Business Travel Expenses Going For A Ride

October 31, 2002 ( - Two recent reports reveal business trips will be costing more next year.

Overall business travel is expected to increase 5% next year.   Business airfare will increase 7%; hotel and car rental will be up 2%, according to the National Business Travel Association.

American Express expects the same, projecting airfares to be up 4% and car-rental, meal and telecommunications to rise 3%.   However, the report expects a 1% decrease in hotel rates.

Travel costs in 2003 have some uncertainty about them, making projections difficult:

  • New airline rules making it more difficult for corporations to use non-refundable tickets.
  • The reduction of “waivers and favors”, in the past used to help big corporate customers bend fare rules.
  • Impending military action in Iraq, which could interrupt business travel similar to what was seen during the Persian Gulf War.