Business can be great value based on the time of day you're flying
Business can be great value based on the time of day you're flying

Corporate travel policy - Time

Updated April 03, 2019 by CJ

What is the optimal strategy for corporate flights? Is it a factor of cost alone, should staff be compensated for inconvenience, or even rewarded for good work?

Often discussed is the cheapest strategy for personal travellers: Book on a Tuesday Sunday, two three four weeks in advance, use private browsing or an aggregating search engine, include a stop-over fly direct. Rarely is the corporate travel policy discussed.

In this series of posts we look at positives and negatives of different corporate policies on different flight patterns. To consider what is important in a corporate setting:

  • Cost
  • Time
  • Productivity
  • Employee incentive and wellbeing

Flight Time

How important is the time you depart your origin, and the time you arrive at your destination?

If you’re flying for business, this is very important. Airlines targetting the business traveller will pay more to ensure business-friendly departure and arrival times for their flights. The airlines understand their business travelling customers seek to maximise the amount of time they can spend at work, and minimise the amount of time they spend away from home.

Let’s look at some examples focussed on medium and long haul flying where airlines can capture the best value with this strategy.

Medium haul

Medium haul flights, those roughly 3 to 6 hours in length, target the business traveller with these timings:

  • Day flight overlapping business hours,
  • Afternoon/evening flight
  • Overnight

For the day flight, flying business class doesn’t add much value over premium economy. Both include a meal, and the space to work. Working frequent flyers also typically have airline status allowing fast baggage collection, or don’t have checked bags. Similarly with the afternoon/evening flight; business offers little advantage over premium economy.

Business class is the best value on overnight medium haul flights; you can sleep and recover some of the time.

East-west routes are often well timed for this. For example, Cathay Pacific’s Hong Kong to New Delhi route is the perfect example of this timing to add value to their business class product.

Long haul

Long haul flights also aim to maximise working time in both the origin and the destination. This is easier to accomplish when flying east-west than it is north-south.

You can maximise your time with family and working by taking business class on a long haul flight. The value is in sleeping while you travel, yet still being refreshed and ready to work at your destination.

Flying with a full cost carrier Asia to Europe is a great example of airlines implementing this strategy to add value to their customers: