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Orbitz Business Travel Survey January 2008

Orbitz recently published the results of its most recent Orbitz for Business Travel survey, the results of which may be surprising to some. As the are mostly in tune with my personal opinions, I’m glad to see that the business travelers of the world are maintaining their good sense. This month’s survey focused on technology in the skies, which has been a hot topic in the aviation and the business world for quite some time.

Survey participants were asked if they would take less convenient or more costly flights in order to have Wi-Fi service. The results came in as follows:

– 56% of business travelers said Wi-Fi is not a necessity
– 36% responded they would try to get a flight with Wi-Fi available, but wouldn’t be bothered if it weren’t.
– 8% answered that wireless service is very important, and would take less convenient or more expensive flights in order to have access.

I would consider Wi-Fi a nice bonus if it were on the flight I booked. A small premium in price might be okay (especially if my employer were footing the bill) but there is no way I would fly at an odd time just so I could check my email. Regardless, airlines are already testing limited Wi-Fi service on certain planes. I can only hope that broadband phone services like Skype are blocked, which leads us to the subject of in flight cellular phone usage.

Orbitz maintains that “the issue of cell phone usage on commercial airlines faces numerous challenges and safety concerns from both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC).” I sincerely hope those roadblocks stay in place. I can’t imagine trying to either relax and get some shut eye or work productively when the loudmouth in the next row is yacking away on his phone.

The survey found the following, with respect to cellular phone usage on commercial flights:

– 57% of travelers oppose cell phone usage in-flight.

I wish it were higher.

On the ground, 84% of business travelers surveyed say they try to be as quiet as possible when on a call, and are bothered by those who don’t do likewise. So, were basically good people. However, 4% of respondents admit they will do whatever they need to while working and traveling, regardless of how it affects others. Bastards. A smart 12% of respondents say they try to use travel time to relax and take their mind off of work rather than talk on the phone. Good for them.

Of those who would use in flight Wi-Fi, the results found that:

– 59% would use the service equally for both business and pleasure.
– 21% claim they would use it solely for business. (I don’t really believe this 21%)
– 20% responded that it would be used exclusively for pleasure.

The Orbitz for Business Corporate Traveler Survey was conducted online using a MarketTools panel of 640 adults ages 18-65 who have traveled for business this year. 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.