Half of Australian business travellers choose flexibility over cost of fare


24 June 2024 – Data from Flight Centre Travel Group’s flagship corporate brands, FCM Travel and Corporate Traveller, has revealed that half of all corporate customers reschedule their flight.

Flight Centre Corporate Global COO Melissa Elf said there was a growing trend of corporate customers looking to push back or bring forward travel times to better align with their ever-evolving schedule.

“It’s a real priority for our corporate customers – the flexibility is critical, and they’re willing to pay for the ability to change their travel arrangements,” Ms Elf said.

“We know productivity and flexibility in travel booking is just as important as the cost of travel. We know this because more than half of our customers’ bookings are rebooked or rescheduled; agility in travel management is essential.  

“For those travelling for business, time is their most valuable asset, and a minute wasted is money lost.

“With more and more corporate travellers taking to the skies, it’s a real priority that we’re ensuring flexibility and access in a way that’s productive and affordable for our customers.

“Technology is rapidly evolving, and with a heavy investment into our tech offerings we’re able to offer customers real-time access and visibility over individual travel programs.

“If you’re heading to the airport to get home sooner than you had intended, or if your meeting is running overtime and you’re not going to make your return trip, the apps our customers have access to gives them the ability to make adjustments.

“It saves them the need to sit on hold to the airline’s customer service line or waiting in a line at the check-in desk, which is what those that haven’t booked through a travel management company would need to do.  

“By leveraging our vast network, cutting-edge technology, and unparalleled expertise, we ensure that every customer is prepared and supported to navigate the unexpected or the last-minute changes.”

Corporate Traveller and FCM Travel’s mobile apps let customers quickly check if flights are on time, what the boarding gate number is, and what time they’ll be boarding and taking-off. App users get push notifications for delays and changes in real-time and can adjust bookings.

Corporate travel in Australia is dominated by the mining, oil and gas sector, which made up around 14 per cent of all travel bookings in Australia in the first quarter of this year. This was followed by construction (10%), government and not-for-profit (8.5%), services (8%) and finance and insurance (6%).

“It's evident across our corporate customer base that travel is non-discretionary, and falling airfares both domestically and internationally will keep demand for business travel strong against the backdrop of economic pressures,” Ms Elf said.

The Global Business Travel Association predicted a growth in business travel of 27 per cent in 2023 in Australia. It has also revealed that in 2024 for every USD1 spent on business travel, a business would see a USD145 return in sales. 

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