The convenience of booking business travel is a luxury not every U.S. business traveler can enjoy thanks to sometimes confusing corporate travel policies and relatively arcane booking tools.
A Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and Carlson Wagonlit Travel survey released this week found that major fault lines exist between U.S. business travelers who use their companies’ online booking tools and those who don’t. More than half of respondents said they have to inform their company of their bookings in some way if they choose to book on their own, but some 42% also said they can basically leave their employer out of the equation and not provide their travel itineraries.
The charts below show which generations of business travelers book their trips on their own more than others. They also outline who’s more comfortable using an online travel agency versus booking directly with brands for those who choose to book outside their companies’ booking tools.
Chart 1: More than half of business travelers surveyed said they booked their last trip themselves. Another chart (not shown here) shows that fewer millennials than those aged 55 and older had trips booked for them, and those going on more than 12 trips per year also made their own bookings more so than those only going on one to three trips.
Chart 2: When booking direct, more than 82% of travelers who booked on an app or website either didn’t compare their findings to their company’s own online booking tool or their company has no online booking tool.
Chart 3: While the “I don’t have to share my information” option garnered the highest percentage of respondents, some 56% of respondents still indicated they have to share their bookings with their companies in some way after they book through a hotel’s mobile app or site.
Chart 4: Business travelers seem to be a little more satisfied with booking direct on a hotel’s website rather than using an online travel agency.
Chart 5: For hotels and air travel, millennial business travelers seem to prefer third-party booking sites slightly more than booking direct on hotel and airline sites while older generations prefer booking direct versus using online travel agencies.
Chart 6: More often than not, business travelers book their hotels and airfare together.
Chart 7: Business travelers booking 12 or more business trips per year tend to use their laptops to book.
Source: GBTA and Carlson Wagonlit Travel