Is there something rotten in the world of business travel?
Laure was really upset: Her company travel policy has changed in a way that she couldn’t fly in business class anymore for these 6+ hours long trips, if it wasn’t to meet a client. And with remote teams in Bangalore and South Africa, she’ll have to use premium economy class, multiple time a year, for knackering long trips.
But don’t get her wrong: For her, what was infuriating was not her (big, that I won’t name) company trying to save money on travel costs. It's that she quickly found out that Airlines (or maybe the Business Travel agencies, like Carlson Wagon Lits, BCD,..) were pricing “premium economy” (which is the default class for most business travel within FTSE100 companies) not 10% above economy tickets, but 10% below business class tickets!
This dirty little secret of Airlines revenue management, alongside others, like the rule that prices return flights higher if you dont spend the week end at your destination (a sign of business travel, vs leisure trips), was hurting her company travel budget (they were not making the savings they thought they would make by forcing employees down to premium eco.), and employee satisfaction.
So we had this chat at the coffee machine this morning. “And what about if we created an airline, just for business travelers, flying just on the most frequent business routes like London/Bangalore, Paris/New York, or Geneva/Singapore,... We’d buy out aircrafts from an airline going bankrupt (it happens more than you think), fit the aircrafts with a class of its own, specifically designed with just enough decent space per seat for a business traveler to be able to sleep on a long haul”. “And we’ll use marketing perks like every-1000-passenger-gets-a-free-roundtrip-around-the-world, as a cheap incentive (say 2000$) that these miles-avid business travelers will love enough to swing them away from British Airways or Air France programs.
Who’s up on this one ? You know the drill, answer this email now to say you are in, and we’ll connect you to your team. You’ll then have 3 sprints of 1 week to explore if this business idea is really making sense, with the help of one of our mighty advisors.