Only 1 percent of U.S. business travelers surveyed said they use their time to interact with other passengers.
Business travel is on par with last year, but business travelers are giving a higher priority to some “me time,” according to new American Express Global Business Travel research.
In spite of overall better connectivity and Wi-Fi access while in the air, business travelers prefer to take a break from work with 61 percent of U.S. business traveler respondents saying they look forward to disconnecting while in flight, as it gives them the chance to take a break and unwind.
Less than one-fourth (23 percent) of U.S. business travelers surveyed work while on long-haul flights and 56 percent said they take the time to watch a movie or catch up on their book reading. They apparently don’t make for ingratiating travel companions. Only 1 percent of U.S. business travelers surveyed said they use their time to interact with other passengers.
What are the biggest in-flight pet peeves for the business traveler who just wants to unwind? For almost one-fourth (21 percent), it’s being seated behind a child or infant. A seatmate who takes over the armrest, is too talkative, and snores are the other most cited complaints.
U.S. business travelers are traveling just as often, and some more frequently, than they did in 2012, the survey found, but they are increasingly taking time out for themselves while on the road. Two-thirds of U.S. business travelers surveyed say they have extended a business trip in order to take a personal vacation in the past year.
There is also a concerted effort being made to stay healthy and relieve the stress of business travel. A majority of the U.S. business travelers surveyed said they turn to a combination of diet and exercise to maintain good health while traveling. Almost three-fourths (74 percent) frequent U.S. business travelers say they drink extra water, while almost half (48 percent) stretch on the plane and 44 percent frequent the gym at their hotel. Twenty percent said they avoid alcohol and 41 percent supplement their diet with vitamins.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.