7 Key Takeaways on Business Traveler Attitudes

The latest GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index™, in partnership with American Express, was released today and is full of valuable information on business travelers’ feelings about their travel experience and how those feelings affect their actual travel behavior. This is the fourth round of this survey, which covers overall trip experience, travel policy, expense tracking and management, business travel safety, social media experiences, technology for business travel and the economic environment.

Here are just a few of the survey highlights:

  • The Index recovered from its third-quarter dip, increasing 3.3 percent from Q3 (95.1) to Q4 (98.2), almost fully recovering to its second-quarter status (98.7). This means the overall trip experience for business travelers improved during this time period, due primarily to improvements of the expense tracking and management component as well as the overall trip experience and travel friction component.
  • Almost all (95 percent) business travelers with TSA Preü® feel it has expedited their travel experience. Those with TSA Preü® are significantly more likely to be satisfied with their ability to get through airport security (66 percent) compared to those without it (47 percent), and are also more likely to be satisfied with their experience traveling on an airplane in general (66 percent compared to 54 percent) as well.
  • In the past three months, on average, business travelers took an airplane for three of their four business trips. When it came to making decisions about which airline to fly, convenience and cost top the list for business travelers.


  • Business travelers’ thoughts and experiences about expense reporting improved this quarter as the expense tracking and management index component increased significantly (6.3 percent) from Q3 to Q4 going from 95.1 to 101.1, surpassing even the baseline of 100 established in Q1. The survey also revealed that satisfaction with completing expense reports is highly correlated with the requirements and methods of submitting reports and receipts. So, the more business travelers are satisfied with their company’s policies and practices for expense reporting, the more satisfied they are with their ability to complete expense reports, in general.
  • Nearly one-half of U.S. business travelers (49 percent) are required to follow stated travel policies, while roughly one-third (34 percent) are encouraged to follow general guidelines and one in six (17 percent) have no travel policy whatsoever. When it comes to travel policies, more than three-quarters (78 percent) feel it is important for them to be able to acquire and use travel rewards and perks at their own discretion.


  • About one-third of business travelers (36 percent) report extending their business trip for leisure travel in the past three months and roughly two-thirds (67 percent) say having the option to do so is important to them. Those extending business trips for leisure time most often do so to explore and enjoy the destination (63 percent) or to visit friends or family members (48 percent).
  • Business travelers continue to believe that access to Wi-Fi is vital to their productivity when traveling (83 percent). Almost as many also say access to technology helps them keep up with other work demands when traveling for business (79 percent), and more than half believe mobile apps enhance their travel experience (52 percent).