The True Cost and ROI of Business Travel
Peggy and I have cashed in frequent flier miles and been upgraded to first class on a US Air flight to Europe. It’s about a seven-hour flight. The seat is fancier, the food is fancier. But if you pay full price—roughly an extra $6,000—what you are really buying is the opportunity to lie supine for roughly three hours—or about $1,000 per hour each way for a lie-down.
And we still had to be at the airport 2-1/2 hours early and deal with crowds and lines at both ends of the trip.
To paraphrase Victor Kiam, you get the same jet lag in the back of plane as you do in the front.
Oh yes, first class does make you feel important, knowing that you paid full price while all around you are hoi polloi frequent fliers who paid economy and upgraded using miles.
Will first-class travel get an employee back into “the zone” quicker?
I would say the chances are marginal at best.
What is the ROI (return on investment) on first class?
I would say zip. It’s a moneymaker for the airline and a money-loser for the company or the individual.
The Importance of a Decent Hotel
When traveling alone, I used to stay in what Victor Kiam called “cheapsy-weepsy” hotels (unless a client was paying). Now with this twice-a-week e-zine, I must take my laptop and it is imperative that I have high-speed Internet access in my room wherever I stay. No longer can I stay in low-end hotels that have one Internet machine in the lobby and a line waiting to get on it.
Peggy and I went to London last December and stayed at the Hilton Trafalgar Square—a most un-Hilton-like boutique hostelry across from the National Gallery that we got with Peggy’s Hilton points. The lobby is a huge noisy bar with a loud DJ in residence.