Business travel comes with plenty of perks: earning reward miles, upgrades to first class, luxurious hotel rooms, and opportunities to explore the world. However, the joys of the journey can often be overshadowed by the challenges of early mornings, flight delays, and language barriers. A 2016 survey from booking.com revealed that 93 percent of business travelers feel stressed at some point during their travels, and a recent survey conducted by the Global Business Travel Association Foundation revealed some of the most frustrating aspects.
To help business-event professionals gets their arms around those issues, Convene is asking them to participate in a travel survey and PCMA is launching “Travel Favorites,” an initiative that will debut at Convening Leaders in Nashville for business travel pros to share the things that make their life better on the road. Noise-cancelling headphones, Wi-Fi hotspots, travel journals, and more — what are the must-have items you pack in your suitcase? Share your thoughts here for a chance to be featured in Nashville.
What Travel Will Look Like Next Year
There are some changes on the horizon that may impact what you bring — starting with your actual suitcase. While many business travelers have been buzzing about smart luggage — bags with built-in batteries to prevent the zero-percent-power conundrum — over the past year, U.S. airlines are restricting the ability to check those bags, due to the risk of fire when placed in the cargo area. They are, however, allowed as carry-on. But that raises a challenge for passengers with smart bags who are asked to gate-check their carry-on luggage due to lack of overhead space.
If you’re hoping to join TSA PreCheck, be prepared for a delay in reviewing your application. The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General released a report that casts some doubt on the administration’s ability to reach its goal of five million enrollments per year. “The current process is not suitable for a program receiving and adjudicating thousands of applications a day,” the report states.
Once you check your bag and make it through the security line, you might have a new option for choosing your seat and getting to know who’s next to you. Consider KLM’s Meet & Seat service, which lets you learn about your passengers. “Simply share your Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn profile details to check other participating passengers’ details and where they’ll be sitting,” the airline’s website states. The service is clearly a win for the airline’s marketing team, which will be able to collect passengers’ social-media information.
You may have the chance to chat with new friends at 30,000 feet, but have the opposite experience when you’re back on the ground. Depending on where you are, your driver might not be all that chatty. Lyft launched a new self-driving taxi program in Boston, and Nissan is working on its own program in Japan.
The tech transformation will continue wherever you’re staying, too. From using your face to check in to an Airbnb property in China to using your voice to upload your own artwork in Hilton’s new Connected Room platform, digital technology will continue to drive the guest experience in a new direction.
As travel changes, conferences and workplaces will also shift. Check out “What the Future Will Look Like for Your Attendees and Employees” for a preview of what’s next.