Given the nature of travel - crowded planes, tighter seats, security hassles - corporate travel managers are considering employee comfort as part of the deal.
Cost continued to be the most important factor in airline contracts, according to a 2016 research report, “The Evolution of Airline Agreements,” by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives. But more than half of respondents expected traveler comfort to become more important in future agreements with airlines. “Experiences matter,” Mr. Sheivachman said. “You’re not just looking at the dollars, you’re empowering your employees to do a good job.”
Aside from seat comfort, meal service and faster Wi-Fi, there isn’t much room to innovate the offerings inside the aircraft, Mr. Sheivachman said. But beyond the plane, airlines can offer perks like matching frequent-flier status earned on another airline and offering access to airport lounges, early boarding, seat upgrades and priority help with requests like midtrip ticket changes.
“If you are sending someone around the world and they aren’t well taken care of, that reflects badly on the company and the corporate culture,” Mr. Sheivachman said.
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