This week has seen the start of yet another airline labor strike, this time with the cabin crews from British Airways walking out for three rounds of five day-long strikes. Fresh on the heels of the volcanic ash cloud disruption, another issue has scuppered business travel plans. Business travelers across the globe are once again at the mercy of events beyond their control – only this time they’re man-made – and are faced with two decisions: wait to see if their flight will go ahead or be canceled, or to book a different flight with a different carrier.
For those opting to change their flights, it could be a long and laborious process: either waiting in a queue at the airport or searching for available flights and times, along with entering personal and payment data in over and over again. Fortunately, many travelers have access to automated travel booking processes, which means they can view their current itinerary and easily make adjustments as needed, whether that’s booking a taxi or rental car, or changing hotel reservations.
The growing popularity of mobile devices and mobile applications is making it even easier for business travelers to amend their travel plans. Even if you are at the airport waiting to board your British Airways flight and it ends up being canceled, if you’re a traveler using Concur Mobile, you can create a new itinerary on-the-spot using your smartphone with just a few clicks.
Like the rumbling volcano in Iceland, the British Airways strikes appear to be with us for the foreseeable future, and no one can see the light at the end of the tunnel yet. But unlike the case of a slowly drifting ash cloud, in which there’s no one to blame but Mother Nature, aggrieved business travelers tired of yet another air travel issue could decide to vent their frustrations on BA itself. Which begs the question, how is your business dealing with the BA crisis? Will you continue to book flights with BA or will this latest round of labor strife force you to look elsewhere?