Human vs. Machine: Business travellers prefer tech to handle their flight bookings


CWT found out that travellers prefer to manage their travel transactions digitally, via an app or browser.

69% of business travellers prefer to book their flights digitally rather than have human interactions. That continues to rise for hotel reservations (78%), ground transportation (71%), and checking-in for flights (68%). However, travellers are more receptive speaking to a person face-to-face when checking into their hotel (46%) and checking out (51%).

“Technology is becoming more and more dominant in the travel ecosystem,” said Andrew Jordan, CWT’s chief product and technology officer. “Digital interactions are taking over, so the travel industry must keep evolving to offer companies and their employees the experience they want and expect.”

Overall, Asia Pacific travellers are more likely to choose technology over personal contact – 73% prefer to book their flights digitally, versus 71% of Americas travellers and 61% of Europeans. Meanwhile, 84% of Asia Pacific travellers prefer to book hotels digitally, versus 77% of those from the Americas, and 70% of Europeans.

When it comes to checking in for their flights, travellers from the Americas are most inclined to use technology over personal contact: 73% said they prefer technology, versus 66% of Europeans and 65% of Asia Pacific travellers.

Doing it over the phone

The study also revealed that eight out of 10 business travellers have used technology instead of physically travelling for business in the past year, with a quarter using technology five or more times instead of travelling. With 29% of travellers from the Americas answering “five times or more,” they beat Europeans (26%) and Asia Pacific travellers (22%).

“The modern business traveller wants to be able to make decisions immediately at their convenience,” said Jordan. “Companies need to empower their employees to have this control and give them the needed tools, such as mobile apps, to best equip them on their journey.”

The survey was created by CWT and conducted by Artemis Strategy Group between 29 January and 9 February 2019. Responses were collected from more than 2,700 business travellers who travelled for business four or more times in the previous 12 months.

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