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Survey: Biz trips a hassle, not a perk

By Julie Clothier for CNN
Airport security screenings are among the reasons business trips are increasingly considered a hassle.


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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Once considered one of the perks of the job, business travel is now seen as more of a nuisance by most road warriors, according to a new survey.

Increasingly crowded aircraft, security screenings, flight delays and late-night work-related dinners are just some of the reasons why life on the road has become more stressful than enjoyable.

Those are the findings from a survey of 1,200 business travelers conducted in the first quarter of this year by marketing agency Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell (YPBR).

The findings, published in the 2006 National Business Travel Monitor, reported that a little more than 30 percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement, "I am actively seeking ways to use new technology in order to reduce my need to travel for business in the future."

Forty-one percent said they expected to take more business trips this year than the previous one.

"The typical business traveler takes eight business trips a year. Fully one out of six took at least one international business trip last year," reported YPBR.

"And those business trips appear to be getting longer: almost half took at least one business trip of five continuous nights or more."

Some of the downsides reported by business travelers in the research included sleep deprivation (47 percent), increased stress (25 percent) and loneliness (23 percent).

Malcolm Ginsberg, who is editor of Air & Business Travel News, told CNN that security measures at airports were without a doubt one of the downsides of traveling.

He said queuing in cramped spaces was unpleasant, and he had been in "fast track" queues for business class passengers at some airports that were longer than those used by economy class passengers.

"The main thing for a business traveler is to make life as easy as possible," he said. "The problem is that airports that were designed more than five years ago, they just don't have the space for their security operations."

He said he enjoyed traveling for work but trips could have their downsides, including being away from family and spending a lot of time alone.

"Loneliness is a problem that a lot of people who don't travel don't appreciate. Personally, I hate traveling on my own. I hate the thought of being stuck in a hotel room and ordering room service. I won't do it," he said.

He was not surprised at the survey results but said that if executives really hated traveling, they could chose not to do so.

"I know several people who are at a very senior level who never travel. They don't like it and they don't want to do it so they don't. Others do enjoy habitually traveling for work, it's in their make-up."

Ginsberg said that while trips had their downsides, they could also be positive benefits on both a professional and personal level.

"That face-to-face contact is extremely valuable," he said.

"You get to see a lot of the world and the people you meet are so interesting. Last week I was sitting next to a defense attache on a plane, and not long after I met a financial director of an airline. If you are fairly chatty you get to talk to and meet lots of different people."

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