Study Shows Cost-Focused Travel Policies May Hinder Trip Success and Retention

ARLINGTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) today released a detailed study that
challenges the wisdom of emphasizing cost savings when managing business
travel. The research finds that management should prioritize trip
success rates and retention of their frequent corporate travelers. The
study, “Achieving
Better Business Travel Results: Insights from U.S. Road Warriors,”
conducted by ARC and sponsored by Delta Air Lines, FlightGlobal and
tClara, was presented today at ARC’s 2018 TravelConnect conference
currently taking place in National Harbor, Md.

“Cost savings are roughly 1 percent of the economic value added by road
warriors, so it makes much more sense to focus on how to increase the
road warrior’s value-add,” says Scott Gillespie, ARC’s head of analytics
and CEO of tClara. “This means increasing the road warrior’s trip
success rate and their willingness to travel, and decreasing their
burnout and attrition risks.”

This report examines insights from 742 U.S.-based road warriors on the
topics of trip success, attrition and retention, their desire to travel
and what it takes to experience burnout. Findings reveal the negative
impact of cost-focused travel policies; the keys to reducing road
warrior attrition risk; the importance of traveler sleep, health and
safety and the benefits of better quality travel. Senior executives can
use these findings to significantly re-shape their corporate travel
program’s strategic priorities. Doing so should lead to more successful
trips and better road warrior retention and wellness.

Key findings include:

  • Road warriors, those who spent at least 35 nights away from home and
    took at least four trips by airplane over the last 12 months, say
    there is a 24 percent chance that they will voluntarily leave their
    employer in the next two years. Those managed by cost-focused travel
    policies are twice as likely to leave than those managed by
    traveler-focused policies (33 percent risk vs. 17 percent risk)
  • Road warriors rated 63 percent of their trips as mostly or very
    worthwhile. Those managed by traveler-focused policies reported a trip
    success rate nine points higher than their cost-focused peers (66
    percent vs. 57 percent)
  • Forty-eight percent of road warriors say they hope to travel less
    often in two years. They view more comfortable travel and increased
    rewards and recognition from airlines and hotels as the two most
    important factors for their willingness to keep traveling as much as
    they do now.
  • Nearly three-quarters of all road warriors said these factors are very
    often or always important to their business trip success:

    • Hotels (73 percent), especially a comfortable bed, pillows and
      temperature; a quiet room and good Wi-Fi
    • Flights (68 percent), especially no cancellations or delays;
      non-stop flights and preferred seating
    • Sleep quality (68 percent) before and during the business trip
  • Twenty-five percent of road warriors are significantly or extremely
    affected by jet lag. This highly-affected group reports 20 percent
    fewer worthwhile trips, a 14 percent higher chance of leaving their
    jobs, and much less interest in traveling in two years compared to
    those less affected by jet lag.
  • Twenty-three percent of road warriors report high scores for anxiety
    or depression. When compared to road warriors with low to average
    anxiety and depression scores, this group has a two-year attrition
    risk twice as high (37 percent vs. 17 percent), reports nearly half as
    many worthwhile trips (39 percent vs. 75 percent) and has far less
    interest in traveling in two years.
  • Seventeen percent of road warriors are presently or nearly burned out
    from travel. The main causes are too many nights away from home, the
    general stress of travel and travel’s negative impact on their health
    and their families.

“Achieving Better Business Travel Results: Insights from U.S. Road
Warriors,” is available for download online.

About ARC:

An industry leader in air travel distribution and intelligence, ARC
settled $88.5 billion in ticket transactions in 2017 between airlines
and travel agencies, representing more than 287 million passenger trips.
ARC provides flexible distribution solutions, innovative technology and
access to the world’s most comprehensive air ticket transaction data,
helping the global air travel community connect, grow and thrive. For
more information, please visit

About Delta Air Lines:

Delta Air Lines serves more than 180 million customers each year. In
2018, Delta was named to Fortune’s top 50 Most Admired Companies in
addition to being named the most admired airline for the seventh time in
eight years. Additionally, Delta has ranked No.1 in the Business Travel
News Annual Airline survey for an unprecedented seven consecutive years.
With an industry-leading global
network, Delta and the Delta
Connection carriers offer service to 304 destinations in 52
countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs
more than 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of
more than 800 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam
global alliance and participates in the industry’s leading transatlantic joint
venture with Air
France-KLM and Alitalia
as well as a joint venture with Virgin
Atlantic. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers
customers more than 15,000 daily flights. Delta has invested billions of
dollars in airport facilities, global products and services, and
technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the
ground. Additional information is available on the Delta
News Hub, as well as,
Twitter @DeltaNewsHub

About FlightGlobal:

FlightGlobal has been a pioneer of aviation intelligence for over 100
years. We help businesses across the globe cut through industry
complexity to reach their full potential. Our range of insight, data
analytics and workflow solutions provide a complete view to help you
drive growth and manage risk, powered by an unrivalled combination of
award-winning experts and the most comprehensive aviation databases
available. For more information, please visit

About tClara:

tClara provides authoritative, innovative and affordable airfare and
Trip Friction® benchmarks for travel managers who want to deliver the
best business results for their travel budget. For more information,
please visit
Trip Friction® is a registered trademark of tClara, LLC.

©2018 Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC). All rights reserved.