“Bienzura” passengers combining business and leisure have become a novelty in the aviation industry.
Presumably they don’t travel at the beginning and end of the day, but in the evening. instead of traveling on Fridays and Mondays in the middle of the week; fly to Bozeman to telecommute and even ski, boarding Delta Comfort, Main Cabin Extra, or United Premium Plus when possible.
New trends in leisure travel, also known as “package holidays,” were discussed during American, Delta and United’s third-quarter earnings call this month and appeared to be a sign that the pandemic is a long-term shift. in travel behavior.
The southwest is less safe. Their leaders see trends but are unwilling to conclude that they are heralding a long-term change in air travel.
“Personally, I’ve been too slow to decide that we have a new trend, and it’s been a trend for a long time,” Southwest CEO Robert Jordan said Thursday in response to a question from reporters. go on a happy journey.
“Leisure trends are very strong,” Jordan said. “Business trends have emerged from this recession and are strengthening. So our overall sales trends are very strong. In the fourth quarter they are even stronger. We think they’ll be boosted in 2023, so that’s the goal rather than figuring out if some of these things are permanent.
“The power of calm has been with us for a long time and it comes from Covid,” he said. The expansion of leisure travel windows, e.g. B. into September, is “considerable”. “You can see them and they are real. I think we have to be careful when trying to decide if it’s forever. “
In terms of business travel, Southwest started growing, then declined in July and August, and started growing again in September. Andrew Watterson, COO, said: “After every setback, the demand for business travel changes, the behavior changes a bit. So let’s hope something changes this time too.
The Southwest consistently sees more holiday travel in July than in September. “The surprising result is that there is more pleasure travel in September than in the past,” Watterson said. “Now that commercial demand is returning, recreational demand is stagnant.
“It tends to cushion a certain amount of seasonality, but you’re still going to have that seasonality,” he said. “The development is to be welcomed but they will still have a season of ups and downs.”
Where does the term “pleasure” come from?
According to Wikipedia, “The term Blizzard was coined by The Future Laboratory in 2009 as part of its biannual trend briefing by Jacob Strand, a futurologist then at The Future Laboratory, and journalist and futurist Miriam Reiman.”
In the airline industry, discussions about entertainment and package holidays have intensified in 2022. American Airlines Chief Commercial Officer Vasu Raja was the first to regularly talk about “package holidays”. Rajak’s most focused and in-depth public discussion of package holidays came at the Skift Global Forum in September.
In it, he noted that airlines have long divided passengers into two categories: business and leisure travelers, and airlines have adopted a dual pricing, seating and scheduling strategy. But during the pandemic, he said, the distinctions have blurred. “Business and entertainment itself is a matter of nomenclature,” he said.
“What airlines have done over the years is we can fly the world on a low price or on a fast schedule,” Raja said. “It created a natural segmentation… ‘People (thinking of themselves as) business and/or leisure (because that was our only option).’
In the past, a business traveler could fly from New York to Chicago for a meeting and return the same evening with only carry-on luggage, he said. The “leisure” passenger was someone who was flying to Orlando with her husband and children and checking in luggage.
Today, a “mixed-race” traveler flies to Bozeman, Montana, for “fun,” which really means “Friday conference calls and Saturday hanging out,” Raja said. Today, he said, nearly 50 percent of US revenue comes from vacation packages, up from 25 percent before the pandemic.
The rise of the combined travel epidemic has increased the use of Zoom and video conferencing to increase remote work. The increasing purchase of premium seats is also part of the leisure trend, but can also be linked to reduced headroom in coach cabins.