2016 was not a great year for business travellers. In Britain, the Brexit referendum and related collapse in the value of the pound made travelling abroad costly; transport strikes meant getting around was an ordeal for those who stayed put. In continental Europe, terror attacks targeted airports and tourist spots, while striking workers blockaded sea ports, grounded airlines and nobbled the air-traffic control system. America, meanwhile, had to deal with mammoth security lines at airports and Asian travellers had to contend with a slowdown in China, the world’s biggest business-travel market.
Sadly, 2017 does not look like it is going to be any better. Indeed, things could get worse. First of all there are oil prices. For travellers, the low cost of fuel was a rare bright spot in 2016. Cheaper flights meant more chance to chip away at the corporate-travel budget. Now the oil price is creeping back up, which means purse-strings may be tightened. Indeed, some airlines are already looking to offset rising costs by charging for drinks on long haul…Continue reading