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Orbitz for Business March Survey

Orbitz for Business is still faithfully cranking out a survey on a monthly basis, with results that may or may not surprise readers. The most recent survey focused on whether or not business travelers are willing to sacrifice comfort to decrease costs, as our economy is in the toilet. As a frequent traveler, I agree with the respondents who believe added services, benefits and flexibility while traveling are worth a few extra dollars. If my boss wants to save a buck on airfare and crappy hotel rooms, let him suffer through it.

“Many airlines are catering to business travelers and have enhanced service offerings to make the travel experience more enjoyable,” said Dean Sivley, senior vice president, COO and general manager, Orbitz for Business. “We’re certainly helping our customers identify cost savings, and while that’s top of mind for many, companies also like to ensure their travelers are well-taken care of while away from home.”

For those of you who like to crunch numbers,

* 65% of respondents say they would pay extra for benefits such as refundable fares, priority/exit row seating and other conveniences.

* 40% of business travelers surveyed say their company would cover the cost of a seat upgrade of $50 or less at check-in. That is more than a reasonable amount.

Traveling with the boss can be good or bad, depending on your boss. I, personally, prefer to go it alone.

* 58% of survey respondents agree. On the other hand, that means 42% would take the opportunity to suck up to the boss.

When can you fly? Some business don’t care when you get from point “a” to point “b” as long as you get the job done. However, some evil corporations prefer that business travelers take flights outside of normal business hours. Considering the majority of business travelers are on salary and already work much more than the standard 40 hour work week, this is garbage. My previous employer expected the sales staff to leave on our bi-monthly business trips on Sunday evening so we could be ready to go first thing Monday morning. I don’t think the amount of resentment this caused was worth the extra two hours of work time gained.

* 56% of employers have no restriction on when employees travel for business travel.

* 36% of respondents say they are sometimes required to travel before or after normal business hours, but can otherwise select their own flight times.

* 8% say that their employers mandate traveling before or after business hours unless it is not possible to do so. These people don’t care about the work-life balance of their employees.

According to the press release, The Orbitz for Business Corporate Traveler Survey was conducted online using a MarketTools panel of 261 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.