There is all sorts of speculation that business travel as we know it is done-zo. Companies that survive the current, ugly economic climate may not have the travel budgets they once did.
Many of us are (all too) familiar with Zoom meetings. But that might be the route some employers use to replace business travel.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian said during the past quarter’s earnings call that quick business trips for short meetings (especially involving some international markets) might go the way of virtual meetings instead.
But he emphasized something many of us know: in-person meetings are vital for some businesses and their client relationships.
I’ve been to only a handful of trade shows but can’t see how they’d be as effective in a virtual world.
My work as a sales rep showed me how crucial face-to-face contact is for earning business, closing sales, and cultivating relationships.
Business Travel Cuts Hit Home
I’m hearing from several colleagues and friends that their business travels will be either significantly reduced or cut altogether. (Although we’ll certainly be thankful to have clients and jobs.) Two of my clients have told me business travel will be limited — if it returns.
Many people earn (or chase) airline and hotel loyalty program elite status because they travel so often for business.
The perks — especially the upgrades! — are nice. Some people share some of them with a loved one(s) when traveling for leisure. It’s nice to treat your family or friends to a free (or significantly reduced) vacation with upgrades on the plane and at the hotel.
Many of us reach lower- to mid-tier hotel status thanks to cobranded credit cards or products such as the Platinum Card from American Express and Business Platinum Card from American Express. Airline status can be a little harder to earn — but there certainly are ways to make it easier.
If you’ve grown accustomed to having elite status with hotel and airline loyalty programs, will you pursue those ranks if your business travel is eliminated or significantly reduced?
Perhaps you have family or friends who enjoy your status because you take them on trips. We’ve written about pursuing status for leisure travel. Will you still have to satisfy your status craving if your business travel goes away?
We love traveling — and that certainly won’t stop. But will it be worth it for people to still chase status?
I think it’s a personal decision based on time and budget. But most of all, how important the status benefits are for fewer trips.
What Will You Do?
What are your thoughts right now about your business travel future — especially how it relates to your loyalty program status practices?
Please share your thoughts below!
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