Tina Perkins, Epic Systems, Southwest discussed on TIME's Top Stories
There's pent up demand for face to face business meetings, conferences, events, networking, people are just starved for that, says Harvey of Southwest business. Southwest is hoping to capture those travelers by attracting companies who want to pay lower fares, but still want to travel, he says. He also argues that since companies have more remote employees now, there's a new class of business travelers who have to fly to headquarters a few times a year. But even people who've spent decades on the road say that the pandemic has made them realize that technology has finally made it feasible to have good communication without traveling. Tina Perkins, who's worked for epic systems, a Madison Wisconsin based electronic medical records company for 20 years says she loved traveling to a new city once or twice a month to help hospitals implement epic software, but she says I've been sort of shocked by how we've been able to adapt. Whereas effective in this hybrid world, which was surprising, having done some things one way for such a long period of time. She says she'll likely travel once every four to 6 weeks going forward rather than once every two to four weeks. Other epic travelers have made the switch, too, employees now take in total about a thousand trips a month down from 3500 before the pandemic. The hotels and airlines that figure out how to make their model work without business travelers are going to be in the best position going forward, says Anthony Jackson, the U.S. airlines subsector leader at Deloitte. During the last recession, airlines expanded their premium economy seats to attract economy travelers who were willing to pay for an upgrade, but not first class, and cost conscious business travelers. Now airlines will likely further expand premium economy in part to give travelers still worried about COVID-19 a way to pay for more elbow room, says Allen Lewis, managing director for LEK consulting. Delta said October 13th, that it actually made a profit in the three months that ended September 30th, and that premium cabin seats drove much of that recovery. Business travel is still less than 50% recovered the company said. Like airlines, hotels are going to have to think up new ways to attract traveler money, says raschke of mourning consult. They might decide to try and lure digital nomads who don't have to pay rent anymore and are traveling around the country as they work. Or they may offer what's called leisure business leisure packages to people who want to work and vacation all in one trip. That may attract travelers like Henrik's who still has to make some work trips, on his last business trip before the pandemic, Henrik attended a weeklong conference of the American banking association in Orlando. Since his in laws live nearby, he used miles to fly his wife and kids down to Orlando, too. They rented an air-b-n-b near the conference and he commuted back and forth via lift. Still, the American banking association is holding the same conference this year in Tampa, but neither Henrik nor his family are attending. There is a silver lining to Henrik's traveling less frequently, though, he says he's spending more locally..