Airlines, hotels could take a big hit if business travel doesn’t pick up

WASHINGTON, DC — Across the nation, travelers are making plans to hit the roads and airports for Memorial Day weekend and beyond.

According to federal officials, the Transportation Safety Administration is seeing the highest passenger volume since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with 1.8 million passengers screened last Sunday.

However, many businesses are still holding back on travel, opting for online meetings instead of face-to-face meetings.

Airlines and hotels rely on workers traveling from city to city for quick business trips.

In some cases, business travel accounts for as much as 75% percent of their profits.

Suzanne Neufang is CEO of the Global Business Travel Association.

“It went from really a screeching halt to now a trickle back,” she said.

Neufang expects the summer months to remain quiet for business travel, but that could change in September.

“I think that’s when the big rush will happen. I think there will be some pretty constant business travel, but nothing like it was in 2019,” she said.

Travel officials say when business travelers aren’t flying, that usually results in higher prices for other people taking trips.