Stop Thinking Of Them As Airborne Skinflints

If you want to find business travelers, look in Chicago. An Accenture survey asked business travelers to identify the cities they’re most likely to visit in the next six months. Chicago got the most mentions, trailed by New York, Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Dallas. The same poll found some signs that travelers’ budgets aren’t as skimpy as they’d been in the recent past. Eighty-one percent said they now use mid-range hotels as their primary accommodation for business travel, vs. 56 percent last year. Conversely, fewer said they mainly use budget chain hotels (10 percent now, 25 percent last year). The survey also detected a “significant shift” away from low-cost airlines and toward major carriers: 82 percent of business travelers said they mostly use major carriers, vs. 72 percent last year. There was a similar gain (to 69 percent, from 53 percent) in the proportion who use major carriers for their non-business travel. One caveat: 72 percent of travelers expect their use of low-cost carriers to increase or remain the same in the next six months. “In addition, 77 percent said they would increase their use of low-cost carriers if the carriers offered more flights into main airports.”