Just hearing the word airline is enough to give a meeting planner agita these days. An online poll conducted in June measured how organizations are reacting to all the bad news in the airline industry. Of the 255 respondents, about two thirds (64 percent) said their organizations had not yet addressed how the changes in the air will affect travel and meetings.
Almost the same number (62 percent) said no policy had yet been set for handling new baggage fees, while 17 percent said their organizations were paying for the first bag only and 7 percent said the same for two bags. Five percent of respondents chose “other,” giving answers such as “making sure travelers are gold and premier members to avoid that cost.”
A year from now, 85 percent of those surveyed expect to be paying higher fares, and 84 percent anticipate having fewer carriers to choose from. Twenty-three percent believe low-fare airlines will continue to grow.
In the meantime, planners are making a variety of moves, outlined below, to hedge against possible airline shutdowns.