General Trends: Business Travel

Intelligent luggage, WLAN on board and breaking out of strict dress code rules: Anyone who travels a lot can adapt to a few innovations. These are the current trends in business travel:

Trends in business travel: WLAN on board

WLAN in an airplane has long since ceased to be a luxury. Instead, service is increasingly becoming the standard expected. More and more airlines are upgrading their fleets with online-capable aircraft. At the end of 2016, according to Business Traveller, 39 of the 57 largest European airlines with no Internet access were still on board, but German airlines in particular are currently making rapid progress.

Lufthansa, for example, is the world’s largest Internet-capable long-haul fleet with over 100 WLAN-capable aircraft and has been offering broadband Internet on European routes from three euros since January. Air Berlin in turn offers Internet access on short-, medium- and long-haul routes (from 4.90 euros for 30 minutes/20 MB data volume).

Trends in business travel: Smart Luggage

Recharge your smartphone, check yourself in, don’t wrinkle your suit and drive autonomously at best: Smart Luggage is the trend. The reason: the new generation of travellers demands more from their suitcases than simply transporting clothes and toothbrushes. Now the revolution is here that didn’t exist a long time ago. RIMOWA and Lufthansa, for example, will be presenting the Electronic Tag, which can be used to check in your suitcase yourself and prevent it from getting lost.

The BlueSmart trolley from San Francisco, for example, locks itself automatically when the owner leaves. The brand PlanetTraveler from Miami advertises its Space Case 1 as “World’s Smartest Suitcase”. It can be opened with a fingerprint and also offers a Bluetooth speaker for phone calls and music enjoyment.

The German company Horizn Studios also offers such features: The Travel Assistant of their intelligent luggage can rebook flights or reserve hotel accommodation, for example. Even autonomous suitcases are no longer a dream of the future. The US-American company Travelmate Robotics, for example, offers a piece of luggage that follows on foot.

Trends in business travel: Lounges for everyone

Status miles are becoming increasingly difficult to earn for frequent flyers. This also makes access to airport lounges more difficult. The demand for corresponding payment models is increasing. This is referred to as “pay-as-you-go lounges”. The Plaza Premium Lounges are airline independent and are represented at 140 locations and 35 aircraft. Admission is manageable and averages 30 euros. Here, travellers can work undisturbed, eat a snack or simply take a shower. But airlines are also increasingly switching to the payment model: Emirates, for example, offers access to the seven business and first class lounges in Dubai for a surcharge. Other airlines could follow suit.

Trends in business travel: Travel in a private jet

Flexible flight schedules that depend on the passenger, a separate security check, a lot of luxury and the uncomplicated approaching of even the smallest airports: travelling in a private jet offers all kinds of comfort. The market is booming. According to the current Global Business Jet Market Report, the global market is expected to grow to the equivalent of 31.5 billion euros by 2020 (compared to 19.5 billion euros in 2013). And private jet travel is becoming more and more affordable.

Thanks to companies such as JetSmarter, NetJets or JetEight, which are revolutionizing private aviation with all you can fly offers, leasing, special share models or low-cost charter concepts. And best of all: Most of the time you can take your fellow travellers with you free of charge, which reduces costs even for medium-sized business travellers.

Trends in business travel: No more strict dress code

The days of strict dress code rules are over: a tie is no longer absolutely necessary everywhere, sneakers for suits are okay in some industries, even jeans for jackets are a thing of the past for many business people. It is especially important to be able to assess the working environment correctly and to know what your colleagues are wearing.

You should also avoid embarrassing tie mistakes if you decide on a tie after all. And what about facial hair? The full beard is no longer a no-go either. But with all the dress code trends, business is all about paying attention: You should also be groomed in jeans and sneakers and with a beard!

Trends in business travel: Dishes à la carte on board

Economy travellers do not have it easy: If there is food on board at all, it is usually bad. But more and more airlines are offering guests in the cheapest price category the option of food upgrades against payment. With Air France and KLM, passengers can eat à la carte on request: four menu options between twelve and 18 euros are available.

On selected long-haul flights from London Heathrow, British Airways travellers can book online in advance what they would like to be served on board. There are six dishes to choose from at prices between 15 and 18 pounds (equivalent to about 18 to 21 euros).

Also with Swiss, Austrian airlines or Singapore airlines there are such food offers against surcharge. And because the business traveller wants it to be as convenient as possible, this becomes a real option.

Author: Jason B. Villarreal

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