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National Survey Among Business Travelers Shows Award Programs Important But Too Difficult to Redeem

September 23, 2008

NEW YORK, Sept. 23, 2008 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — ExpertFlyer.com, the premiere air travel information tool for business travelers, and the American Small Business Travelers Alliance (ASBTA), conducted a nationwide survey among 600 business travelers to understand how changes in the airline industry are effecting their travel habits. According to the survey conducted by the ASBTA, 71% of participants said that airline loyalty programs were important but difficult to redeem, while 82% said that on-time schedules and price were important factors when selecting an airline. While nearly three-quarters of all participants agreed that airline loyalty programs were important, the survey revealed that only 17 percent of participants had more than 50,000 awards points with any specific airline. This statistic reflects the successful redemption of some award points but also indicates a growing trend toward favorable fares and less with airline loyalty.

Recent studies in the business travel industry revealed that approximately 76% of business professionals enjoy traveling and was the primary reason for liking their jobs. American business travelers seem to be dealing with a troubled airline system by adjusting their travel expectations and looking forward to the destination itself more than the experience of getting there. However, there are solutions available to business travelers to solve the frustrations associated with airline travel and can make the experience of “getting there” equally satisfying.

“For the most part, business professionals enjoy the travel aspect of their jobs, along with the personal contact it provides with their co-workers, but the survey also revealed some interesting trends in business travel which should put the airline industry on alert,” says Chris Lopinto, partner at ExpertFlyer.com.

“What we found most interesting was that 71 percent of survey participants said airline loyalty programs were important, yet 83 percent had less than 50,000 miles in a specific airline awards program. In addition, 61 percent of those surveyed never check back with their airline to see if an upgrade was available.” Lopinto also pointed out that “the price of travel is forcing small businesses to be even smarter about how they spend their travel dollars and while price is still the most important factor, the value of their time runs a close second. ExpertFlyer helps make awards programs easier to use and saves business travelers time and money. Many business travelers are looking at how accumulated miles can be used to reduce travel costs. ExpertFlyer can help them maximize their award miles and find the best fare based on their travel itinerary.”

“American Small Business Travelers Alliance (ASBTA) is a national organization dedicated to serving small business travelers by providing valuable and helpful information about resources and services, savings on fares and accommodations, and technology designed to improve and enhance the travel experience, ” said Chuck Sharp, president of ASBTA. “We utilize surveys to better understand small business travelers’ needs and they have identified loyalty programs and reliable schedules as two key areas. ExpertFlyer is a company that addresses many of the concerns identified in the survey with quick searches for all aspects of air travel, including Awards and Upgrades. Identifying industry supporters that offer solutions that enhance small business travelers travel experience is ASBTA’s ultimate goal,” concluded Mr. Sharp.

Additional Survey Results

    -- 79% of participants say they travel by air up to 10 times a year  -- 74% said they book their tickets on Travel Websites or Airline     Websites  -- 58% said that there is a need for a service that makes redeeming     Frequent Flyer miles easier  -- 61% of participants never check back with airlines to see if an     Awards Upgrade is available while 21% said they check back only     once before the flight  -- 80% said Price and Schedule were the most important factors when     choosing an airline  -- 34% said Ability to Earn/Redeem miles was the most important     factor when choosing an airline  -- 31% said they do not have a preferred airline loyalty program 

Complete results of the survey are available upon request.

This news release was distributed by GlobeNewswire, www.globenewswire.com

 CONTACT:  Synergy Communications, Inc.           Lou Desiderio, President           917-627-0912           lou@pr-synergy.com 




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