The NY Times recently ran an article about the general state of things in the business travel world. It seems that business travel is recovering the recent recession, but it is expected to fall this year compared to 2011, since economic recover is still uncertain. I’ve personally noticed that airfare is higher this year than the previous few years, and I have to book a number of plane tickets still for this summer (I’m very tempted to start booking flights using points on domestic flights, even though the redemption rate isn’t quite where i’d want it to be). That could definite be a drag on business travel. The main factors that seem to be contributing to the airfare increase is consolidation in recent years, airline capacity reductions (i.e. fewer flights, which partially contributes to massive plane graveyards), and of course, rising fuel prices.
For what it’s worth (probably not much), according to charts from the DOT (via Things in the Sky), airfares adjusted for inflation are still well below what they were 15 years ago. I dunno, I’m still not liking $500 transcon airfares, especially considering the AA mileage runs I did just a few months ago 🙂