Some employees are trading in their Zoom links for airline tickets.
Boston.com recently asked readers how they felt about the return of business travel, and if they were packing their bags to travel for work once again.
Though the airline industry is not expected to fully recover for a few years, business travel is bouncing back, according to Bloomberg. “That business travel is recovering so rapidly makes us feel really, really confident,” United CEO Scott Kirby told Bloomberg Television. The airline has already seen business travel across the Atlantic exceeds what it saw in 2019.
Responses to how readers felt about the return to business travel were a mixed bag.
Many readers said that they were back on the road, with many of them happy to be taking to the skies again as part of their jobs.
“Love it! Best part of my job!” Franklin, who works in law, said.
“Business travel is part of my routine,” KiKi, an academic who has done mostly domestic and some international travel, said. “I am so glad to have it back.”
Calliope also works in academia and said that she was excited to get back into her pre-pandemic travel routine.
“Travel was part of my normal pre-COVID schedule. Hopefully more in the next few months and into next year,” she said. “So ready to get back to normal travel again!”
Matt from London works in tech and welcomes the opportunity to put more business travel back on his calendar, mostly to the U.S. Though, he wasn’t necessarily happy to see others follow suit.
“I do miss how empty airports/planes were in 2020 and early-2021 though,” he said.
Adam, a reader who works in music and live events was excited to be back on the road domestically for several weeks this year, and was embracing the return to travel.
“I haven’t had to make too many changes to my routine besides adding the ol’ Q-Tip up the nose to my pre-flight checklist,” he said.
Despite many embracing of the return to work travel, others were skeptical of the need for travel as well as expressing concern about the health risks that could be involved with it.
“It can certainly help with connection and ‘sealing the deal’ but we’ve been getting stuff done via video for a couple of years now — haven’t we proven out that it’s not required?” Christine, who works in tech and travels between New York and Paris, said. “Don’t get me started on the environmental impacts.”
One reader was searching for a travel-free position due to the health concerns they have with the state of COVID-19.
“It’s just awful that companies put employees at risk for COVID and long COVID by mandating travel. It is simply pandemic fatigue. I am looking for a new job right now, and one of my requirements is NO travel — at least until we have better vaccines,” they said. “I just recovered from COVID. I just can’t go through it again or put my family through it.”
Al, who works in manufacturing , also thought that the return to business travel is premature.
“This isn’t over by a long shot. Just look at the news and the spikes we’re having,” he said.