Traveler Friction

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Cost-Focused Travel Programs May Lead to Increased Traveler Friction

Report Reveals Corporate Travel Policies Can Sway Employee Retention

Arlington, Va. – May 24, 2017 – Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC), the premier driver of intelligence and commerce in the air travel industry, today released results of a detailed report concerning frequent business travel and traveler friction, or the wear and tear caused by business travel. The report, “The Hidden Expenses of a Cost-Focused Travel Program,” builds upon findings from a 2016 study conducted by for ARC by market research firm MMGY Global, ­in conjunction with American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) and tClara. The report found that according to travelers, cost-focused travel policies carry significant negative consequences in terms of traveler productivity, health, retention and trip effectiveness.

“Trip quality is the key indicator of a traveler-focused program,” said Scott Gillespie, managing partner, tClara. “As trip quality increases, price generally increases, but so does traveler health and safety. At the same time, road-warrior attrition should decline, and the rate of worthwhile trips should increase. I believe the data clearly shows that higher-quality trips provide more value and productivity to the company,” added Gillespie.

The results highlighted several notable distinctions between business travelers in cost-focused programs that prioritize cost savings, and those in traveler-focused programs, which emphasize a business traveler’s productivity and satisfaction. These results follow the initial survey findings in the 2016 report, Traveler Friction: Insights from U.S. Road Warriors.

Key findings about road warriors in cost-focused travel programs include:

  • They reported 22 percent fewer effective trips than colleagues in traveler-focused programs.
  • They are 13% more interested in a new job.
  • 39% more in this group want to travel much less in two years.
  • They experienced twice as much traveler friction, including significantly higher rates of sickness, stress and lower quality sleep.

The Hidden Expenses of a Cost-Focused Travel Program” is available online.

“In our global economy, air travel is an investment to achieve business success for both large and small organizations,” said Lauri Reishus, ARC executive vice president and chief operating officer. “This report shows us that business travelers from organizations with traveler-focused programs are more likely to see success because they are rested, focused and ready to engage, while road warriors in cost-focused programs have 22 percent fewer effective trips. With this in mind, investing in an employee’s travel experience is a strategy deserving of a closer look by all corporate travel managers.”

“We’re seeing the industry movement toward traveler-centricity drive the redefinition of travel program pillars and KPIs,” said Evan Konwiser, VP Digital Traveler for American Express Global Business Travel. “Creating the best possible experience for the traveler will ultimately drive program success. The challenge is building upon a foundation of traveler needs to find the right combination of policies that works for all stakeholders.”

About ARC

The Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) is the premier driver of air travel intelligence and commerce in the travel industry with leading business solutions, travel agency accreditation services, process and financial management tools and high-quality data. In 2016, ARC settled $86 billion worth of carrier ticket transactions for nearly 7,000 travel agencies with more than 12,000 points of sale. Established in 1984, ARC is an ISO 27001 certified company headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, with offices in Louisville, Kentucky, Tampa, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico. For more information, please visit www.arccorp.com and www.twitter.com/arctalk.

Contact:

Hillary Smith
703.341.1207
hsmith@arccorp.com

About American Express Global Business Travel

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) equips companies of all sizes with the insights, tools, services and expertise they need to keep their travelers safe, focused and productive while on the road. With approximately 12,000 employees and operations in nearly 120 countries worldwide, GBT empowers customers to take control of their travel programs, optimizing the return on their travel and meetings investments, while, more importantly, providing extraordinary traveler care.

Learn more at amexglobalbusinesstravel.com and

amexglobalbusinesstravel.com/content/. Follow us @ twitter.com/amexgbt.

American Express Global Business Travel (“GBT”) is a joint venture that is not wholly-owned by American Express Company or any of its subsidiaries (“American Express”). “American Express Global Business Travel”, “American Express” and the American Express logo are trademarks of American Express, and are used under limited license.

Contact:

Margaret Manning
KWITTKEN
212.352.4651
mmanning@kwittken.com

About tClara

tClara provides authoritative, innovative and affordable travel benchmarks and analytics.. The Air Clarity™ airfare and Trip Friction® benchmarking tools deliver quick and clear insights for travel programs of any size. tClara is headquartered near Cleveland, Ohio. For more information, please visit www.tclara.com.

Contact:

Scott Gillespie
440.248.4111
scott@tclara.com

©2017 Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC). All rights reserved.

About ARC

The Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) is the premier driver of air travel intelligence and commerce in the travel industry with leading business solutions, travel agency accreditation services, process and financial management tools and high-quality data. In 2016, ARC settled $86 billion worth of carrier ticket transactions for nearly 7,000 travel agencies with more than 12,000 points of sale. Established in 1984, ARC is an ISO 27001 certified company headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, with offices in Louisville, Kentucky, Tampa, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico. For more information, please visit www.arccorp.com and www.twitter.com/arctalk.