Written on March 6, 2013 at 9:31 am, by Concur
If you open a newspaper or turn on the television, the world doesn’t always seem like the happiest place. Sure, there’s a lot of bad news coming out of business travel, but we’ve found some stories bound to cheer you up as you slog through TSA lines and pay extra to board first.
So, what’s good about business travel today?
Number One: Airports are becoming awesome
A road warrior’s home away from home is usually the airport, and thankfully they’re becoming a bit cozier:
- Can’t fall asleep? – Airports across North America are adding mall-like amenities so you can shop till you drop. Exhausting oneself before the flight is a time honored way to make the middle seat a passable experience.
- Missed the gym? – Burlington International is the latest airport to offer the downward dog as an amenity – it’s one of now many airports to offer a yoga room, giving road warriors an opportunity to stretch before a long flight, or meditate after a missed connection.
- Work to do? – The Federal Communications Commission recently announced a plan to increase high-speed Wi-Fi at airports and other major hubs by 35%. That means the slow connection you usually get thanks to high congestion at airports or conferences will get a little faster. Thanks, FCC!
Number Two: Baggage is getting better
In November 2012, U.S. airlines recorded the lowest rate for lost or damaged bags – ever. And this is a month filled with Thanksgiving fliers, lugging millions of bags around the country! The good news is attributed to what’s normally bad news: baggage fees. Travelers now fly with fewer bags thanks to the increase in costs, which means less stuff to track.
And a new idea from United Airlines might cheer up travelers with baggage blues: the airline plans to test a baggage delivery service to homes, offices or hotels within 100 miles of the arrival airport. Of course, it’s not free – $29.95 for one bag delivered within 40 miles, and the costs climb the further out you go. But for those who hate schlepping their stuff, baggage delivery could be a silver lining.
Number Three: Flying is improving
The year 2012 was a great one to be up in the air – domestic U.S. flights were on time at a rate of 79% and only 1.4% of flights were canceled. Compared to 2011, when 76% of flights arrived within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival, and 2.1% of flights were canceled, we’re on the upswing!
And the flying experience could get even better this year, thanks to a push for the return of hot in-flight meals. U.S. carriers abandoned hot meals in favor of snacks years ago, and a new poll by Airfarewatchdog.com says more than half of travelers would be willing to pay for their return.
This year promises more comforts in airports and airlines – glass-half-full ideas that can only benefit the business traveler.
What other trends are making you optimistic about business travel? Tweet us @Concur or add your comment below – and let us know!
Featured image courtesy of: Holidayextras