Skift Take

The nightmare that flying has become is starting to weigh on employees. Perhaps company travel managers now need to deflect any pressure from the top as bosses rush to get things back to normal.

Business trips are starting to overwhelm employees, with many complaining they’re carrying the burden for those colleagues unwilling to travel.

Some employees are experiencing a “continuing sense of unhappiness and uncertainty” due to the amount of business travel they are expected to do, according to SAP Concur’s latest survey.

Ongoing airline and airport disruption isn’t helping matters.

Fed Up and Anxious

The corporate travel and expense platform polled 300 UK-based business travelers, and discovered that 62 percent were unhappy with their current pace of business travel. As a result, more than a quarter (28 percent) said they would quit if the pace continued.

“Business travelers are fed up and anxious and intend to take some level of action when they return to business travel if their company does not agree with their concerns,” said Ami Taylor, senior director, global product strategy at SAP Concur.

SAP Concur’s wider survey of business travelers from just under a month ago found 23 percent were ready to resign if their scheduling didn’t improve.

Meanwhile, this latest UK-focused poll found 83 percent of respondents said their company had adopted a “more travel on fewer shoulders” approach, returning to pre-pandemic levels of business travel but with a smaller group of travelers.

Stress levels look set to rise further this summer because the situation in Europe is deteriorating. On Monday, easyJet’s top operations exec resigned while Scandivinia’s SAS recently announced it will enter bankruptcy protection in the U.S.

And British Airways is set to cancel 650 flights from the two major London airports, affecting up to 105,000 travelers, according to reports.

Top 10 airlines by flight cancellations in Europe

”It is highly unusual to see airlines canceling scheduled flights at such short notice, literally weeks before take off, right at the peak of the summer season,” said Carlos Cendra, director of sales and marketing at travel intelligence platform Mabrian, which has taken stock of how many flights were scheduled on 14 June to operate between 1 and 15 July, compared to scheduled flights for the same period as of 28 June (above).

“Just looking at the top ten by cancellations, we can see over 2,000 flights canceled across Europe just for the July 1 to 15 period. We’ve never seen anything like this,” he added.

Mabrian’s data doesn’t include those flights canceled at the last minute.

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Tags: airports, business travel, cancelled flights, concur, coronavirus recovery, corporate travel, europe, mental health, sap, travel management

Photo credit: Business travelers are "fed up and anxious" according to SAP Concur. Ben White / Unsplash