behind the wheel and B) spending their mile high time in G-4s instead of 737s.