Corporate buyers overwhelmingly shun basic economy fares


Nearly two-thirds of corporate travel buyers never allow their travelers to book basic economy fares, according to a survey of 168 travel buyers conducted by the Global Business Travel Association and Airlines Reporting Corp. 

Additionally, 79% hide basic economy fares in their booking tools when travelers are not allowed to use them.

"These fares pose a challenge for travel programs, creating difficulty for spend visibility and comparison shopping when add-ons are factored in," GBTA executive director and COO Michael McCormick said. "Additionally, travel buyers are increasingly factoring in traveler preference and convenience as they recognize the important of their role in employee retention and recruitment in a strong economy with low unemployment."

Besides the restrictions basic economy fares put on travelers -- which can include placement in the last boarding group, no seat selection and, in some cases, no carry-on luggage -- basic economy fares could bring extra costs to travel programs, as they generally cannot be changed or exchanged.

The survey also showed premium economy fares are finding a place in travel programs; 58% of buyers said their policies always or sometime allows travelers to use premium economy.

Source: Business Travel News

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