Jochen Schnadt, chief commercial officer of BMI Regional, reveals what you should be looking for from an airline when booking corporate travel
Business travel is a major part of most PAs’ workloads and selecting the best airline for business travel can be a tricky task with so many options to choose from. Our years of experience with corporate clients for BMI Regional has told us that there are very specific things many corporate travellers are looking for.
Feedback from our customers is always that convenience is key. This means looking for an airline that offers easy-to-reach departure points, as well as advantageous flight times that fit around meetings. Ideally these trips would also allow same day return travel to Europe. It’s something at BMI Regional that we’re proud to say we’re able to achieve, thanks to our network of regional pan-European airports that connect travellers to cities throughout Northern and Central Europe.
Fare transparency and a strong core product are at the heart of any business travel choice. No busy managing director wants to find themselves at an airport having to pay for luggage or mess around looking for the only available seat on the aircraft. That’s why some airlines, such as BMI, have now maintained a traditional inclusive policy when it comes to price. This means that what you see is what you pay, with no hidden extras.
“It’s always worth asking airlines about flexible or enhanced ticket options too. All of these benefits can make a huge difference to the regular business traveller.”
It’s always worth asking airlines about flexible or enhanced ticket options too, as there may be an option to secure tickets that offer free cancellations/amendments or include lounge access at airports and fast-tracked security. All of these benefits can make a huge difference to the regular business traveller.
Another bug-bear of travellers is being stuck in the middle seat. While this sometimes cannot be avoided, a piece of advice we’d give is to check out an airline’s seating configuration before flying. There are only a handful of airlines that offer a roomy 2:1 seat configuration. On board no-one has to endure the dreaded middle seat and in many cases, solo business travellers can take advantage of the single seat.
Fundamentally convenience, flexibility, service and quality are key factors for when PAs are looking for business travel, as for anyone who travels frequently it’s worth doing the research to find airlines that encompass all of these values.