It costs money as well as time when a business traveler has a problem on the road.
A new report by the Global Business Travel Association Foundation found that the travel-related mishap deemed the worst by a corporate trekker led on average to 2.3 lost work days, and $1,475 in missed productivity and out-of-pocket expenses.
“Seventy five percent of business travelers experience at least one mishap every year so when these mishaps do occur, they have financial impact on companies,” says Joe Bates, GBTA’s vice president of research. “The bottom line is it costs travelers time and it costs companies money.”
Of those surveyed, 87% said at least one of their mishaps was related to air travel. And 52% of those whose problems included a canceled flight, said that was the most vexing hiccup among those they encountered on the road.
“In my opinion . . . a canceled flight means you very well might miss your connecting flight, if you have a connecting flight, and you might even miss your meeting if you’re going on a one-day trip,” Bates says. “Whereas if you have lost luggage or damaged luggage you can still have your meeting without your change of clothes if absolutely necessary.”
The poll of 533 business travelers who took an online survey between May 28 and June 2, was sponsored by the travel insurance companies, AIG Travel and Travel Guard. Bates said that when a business is weighing whether or not to provide such policies to employees, they might look at the frequency of travel by their staff and whether they’re heading abroad or staying in the U.S.
“Maybe all your travelers take one or two trips a year,” he says. “That’s a lower risk pool than if you have half of your staff take 30 or 40 trips a year. The more trips you take, the more likely you are to encounter a mishap on any given trip, so that’s something companies need to consider.”
Those doing business internationally are also twice as likely to have a problem while on the road than those who are traveling domestically, Bates says.
“There’s certainly more complexity with the trip,” he says.
The survey also found that many business travelers didn’t know they had travel insurance, and if they did know about the policy, they weren’t aware of how to utilize it when a problem arose on the road.
“The biggest issue . . . when you have a mishap is knowing who to call,” Bates says. “It may not change the cost, but it absolutely can have an impact on the speed with which the mishap is resolved.”
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