The introduction of premium economy cabins hasn’t just been a hit among leisure travellers; the relatively new cabin class has also attracted a growing number of business travellers, as companies reign in spending during uncertain economic times.
Over half of all respondents in a new survey of corporate travel professionals by Sabre Corporation indicated that companies were downgrading from business class travel as premium economy travel offered a much cheaper alternative without significantly impacting travellers’ comfort.
According to the study, businesses are also upgrading travellers from economy to premium economy for higher traveller satisfaction.
A whopping 81% of travel managers reported a rise in premium economy travel, largely thanks to these two trends.
Findings from the 2017 Asia Pacific Corporate Traveller study also revealed that four in five (80%) corporate travel managers believe mobility is the biggest priority for business travel today, from booking through mobile devices to instant messaging.
Other significant findings showed that nearly half (43%) of corporate travellers are deviating from company policy ahead of their trips and over four in ten (42%) are making changes while travelling.
Virtual payment technologies were also growing in importance, with two in three (66%) of those polled considering alternative forms of payment technology a high priority.
“The increasing incidence of non-compliance is the result of corporate travellers booking out of policy, where they extend business trips to include some leisure time at their own expense,” Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific vice president of global accounts Jason Toothman said.
“With more companies shifting accountability of policy compliance to the traveller, the ability to integrate non-traditional sources of flight and accommodation, and option to change plans easily while on the go, will go a long way in helping the corporate traveller adhere to policy without compromising on the quality of travel.”
The Sabre survey polled corporate travel professionals from 19 key markets across Asia Pacific including Australia.