I’ve always lived by a saying, “I work to live, not live to work!” So as I’ve changed jobs multiple times, travel requirements have changed. The amount of travel had a direct correlation to my family, both positive and negative.
Most of the time, people focus on the negative reasons for travel; however, there are a number of benefits that go along with it. As a family man, vacations are important, and the travel provided some advantages to that perspective. It also presented a question of loyalty…
Not loyalty of family or travel, but who do you trust with all your travel needs? I often wonder what my travel loyalties are worth, and these days, loyalties are getting harder and harder. I find that many business travelers I associate with tend to gravitate their travel needs based on geography, availability of resources, quality of life or resources, and simply how they are treated.
Vendors (Hotels, rental cars, airlines, taxis, parking, etc.) are all trying to compete for those business travelers since they comprise a majority of all travel aside from holidays. Each have an approach to customer satisfaction, some work and some don’t. This blog is an opportunity for me to express my travel experiences, and for the readers/followers to comment on anything they’ve encountered that is similar. After 20+ years of travel, I find my loyalties challenged almost daily. The challenge that vendors have is the realm in which a travelers experiences like mine reach. Wife, kids, brothers/sisters, parents, in-laws, aunts, uncles, friends and pets… the list is endless, and all of them know I travel a lot. Who do they talk to about their travel issues? Who gets the pleasure of booking travel?
Loyalty does have privelages and burdens, and in today’s loyalty plans, vendors seem to be missing the mark. The very items that drive consumers like to to selecting a loyalty plan (availability, quality, and treatment) are not the focus of program changes. How many inventory seats are available on flights for 25,000 miles? They are dropping every day… how many points to get a hotel room? More and more each day… rental cars? Smaller, smokier, and fewer… trends in parking, taxi/Uber/Lyft, clubs, etc are all up and coming, and their entire focus is on ease of use, customer comfort, and lots of options. I can get an Uber from just about anywhere, and the size and style varies based on what I want to pay for. The quality requirements are monitored tightly. The traditional travel needs are not as focused.
These are my stories of the places I’ve traveled, the experiences with loyalty programs, the feedback I get from friends and family.