50+ Business Travel Statistics: Airlines, Hotels and More

50+ Business Travel Statistics: Airlines, Hotels and More

Business Travel is a massive industry. But just how big is it? The team at Lola.com wanted to find out - so we dug deep to find large and small statistics that show just how big the business travel space is.

From the largest airport, to how likely millennials are to upgrade for leg room compared to the non-millennial, we are sure you’ll learn something new.

Use these links to jump down to each section:

And if you'd like to see exclusive stats about how much time and money companies are spending on travel, check out our FREE report: The Cost of Doing Business Travel

Business Travel Expense Statistics

Planning and booking business travel can be a challenge. From booking flights and hotels to setting meal per diems, it can be a balancing act to manage spend while keeping your employees in tip-top shape as they meet with customers, clients, and partners around the world. Wondering what the average per diem is, or what item is at the top of the list of expenses? Read on to learn more.

  • Under $1,000
    Companies spend an average of $949 per traveler per domestic business trip. (Certify)

  • Over $2,500
    Companies spend an average of $2,600 per traveler per international business trip. (Certify)

  • $321
    Average Per Diem for the corporate traveler comes out to be $321 per day. (ExecutiveTravel)

  • Only 60%
    Despite the massive amount of companies that travel for business, only 60% of companies have a company travel policy in place for employees to follow. (TravelAgentCentral)

  • We follow the rules… 69% of the time.
    Still expensing spa days on the corporate card? You're not alone. While only 60% of businesses report to have a company travel policy in place, on 69% of corporate travelers report to always complying with their companies travel policy. (TravelPort)

  • #1 Brand for Travel Expenses
    Controllers must be sick of seeing 'Uber' on expense reports. Among business travel expenses, Uber is the most expensed brand by corporate travelers. (Business Traveller)


Stats on Business Travel Demographics and Habits

The face of the business traveler is changing. It’s no longer an army of men in black suit-and-tie. Millennials have joined the traveling workforce, and their priorities are often much different those of business travelers of the past.

Who is takes the most business trips? How are they booking their travel? What are the perks they’re looking for, and the travel issues that they want to avoid most?

  • 1.3 Million
    In the United State alone, about 1.3 million business trips occur each day. (DCSPlus)

  • 60%
    Millennials are 60% more likely to upgrade for more legroom on flights than non-millennials. (CorporateTraveller)

  • #1 fear when traveling?
    The #1 corporate travel concern by passengers in 2017 was flight delays. (Statista)

  • Fear #2?
    A middle seat. (Statista)

  • 45 years and 11 months
    The average corporate traveler is 45.9 years old. (CreditDonkey)

  • 2 more trips
    Millennial corporate travelers average 14 trips a year compared to their older counterparts who average 12 trips a year. (DCPlus)

  • 79% on their phones
    In 2017 it was reported that 79% of travelers completed a booking on their smartphone, meaning that more corporate travelers are looking to book while on the go. (LCTMag)

  • 47% female
    Out of all the individuals traveling for work, women account for 47% of corporate travelers. (CorporateTraveller)

  • 4 weeks of your life.... every year
    The top 10% of corporate travelers spend nearly 4 weeks of their personal time on a plane every single year. (CorporateTraveller)


Airline Travel Statistics

For some business travelers, it may feel like they’re spending more time up in the air than in boardrooms and offices. The sheer volume of traffic through the world’s busiest airports truly boggles the mind. While most of us wish we were heading to Cancun, commercial airlines are carrying business travelers to meetings, conventions, and trade shows around the globe. And their luggage usually makes it to its final destination, too.

  • 75% of profits
    On some flights, business passengers represent 75 percent of an airline's profits despite only being 12% of passengers. (Investopedia)

  • 103,902,992 passengers
    Atlanta international is the biggest hub where people fly through in 2017 with 103,902,992 passengers in 2017. (BusinessInsider)

  • Every 37 seconds
    Chicago O’Hare is the #1 hub for domestic corporate travel where a plane takes off or lands every 37 seconds. (CorpTrav)

  • 0.6%
    Afraid of lost luggage? You’ll be relieved to know that fewer than six bags per 1,000 passengers were mishandled while in transit. (LoveExploring)

  • 1.5 billion seats
    There were over 1.5 Billion flyers on commercial flights in 2017. (BusinessInsider)

  • 488,000,000
    Of that 1.5 Billion, 488 Million of them were corporate travelers in the US. (CreditDonkey)

  • The #1 Business Airline
    Delta Airlines has been named the top airline for business travel in 2017. (Delta Airlines News)

  • Where did that $2,100,000,000 go?
    Lost luggage cost airlines around the world $2.1 billion in 2016. (LoveExploring)

  • $40,000 for 1 Olive?
    American Airlines has serious volume when it comes to flights. So much so that they once saved $40,000 a year by removing just 1 olive from each food tray in first class. (BravoTV)

  •  2 pilots, 2 meals
    In order to promote the safety of their passengers, pilots and co-pilots are required to eat different food in case one of them gets food poisoning. (CB Travel)

  • 1,300 feet
    If your company is planning a tropical retreat, be aware that the Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport in Saba Caribbean is the shortest runway at 1,300 feet. Missing this could mean you’re taking a swim in the sea. (SafeBee)

  •  22% keeping their New Year Resolutions
    Being on-the-go on the road can take a toll on the corporate road warrior. While 85% of hotels offer a fitness room of some kind, only 22% are using them. (WashintonPost)

Travel Booking Statistics

Hotel, Motel or Airbnb? On any night of the week there are hundreds of thousands of business travelers tucking themselves into bed in a destination far, or sometimes not so far, from home. Where are these business travelers going, where are they choosing to stay, and how are they booking their homes-away-from-home?

  • 250 miles
    The majority of business trips are less than 250 miles in length. (BTS)

  • 88 nights… every year
    The top 10% of road warriors spend an average of 88 nights away from home at hotels each year. (CorporateTraveller)

  • 20 minutes
    The average time corporate travelers spend reading reviews on hotel and lodging travel solutions before booking on a corporate travel app. (PhocusWire)

  • #1 in the U.S.
    New York City is the #1 most expensive city for corporate travel in the U.S. (CNN)

  • #1 in the world
    Geneva, Switzerland takes the #1 spot as most expensive city for corporate travel outside of the US. (CNN)

  • Dela-where? The only 1 state...
    The only state in the US without a major commercial airport is Delaware. (CorpTrav)

  • 4/10 guests
    Despite the rise of Airbnb, corporate travelers are still choosing hotels as their primary lodging choice. In fact, 40% of hotel guests are staying for business purposes. (Ahla)

  • #1 booking factor
    When booking on business travel sites, proximity is the most important factor for corporate travelers when deciding where they want to lodge. (BCDTravel)

  • #1 Favorite Hotel?
    The Hampton Inn and Suites is the most expensed hotel by corporate travelers in 2017 (USA Today)

Stats on Airline Miles, Perks, and Meal Expenses

For business travelers, staying happy and well-fed on the road can be tricky. Airline perks and app-based food delivery can make even the most difficult journey feel a bit more comfortable. From mileage programs to airport lounges and free wi-fi, learn more about how business travelers stay cheerful and well-fueled on long trips.

  • 13.21 dollars for a croissant?
    If you are looking to reduce meal expenses, you can start with breakfast. Starbucks is the most expensed food vendor in 2017, where employees spent an average of $13.21 per visit. (ReCode)

  • The top 1%
    In May of 2017, LAX announced a new private suite terminal lounge for celebrities. (CNTraveler)

  • $3,000,000,000
    Corporate Travelers expense up to 3 Billion dollars in fast food every year. (CorporateTraveller)

  • 45 years and 11 months
    The average corporate traveler is 45.9 years old. (CreditDonkey)

  • $2,000 in tax savings
    While corporate travel is tax deductible, the IRS puts a cap at $2,000 for corporate travel pertaining to cruise ships (Sikich)

  • The Magic 8
    Here are the 8 airlines that offer gate-to-gate wifi in the clouds.
    Airtran Airways (all flights)
    Virgin America (all flights)
    Alaska Airlines
    American Airlines
    United Airlines
    Delta Airlines
    Air Canada
    JetBlue (for free)

  •  $321
    Average Per Diem for the corporate traveler comes out to be $321 per day. (ExecutiveTravel)

  • The largest number yet
    Some 9.7 trillion frequent flier miles go unredeemed every single year. (InterGlobeTechnologies)

  •  90%
    When booking corporate travel, 90% of corporate travelers are allowed to keep miles earned through the business for personal use down the road. (TravelPort)

  •  47% female
    Out of all the individuals traveling for work, women account for 47% of corporate travelers. (CorporateTraveller)

  • The Top 3 airlines ranked for rewards programs are the following:
    Alaska Airlines
    Delta Airlines

  •  91% growth.
    In an effort to reduce meal expenses, corporate travelers are choosing to dine in more than ever. The food delivery market has grown 91 percent from 2016 to 2017, and GrubHub has been the largest name in food related expenses in corporate travel. (ReCode)


Car Rental Statistics:  Costs and Mileage

Not all business trips involve a trip to the airport. Many business travelers are using their own vehicles, rented vehicles, Uber and Lyft, and even e-scooters to get where they need to go. Armed with smartphones, road-warrior business travelers are using technology to navigate their way to meetings, trade shows, and back home again.

  • 48%
    Of the 1.3 million trips, 48% of business trips involve a personal vehicle. (CreditDonkey)

  • $178 (not including gas)
    If you decide to drive, you’re not alone. Businesses spend an average of $178 on car rentals for corporate travelers. (TravelAndTransport)

  • 61% ditched the paper maps
    To get from point A to point B, over 61% of US travelers admit to using their smartphone for directions to help navigate while traveling. (Google)

  • $1
    Ready to set a company record for smallest expense report? $1 is the cost to unlock an e-scooter like Bird or Lime which are becoming increasingly popular trends in the micro mobility space for the corporate traveler. (TomsGuide)

  • 93%
    Once your plane has arrived, Ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft dominate the ride hailing industry with a 93% adoption rate in the market. (ReCode)


For exclusive stats about how much time and money companies spend on travel, check out our FREE report: The Cost of Doing Business Travel


About the Author: Connor Gross