AusBT and the Changing Business Travel Landscape

19 replies

aldrigsomandre

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 31 Aug 2015

Total posts 86

Hello,


I have followed AusBT for a while now and when I first started following this website, I worked for a company and it allowed me to travel frequently, mostly in business class.

Since then, I've gone off on my own and I now have a growing business. Over the past year, I've met a lot of young business owners and now have an extensive network. As almost all technology businesses are now global, frequent travel is necessary. However, most of us are on a tight budget and we often discuss travel options and tricks. I've read multiple times by the administrators of this website that AusBT concentrates on the premium travel and lifestyle segments, which is fair.

But I was wondering, given the changing landscape of global business and travel, does AusBT have any plans of expanding economy class and travel coverage?

Thanks.

Poll: Should AusBT start covering Economy and low cost travel options?

Steve987

Member since 23 Feb 2015

Total posts 258

I think the team get the mix about right.

Economy travel seems to get decent coverage already (eg the 787 articles) plus there are other sites dedicated to economy travel so greater detail here would mean this site would lose its point of difference.


A lot of the premium content relates to the pre and post travel experience, which is as related to status as it is class in flight.

GBRGB

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 21 Jan 2014

Total posts 250

Great question, and your situation will be an expanding part of the travel market, consultants or contractors are becoming more and more prevalent in Australia which has been slower than many  other countries to conduct business this way, therefore more and more will be questioning the value of a business fare and associated benefits. We have punted plenty off the books and they have come back to work for us on a contract basis,  it amazing the difference in mindset when it is their own money they are spending compared to when they travelled on the company Amex, i earn 700-800 SC a year, mostly short domestic flights in the cheap seats so yes I would like to see more stories on economy travel 

kimshep

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 11 Oct 2014

Total posts 336

Add in the number of carriers dropping dedicated international First Class (UA being one of the latest) and the slow growth / acceptance and divergence of hard / soft Premium Economy. Also, as noted, changing attitudes to corporate travel budgets and policies sometimes means that what was once a large premium market is now often 'under review'.

David

Member since 24 Oct 2010

Total posts 988

This is an interesting discussion which I'd like to encourage further before we respond. That said, at this point I'd like to ask those who suggest that AusBT increase its coverage of 'economy travel' to describe exactly what type of 'coverage' they would wish to see from this – what sort of 'economy travel' stories they'd suggest would fit into our existing mix?

Last editedby David at Dec 26, 2016, 08:21 PM.

j30max

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 13 Dec 2015

Total posts 13

Good point, as domestic for me is economy only, maybe an article on the benefits that having gold/platinum/qantas club/virgin lounge membership gives when flying economy on routes outside of Australia, like within  Europe or within Asia.

kimshep

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 11 Oct 2014

Total posts 336

Many thanks for opening this up. I think there I quite a bit of scope, David. Some of the issues I would consider of particular relevance to business travellers in Y could include:

1. A focus on availability of in-seat power in narrow-bodies ie: B737, B717, E-series and A320/1 fleets

2. A focus on availability of (in-flight & Airport / Terminal) WiFi services for all domestic services, given the poor response of the 2 majors and shifting promises.

3. Availability of entertainment (in-seat, overhead, supplied tablet, BYO) on disparate domestic fleets

4. The quality and scope of 'mobile' software apps (timetabling, sales, entertainment, FF etc) provided by domestic operators (happy to privately discuss further ideas on this particular issue, David)

5. More prominent coverage of Domestic Business Lounges (as opposed to International).

6. A greater range of domestic airport / terminal reviews - ie. quiet areas where the 'lounge-deprived' can access, available services, food outlets etc

7. New / increased / upgraded domestic route information

8. Tips and tricks for business travellers using Y Class

9. Check-in and In-cabin service standards reviews in Y

10. Domestic Y fare classes - pitfalls and promises .. ie: Y Class 101 for Business travellers

11. Best seats in Y

I don't suggest that AUSBT needs to radically alter it's current excellent formula, but it would be great to see some occasional articles with a focus on Y travel for the business travellers on here. Obviously not everyone is Plat1, Plat or even Gold but a large proportion are Silvers, many of whom have to deal with 'lowest fare of the day' corporate policies and relatively short sectors of less than 2-3 hours.

MattJelonek

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 08 Jun 2014

Total posts 88

Premium economy focus would be fantastic though I tend to really look for a good J Class deal.

aldrigsomandre

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 31 Aug 2015

Total posts 86

Thank you all for the input. I really appreciate it. I'd like to further elaborate on what I'd like to see too, both from my experience and those who I've talked to about economy class travel.

  • Economy class trip reviews: I think we'd like to see what we are getting into before we pick an airline.
  • Best seats in economy class
  • Price deals
  • What airlines (both low cost and legacy) offer businesses in terms of advantages (i.e. Jetstar and AirAsia both have programs for business customers)
  • Airport guides for economy class passengers (What to do? Where to sit etc - especially for long haul layovers)
  • Paid lounge access options around the world for economy class passengers
  • Seat quality guides
  • App reviews (both airline and third party like Hopper - i.e. the availability of mobile check in)
  • Route announcements for low cost airlines
  • Money saving tricks for those who are on budgets
  • Budget hotel suggestions and maybe Airbnb coverage (it is the biggest provider of accomodation around the world now.)
  • Getting to and from an airport for those of us on a budget
  • Maximum bang for your buck guides
  • Exclusive business-focused interviews with executives of low cost airlines on what they are doing for the budget traveller.
  • Maximising SC guides for the economy class traveller
  • Interviews with business owners and travellers about their travel habits, tips and tricks


These are what I can think of for now. I shall add more if I think of anything else.


Thank you.

Last editedby aldrigsomandre at Dec 28, 2016, 04:02 PM.

Steve987

Member since 23 Feb 2015

Total posts 258

Some of these are interesting points and I think would be terrific additions. Others I think are already accessible elsewhere or would be hard to achieve for a bespoke site like this (ie would be expensive to provide) unless third party content could be accessed. No harm asking though :))

My thoughts below:

  • Economy class trip reviews: I think we'd like to see what we are getting into before we pick an airline.

traveller.com.au and others do these pretty well. To get a good review presumably someone needs to fly the trip also. Third party content links could be a way to achieve this?

  • Best seats in economy class

Seat guru (plus point above)

  • Price deals

I am guessing this would be advertising more than content?

  • What airlines (both low cost and legacy) offer businesses in terms of advantages (i.e. Jetstar and AirAsia both have programs for business customers)

This one would be good.

  • Airport guides for economy class passengers (What to do? Where to sit etc - especially for long haul layovers)

See first point above.

  • Paid lounge access options around the world for economy class passengers

I believe this already gets covered.

  • Seat quality guides

Not sure what this is.

  • App reviews (both airline and third party like Hopper - i.e. the availability of mobile check in)

This one would be good.

  • Route announcements for low cost airlines

Probably best achieved via the communities on a needs basis.

  • Money saving tricks for those who are on budgets

Not sure what this would look like.

  • Budget hotel suggestions and maybe Airbnb coverage (it is the biggest provider of accomodation around the world now.)

See first point above.

  • Getting to and from an airport for those of us on a budget

Probably best achieved via the communities on a needs basis.

  • Maximum bang for your buck guides

Not sure what this would look like.

  • Exclusive business-focused interviews with executives of low cost airlines on what they are doing for the budget traveller.

This one would be good.

  • Maximising SC guides for the economy class traveller

Probably best achieved via the communities on a needs basis, in the same way people ask about status earning flight options already.

  • Interviews with business owners and travellers about their travel habits, tips and tricks

This one would be good. The interviews in the AFR are generally a good read.

Matt_01

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 23 Feb 2016

Total posts 59

I would also be interested in information from "aldrigsomandre" suggestions. 


I went down this path 3 years ago (my own business) and have found over that time my travel habits (business and personal have changed), some time ago when travelling for business I expected to travel J on tier 1 airline and normally during business hours, this was normally using the Company's money not mine. 

As the now business owner, these days I still maintain personal loyalty to QF as I have had clients who have requested that I travel to the US and Europe at short notice, less than 3-5 days in Y and as the hired help expected to work as soon as I get off the plane. On these occasions I will use my status and points to upgrade to J when possible on long haul. Also I have not yet had a client who has refused my request to leave and return to Australia using Qantas. 

I have also discovered that Contract and FT staff have been willing to travel on Business International (short-medium haul) using LCC's during the day without objection. The other avenue I have explored is agreeing to transfer QFF points from Aquire back to them for points earn in PE or Y on longer haul flights.

I am still learning what will work best for our business but any site that is a one stop shop for business travel regardless of class and can provide sound information, advice, alternatives gets the support from myself. 

Last editedby Matt_01 at Dec 28, 2016, 08:20 PM.

aldrigsomandre

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 31 Aug 2015

Total posts 86

Thank you for the input. I just have one question. You've written that Traveller.com.au does some of these things already. Is that a blocking factor for another site putting their own spin on it?

Last editedby David at Jan 05, 2017, 09:26 PM.

Looking

Member since 10 Aug 2015

Total posts 29

I think there should be high accuracy reviews of the full economy experience - from luggage allowance, to meals to seat design. It has been mentioned above that other sources e.g. traveller cover this information but I say they are not accurate and are filled with puff / overly positive. I think AusBT could approach the economy review from the angle what is the best all round value given one needs to work onboard and on disembarkation. Lowest price is not the best value and it would be good to know this, it would then help in justifying to clients one option over another. There could be consideration on the connection experience too.

Beyond this there could be some smart commentary or insights on how best to tolerate the experience during and after the trip. Jet lag / noise cancelling headphones / decent moisturisers.

Low Cost Carriers are also not all equal and often are the only choice to access manufacturing locations. What are the route news, what is the experience, what are the perks and personality which may not be clear from their websites?

I would also expand this to include reviews of mainline rail travel in the UK & Europe, North Asia and North America and those routes in Australia where rail is best e.g. Melbourne - Bendigo.

markpk

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 29 Nov 2013

Total posts 436

I find the balance of articles on the site OK - I certainly don't view AusBT as being solely about premium/first class travel. I understand the site to cater for business travellers which means the spectrum of travel from economy to F. 


A lot of the suggestions above are pretty good - maybe they will give the AusBT team an editorial roadmap for the year. 

A few posters have suggested more on travel hacks, budget savers, airport to-do's when no lounge access etc - we have the community for that so it's up to us to put it to better use. Maybe AusBT could run a monthly promotion and award a poster for the most valuable community post of the month? 

Steve987

Member since 23 Feb 2015

Total posts 258

Thank you for the input. I just have one question. You've written that Traveller.com.au does some of these things already. Is that a blocking factor for another site putting their own spin on it?

Some of these are interesting points and I think would be terrific additions. Others I think are already accessible elsewhere or would be hard to achieve for a bespoke site like this (ie would be expensive to provide) unless third party content could be accessed. No harm asking though )
My thoughts below:

  • Economy class trip reviews: I think we'd like to see what we are getting into before we pick an airline.

traveller.com.au and others do these pretty well. To get a good review presumably someone needs to fly the trip also. Third party content links could be a way to achieve this?

I think you have missed my point. Of course this is not a reason why another site cannot perform reviews.

My point is that to perform the reviews you are seeking it means someone has to undertake the travel, which costs money. Further, there are at least ten reputable sites that already review economy travel (as well as numerous blogs), with traveller being just one example. 

If ausbt could link to the reviews undertaken by one or more of those providers I think that would be good but, either way, I would prefer the team apply their time and financial resources to doing the types of reviews they already do rather than duplicate the content of other sites that can already be located with next to no effort. 

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