London: Global business travelers are showing confidence in the world economy by increasing their flying time over the next 12 months, according to a worldwide survey* conducted by Priority Pass, the world’s largest independent airport lounge access program.
Of those surveyed, 33% of frequent flyers will increase their air travel, compared to only 11% who said they would be cutting back on their business travel. Within the global business community, the top travelers were those from the Middle East (41%), followed by those from Asia-Pacific (35%). South and Central American and European travelers both said they would increase their air travel time by 33%.
Throughout 2012, travelers took on average 11.7 round trips for business. Despite the Eurozone crisis affecting many countries, European business travelers spent most time in the air over the past 12 months, with an average of 14.7 flights. US business travelers took an average of 11.7 flights while the UK took on average 10.7 flights.
Errol McGlothan, General Manager, Priority Pass said: “This research highlights that the need for airline travel shows little sign of abating and will continue to be key to conducting and building business relations across the globe.
“We’ve seen this trend reflected in our membership base. While our long-term members are maintaining their frequency of global travel, we’ve also seen a surge in new membership enrolments, particularly from businesses buying them as part of a staff travel plan. Businesses recognise the importance of their staff travelling to do business, but are seeking a cost-effective alternative to premium class travel. Lounge access enables employees to make efficient use of their time in airports, as well as an indulgence to reward them for the long hours they dedicate to the job.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
* About the Survey
The online survey went to active Priority Pass members worldwide. It was conducted in March 2013 and gained 2,775 responses from 150 different countries.
Priority Pass provides frequent travelers with airport lounge access, irrespective of their class of travel, airline flown or existing membership in an airline loyalty programme. Launched in 1992, Priority Pass now offers more than 1200 airport lounges worldwide in 500 cities in over 140 countries. Priority Pass is part of Priority Travel Group, a division of the Collinson Group, specialising in the international travel clubs and services sector. For more information, visit www.prioritypass.com.
The first airport lounge was introduced in 1939 as ‘The Flagship Club’ at LaGuardia airport, born out of the American Airlines Admirals Club to recognise their most loyal travelers and as a privileged place for VIPs to relax before their flight. The launch of the airline hub and spoke system in the US during the 80’s and 90’s resulted in more and more passengers having to make connections in hub cities that added to the daily passenger traffic and time spent in airports due to connections. The change forced the airlines into adding new and expanding the size of existing lounges to deal with the added passenger traffic.
Frequent Flyer programs that began in the early 80’s grew in popularity and then began to diversify in the late 80’s and early 90’s to differentiate membership status levels depending on certain mileage thresholds and flight segments flown. Many of those that achieved the highest elite status were rewarded with lounge access as an additional benefit and lower elite members were rewarded with discounted airline lounge program membership fees. Starting in the early to mid-90’s US airlines finally began to change their mindset with regard to their lounge product simply being an exclusive club for their best customers to become more of a profit center.
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