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Best Western’s “Back to Business Travel Season” Survey Has Good News for Loyalty Programs

Highlights from Best Western’s recent Business Travel Survey conducted September 7 through 9, 2011 among 2,038 adults aged 18 and older, include:

  • Business travelers expect value. Nearly 40 percent of business travelers say a travel pet peeve is paying for amenities such as breakfast or parking (38 percent) that they expect to be included in the room rate. When it comes to being charged for amenities, 74 percent of business travelers expect parking to be included in a hotel’s advertised room rate and 65 percent expect breakfast to be included.
  • Loyalty programs pay for business travelers. Of those business travelers that belong to loyalty programs, 38 percent use hotel-based loyalty programs (i.e., earning points when staying at a specific hotel chain) most often while 34 percent use airline-based programs (i.e., earn miles when flying with a specific airline) most often. Twelve percent of business travelers use a travel branded credit card (i.e., a credit card that, when used, earns miles or points when you fly with a specific airline or stay at specific hotel chain) most often.
  • Free hotel room nights are valuable to business travelers. Of loyalty program members, 66 percent of business travelers would like to redeem their loyalty points for free nights at a hotel. Thirty eight percent said they would like to redeem points for retail and restaurant gift cards and 13 percent would redeem points for charitable donations.
  • Business travelers are savvy with loyalty programs. Nearly half of business travelers who belong to a travel loyalty program (48 percent) consider themselves an “intermediate” or “savvy” loyalty program user in that they check their points balance often, redeem points and tend to use multiple programs at once.
  • Airport woes continue to peeve business travelers. Flight delays and long security lines at the airport are pet peeves amongst 39 and 32 percent of business travelers, respectively. Other travel pet peeves include lack of quality sleep (29 percent) and lack of healthy food options (29 percent).