Into the unknown – flying is ‘no longer about the price, leg room or baggage allowance’

Like that first day in a new job, there will be a degree of apprehension when we return to flying. Things will be different and those of us that have developed our own set routines when we travel may be knocked off course – notably corporate travellers that are on the road the most often. But we will quickly adapt and build new processes to support the current environment.

One of the biggest changes will actually come before we have even left our homes on the traveller journey. In the past travel managers and those of us that book our own travel have had to navigate through numerous thought processes when it comes to booking flights, accommodation and more. These could vary from flight schedule, airport and hotel locations, obviously price and far too many more parameters to mention.

Now, those options are a lot more limited. Even finding a suitable flight can be difficult, let alone finding a preferred schedule that better meets our own plans. Daren Pickering, senior director enterprise architecture at travel management company CWT, says research about flying in the Covid-19 era is that it is “no longer about the price, leg room or baggage allowance”.

Instead travellers and travel managers are now looking to make more informed choices based around the risks of travel and are seeking information about precautions that they will need to take at each destination in a clear and concise way. The biggest issue prior to any trip now is safety.

In the mind of travel buyers and travellers alike previous questions such as do we have flexibility to switch to an earlier flight?, do we get to take a second bag into the cabin in this fare class?, have now been replaced by can we trust the airport, the airline, and the transport at the other end of the journey? or would the hotel put travellers at any greater risk than if they stayed at home?

The level of risk is particularly high at the business level, putting staff and potentially the whole wider business in the line of fire. This travel risk dilemma is currently facing every business around the world as they start to consider resuming travel: Can I send my team on business trips if there is a risk of catching coronavirus and could an employee bring the virus back home with them and spread it to others?

READ MORE via The Blue Swan Daily: Into the unknown – flying is ‘no longer about the price, leg room or baggage allowance’