Business travel has disappeared. Will it ever come back?

Business travel has disappeared. Will it ever come back?

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London (CNN Business)Book tickets. Schedule meetings. Obsess over your presentation. Pack a carry-on. Rush to the airport. Check out the lounge. Priority boarding. Take off. Land. Get to the hotel. Meet clients. Seal the deal. Fly home. Repeat.

For countless executives and salespeople, business trips have been a bedrock of corporate life — loathed by some, loved by others but accepted by all as a necessity (sweetened by millions of frequent flyer miles). Employees needed to fly to meet clients, drum up new business and grab some face time with the boss at headquarters.
Then came the coronavirus pandemic, which grounded travelers and forced many companies to find news ways of doing things. Zoom replaced face to face meetings, even if there is something awkward about video chats. Phone calls filled the gaps. Clients stayed clients, deals got done and revenue rolled in.
Now, with coronavirus restrictions easing in many countries, the question is how quickly business travel will rebound, and whether the pandemic and efforts to address the accelerating climate crisis will prevent the lucrative sector from ever making a complete recovery.

Road warriors will themselves play a crucial role i

Road warriors will themselves play a crucial role in determining whether business class is full or mostly empty, as they negotiate a return to corporate life after more than a year working from home. Some — or many — could balk at missing out on date night or their kids’ football game.


“For a lot of people, frequent business travel has become more of a burden than a perk,” said Scott Cohen, a professor at the University of Surrey in England who studies business travel. There is increasing recognition that frequent work trips can negatively effect health and personal relationships, he added. Read more…