Bumps in the Road – The Cost of Travel Mishaps

Last week the GBTA Foundation released a study that looked at the cost of travel mishaps. As a road warrior, chances are you have been there and done that as 75 percent of travelers encountered a mishap while traveling for business in the last year. When these mishaps occur, it costs the traveler time and the company money.

The study, Business Traveler Study 2014: The Cost of Mishaps, sponsored by Travel Guard/AIG, surveyed more than 500 business travelers who had traveled and experienced at least one travel mishap while on a business trip in the past year.

Air travel mishaps from delayed and cancelled flights to missed connections are by far the most common travel problem encountered by today’s road warriors. Nearly 90 percent of business travelers who experienced problems while traveling, experienced at least one mishap related to air travel.

When asked about their most negative mishap, the study found it cost business travelers on average $1,475 in missed work and out-of-pocket expenses and an average of nearly 2.5 work days lost. Travelers were also twice as likely to have a mishap when traveling abroad and also incurred a much greater cost impact on international trips gone wrong – $2,148 on average.

A fire disrupting air travel in Chicago last week has put travel mishaps front and center in the news. USA Today’s Charisse Jones wrote about how the snarl in Chicago could cost the airlines millions and also addressed the impact on the travelers.

On Tuesday morning the Today Show talked about the continued chaos created from grounded and delayed flights in Chicago.

The skies are not the only place where business travelers encounter woes. Over the past year, on average, travelers experienced 3.3 of the 16 different mishaps in the blue columns below:


Travel mishaps are certainly an unfortunate aspect of business travel. So what can a travel manager take from this study? By understanding the biggest woes, travel managers can take steps to identify and mitigate some of the frustration, lost time and added cost involved with mishaps.

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