If given the chance, business travel agents would like to eliminate the airport security rules limiting liquids in carry-on bags along with mandatory removal of shoes, while leisure travel agents are most concerned about extensive pat-down procedures, Travel Leaders reports in its Fall Travel Trend Survey. Both business and leisure agents agreed that the top way their clients are avoiding airline baggage fees is to pack lightly and only bring carry-on luggage, Travel Leaders says.
Conducted August 1-19, 2011, the survey includes responses from 443 Travel Leaders owners, managers and frontline travel agents throughout the United States. The specific business travel data included is based on responses from 170 agents who indicated that business travelers make up 50 percent or more of their clientele.
“It was quite interesting for us to see how Travel Leaders’ business and leisure travel agents differ on what they like least about airport security measures. The extensive coverage given to full-body scanners apparently isn’t what clients are discussing most frequently with their travel professional,” stated Roger E. Block, president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group. “In fact, many of our leisure travel agents wouldn’t change a thing regarding security measures. Perhaps that’s based in part on their tireless work ensuring clients understand airport security procedures and arming travelers with information in order to eliminate as much confusion and frustration as possible.”
When asked, “Which TSA security measure would you most like to eliminate?” the results differ between Travel Leaders’ business and leisure travel agents. Business agents said that 27.7 percent wanted to end the 3-1-1-limits on liquids in carry on bags and 27.7 percent wanted to end shoe removal. Twenty four percent wanted change in extensive pat down procedures. Leisure travelers (32.0 percent) objected to extensive pat downs while 30.4 percent criticised the 3-1-1- cary on rule.
When asked, “What is the most common action taken by your clients to avoid or limit airline baggage fees?” there were slight differences between Travel Leaders’ business and leisure travel agents, though they agreed on the number one cost-savings measure.
Business Travel Responses: Traveling with carry-on baggage only(51.2 percent); Flying on an airline where the traveler has elite status
(26.5 percent); Flying on an airline that doesn’t charge baggage fees for the first bag (17.1 percent); Checking baggage once onboard the plane (2.9 percent); and paying with airline branded credit card (2.4 percent).
Leisure Travel Responses: Traveling with carry-on baggage only (60.9 percent); Flying on an airline that doesn’t charge baggage fees for the first bag (22.2 percent); Flying on an airline where the traveler has elite status (8.1 percent); Paying with airline branded credit card (6.8 percent) and checking baggage once onboard the plane (1.6 percent).
When asked, “How interested are your business travel clients in being part of a TSA 'trusted traveler program?" only 15.9 percent of Travel Leaders agents indicated their clients were “very interested” while 34.1 percent indicated their clients were “somewhat interested.” The total percentage indicating that their clients had little to no interest in such a program was 50.0 percent.
When it comes to baggage fees, it appears the vast majority of Travel Leaders’ business travelers have few questions. Nearly 95 percent of polled business travel agents (94.1 percent) indicated that a quarter or fewer of calls from their business travel clients are inquiries about baggage information and/or baggage fees. Less than 2 percent indicated that half or more of their calls from business travel clients related to baggage fees and information.
Travel Leaders is part of Travel Leaders Group – which is a North American travel company that generates gross travel sales in excess of $16.6 billion. Travel Leaders Group is a leader in both the retail travel agency space and corporate travel, and it consistently ranks as one of the top travel companies nationwide.