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Orbitz Business Travel Survey for May 2007

Per DiemOrbitz has released the results of its May 2007 business travel survey, with some fun results. If you’re a REALLY great salesperson, maybe you can use these numbers to leverage a few extra dollars per day for your expenses. More than one-third of those responding to this month’s Orbitz for Business corporate traveler survey are watching their spending at $50 or less per day. Another third, however, have no spending limits for meals while traveling for business. I would be one of the former group and pretty jealous of the latter. And HOW MUCH would you pay to give up your window or aisle seat on a flight in exchange for the yucky middle seat? Read on.

Companies’ per diem spending policy for meals varies greatly, according to the May Orbitz for Business survey. Responses to this, and other questions in the monthly Orbitz for Business poll are as follows:

1) More than one-third of respondents say their company has no limits on per diem spending for meals while conducting business travel on the road.

* 34% – company has no spending limits
* 19% – up to $30/day
* 17% – up to $50/day
* 09% – up to $75/day
* 06% – up to $100/day
* 04% – more than $100/day
* 11% – don’t know

2) Traveler opinion varies when it comes to changing to the middle seat on an airplane. Orbitz for Business asked travelers at what price, hypothetically, would someone give up their coveted aisle or window seat to move to the center seat. The survey asked travelers if they were seated in a row of three, and the person occupying the middle seat offered to pay to switch seats, how much would be required to say “yes”.

* $50 or less – 27%
* $75 – 6%
* $100 – 23%
* $150 – 4%
* $200 – 15%
* I wouldn’t be interested in switching no matter what the offer – 25%

Whatever, that’s free money. I guess it does depend on the length of the flight. I would be hard pressed to give up my seat on a flight of 6 hours or more, but for a short hop I’d take the $50.

3) For a three hour door-to-door business trip (assuming travel times are the same) two-thirds would prefer to drive to the location rather than fly or take a train.

* 66% – prefer to drive to the trip location
* 14% – prefer to take a train
* 11% – prefer a short flight
* 07% – no preference
* 02% – other

I would drive, but I LOVE to drive. That way I can sing really badly and no one can hear me. But I’m from a part of the country where train travel isn’t widely available so I’m probably biased.

What are these surveys all about? The Orbitz for Business survey is a subset of Orbitz’ Take 5 initiative, which was launched in 2006 in celebration of the company’s five-year anniversary. The Take 5 Corporate Traveler poll was conducted online using a MarketTools panel of 292 adults ages 18-65 who are business travelers. MarketTools is a market research firm that directly manages a nationally-representative online panel of more than 2.5 million individuals, with a global network extending to more than eight million consumers worldwide.