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Business travelers hate Houston and the middle seat, survey says

December 18, 2011 | 10:00 am

Business-class passengers on a United flight to Hawaii.

Imagine a business trip that starts with a delayed flight to Houston. On the flight you must sit in the middle seat next to a sick passenger or perhaps a crying baby. When you check into your hotel, your bed is a mess of bedbugs and dirty linen.

These horrific business trip scenarios emerge from an online survey of 3,756 business travelers who were asked to choose their least favorite city to visit and cite the top reasons they hate to travel.

But the source of the survey data might be biased on the subject. ON24, a San Francisco provider of virtual meetings and webcasting technology, conducted the survey to promote online meetings over face-to-face business trips.

When it comes to picking least favorite cities to visit for a convention or trade show, Houston got the most votes, with 49% of the survey respondents, and Los Angeles came in second with nearly 42%.

Asked to list their top travel gripe, 53% chose sitting in an airplane middle seat, 51% said having their flight delayed and 43% chose getting stuck next to a sick passenger or a baby.

When it comes to lodging, nearly 53% said they were concerned about sleeping in a room with bedbugs and 45% worry about dirty linen.

When asked what they dislike about trade shows and conventions, more than 60% cited boring presentations. Nearly 20% said they disliked a common trade show sight — attractive women who staff show exhibits, often known as “booth babes.”

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-- Hugo Martin

Photo: Business-class passengers on a United flight to Hawaii. Credit: Richard Derk / For The Times

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