Connections Need More Connectivity, Business Travelers Say

Memo to airport and airline execs: Business travelers want mobile app notification, reliable WiFi and self-service boarding options.

It’s time to get on board with advanced travel technology, said more than 600 business travelers in a survey conducted by FlightView, whose website provides flight tracking. Almost all business travelers want a flight status sent to their phones. About two-thirds want to be notified by phone of seat upgrade availability, and nearly three-quarters would like to receive an alert when their flight is boarding.

Airport and in-flight WiFi is a nightmare, according to survey respondents, who described it as unreliable, limited and frustrating.

Boarding capabilities need to go mobile. More than 80% of business travelers who lacked access to mobile boarding passes said they would have used them. Rebooking on another flight should be possible using a mobile app, said 70% of travelers, and standby status and terminal maps should be accessible by phone or mobile device.

 The vast majority of travelers want the status and gate location of their next flight pushed to their phones when they’re on the first leg of a connecting flight. About half said walking directions to the next gate would be helpful when rushing to make that second flight.

Other items on the business traveler’s wish list are purchasing ticket upgrades and booking ground transportation.

When flights are significantly delayed or canceled, conflicting flight information is the No. 1 source of frustration, followed by inaccurate or unavailable updates on new departure times, and having no insight into the plane’s location and when it will arrive at the gate.

 In the face of significant delays and holdups, the experience could be improved with free WiFi, access to airline lounges and displays showing the location of a plane when it’s not at the gate, business travelers said.

“Business travelers, pressed for time, want access to new tools and technologies that make traveling easier and more efficient,” said Mike Benjamin, chief executive of FlightView. “Every time an airport or airline rolls out a new offering, it raises travelers’ expectations, which, in turn, puts pressure on others in the industry to quickly adopt and integrate new technologies.”