Words by Carlie Tucker
Competition is hot in the travel industry these days. Both leisure and corporate providers are bending over backwards to cater to travellers in the hopes of brand loyalty. While airlines are often recognised for such achievements with industry accolades, the real winner is the business traveller.
Professionals throughout Australia are reaping the rewards of the increase in business travel competition. From airlines to headphones, companies that cater to the corporate traveller are revamping all aspects of their services to improve customer experience.
Etihad and Qantas are prime examples, with both top airlines making a sweep of recent updates to their services in the name of passenger comfort. It certainly hasn't gone unnoticed as both have racked up a number of awards. This includes a recent Best Airline award from Australian Business Traveller for Etihad. According to Etihad's Chief Commercial Officer Peter Baumgartner, it was a reflection of the airline's commitment to providing a quality passenger experience.
"At Etihad Airways our goal isn't to be the world's biggest airline – it's to be the best.
"Over the last year, Etihad Airways has brought new levels of luxury and comfort to travellers with the introduction of our Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, which feature the airline's ground-breaking next generation cabins."
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The airline's new cabins have been praised for taking in-flight luxury to new heights with such additions as the 'Business Studio' seat that provides more privacy, direct isle access, lie-flat beds and plenty of practical storage solutions.
Similarly, Qantas's newly redesigned A330 Business Suite hasn't gone unnoticed, picking up the Best Domestic Business Class Seat at the very same awards. Business travellers certainly aren't complaining with gate-to-gate recline, a fully lie-flat bed and increased storage. It makes business travel a breeze.
Of course, the benefits aren't limited to better seats and more legroom in the sky. Qantas was recognised for their improved food and drink service with a Best Inflight Wine nod. Singapore Airlines was also recognised for their innovative 'Book the Cook' service with an award for Best Inflight Food. Even if passengers fly weekly, they'll still have the choice of something different with a pre-order system in place that offers up a wide array of specially created main courses.
Canberra Airport was recently awarded the Best Domestic Airport thanks to a new design.
On the ground, even airports are upping their game. Expertly designed terminals now feature an abundance of eating and entertainment options to help stave off business travel blues brought on by long layovers. This is certainly true of Canberra, which invested nearly $500 million to create their 'AirVolution' airport design. This includes more retail and food and beverage outlets, a dedicated business centre and kids play area. Still continuing the trend of an improved passenger experience, it secured a Best Domestic Airport win.
With business travel on the upswing across the globe, it's sure that airlines and airports will continue to improve in a bid to appeal to this coveted frequent flyer market. So, business travellers, get out there and enjoy the spoils!