Business travelers who rely on technology for work and play at home are expecting their hotel choices to provide the bells and whistles as well. And many hotels are obliging with plenty of power portals, and perks such as free in-room iPads and a slew of technology-related services. "It's all about interacting with the customer at the right time, at the right place," said Lorraine Sileo, vice president of research for travel market research firm PhoCusWright.
While most business travelers say they usually follow policies, some of them said they broke policy either to save money or because it was more convenient to do so, according to a survey by PhoCusWright. "Convenience is the top driver of rogue behavior," said PhoCusWright's Carroll Rheem. "Convenience always trumps policy."
This columnist is telling smartphone users to smarten up when traveling abroad because charges for roaming and data usage can skyrocket when you're away on a business trip. "The amount of data transmitted by smartphones in the background can catch travelers by surprise on trips," James Kendrick writes. He also warns to watch the switch from Wi-Fi to 3G/4G connections.
Delta Air Lines has begun the $160 million makeover of its hub at New York's LaGuardia Airport. The airline is enhancing its presence -- with features including a new Delta Sky Club lounge and expanded security lanes -- in an attempt to lure more business travelers.
Consumers are planning to spend more on travel this year, according to PhoCusWright's U.S. Consumer Travel Report Third Edition, and that means more opportunity for savvy travel agents. "Coming out of a rough period in 2009, the good news is that we're seeing lift. We're seeing demand coming back," said Carroll Rheem, director of research at PhoCusWright.