Posted March 30, 2009 by Michael J. Ryan
Let us help you put together a business case for business charter travel. We’ll start by finding out how much business travel you do as part of your job. We’ll break it down into how many business trips you take per week, per month, and this first quarter.
It’s important to count up the trips because if someone takes only two airline trips a year, they can’t help but ask, “What’s the big deal about standing in an airport security or check-in line?” Or, “So what if you have to kill 90 minutes each way changing planes?” They’ll think, “Would it really kill you to stay overnight this one time because your meeting ended too late for the last flight out?”
You’ve got to get everyone’s attention about the number of trips you take for the explanations about saving time to make any sense.
We can help you prepare some practical examples to illustrate a routine use of business aircraft versus the alternative of flying commercial. We would highlight three typical business jet trips flown last year that you reasonably expect to take again this year.
The analysis ought to show the number of stops, amount of work conducted at each location, explain work done aboard the plane, and add up the total productive hours for the trip. Then we’ll prepare an analysis of those same trips but using current commercial airline schedules.
Do the math. Show the actual productivity and time savings. And don’t forget to multiply the productivity impact on the company of anyone who travels with your client.
The key to this argument is found in overnight trips. Make the case that every overnight trip flying commercially, that could have been done same-day on charter, costs the company four wasted production hours per passenger.
Then, restate it in more colorful terms. Explain that every 10 airline overnight trips has the equivalent adverse impact on productivity of your top producer taking a week’s sick leave.
Our industry did too good a job over the years selling the luxury and perquisites of charter travel. Now our job is to focus on the hard-nosed business benefits. When we help you analyze and present the benefits, we supply you with the political cover you need to capitalize on the benefits and get back in our air.
(Ryan is President of AirPSG and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.769.6082.)