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Are you a road warrior? – and why airports should care

Airports have to stop thinking about themselves as transit zones, and positioning themselves as active contributors to millions of road warriors’ jobs and eventual success. How about some healthy ammenities please!
More and more people travel annually, and with the still growing impact of globalization, as well as the emergence of an entrepreneurial culture, the number of cross- and international business trips has grown steadily in the last 15 years (In 2000, $634 billion was spent on global business travel, half of the $1.2 Trillion spent in 2015). Global business travel is forecast to reach 1.3 trillion in 2016 according to the GBTA BTI™ Outlook. With this rise, there is a new breed of business traveler that you might want to know more about… the road warrior. If you see this expression for the first time, Mad Max might come to mind – and, even though, there might be certain similarities, it is far from that adventurous character.

By definition…well, no, there is no specific definition for road warriors. They are said to be people who travel often for certain reasons, but mostly professional. Imagining them as road-hardened people, covered in dust, could have been true several centuries ago, but today, as with everything else, this concept, too, has been remodeled. These days, road warriors spend a considerable amount of time waiting at airports. In a research by National Car Rental, the road warriors surveyed indicated that they favor facilities that they said enable them to be productive – like charging stations and easy access lounges – and also include a range of amenities to keep them entertained (healthy dining options and unique shopping experiences. One interesting request was an in-terminal shipping service so travelers could avoid having to take merchandise on board the plane.

If road warriors had an airport wish list…

Road warriors, especially the millenials, are the ones who will pay attention to airport amenities, to the quality of the food and the selection of newly pressed business books on sale. Moreover, according to the survey, they also appreciate everything related to work efficiency – and health. For additional amenities, road warriors prefer healthy food and drink options, an airport hotel, relaxation options (spas) and more workout-facility options. Indeed, healthy food and beverages, along with the possibility to work out was a much desired addition, over a decade ago – and there is still not many airports adapting to this trend. Apart from that, the ability to finish work and remain social with loved ones and business partners are of outmost importance. Road warriors require to be consistently connected, and spotty airport wifi hits them the hardest; however, extra power outlets, especially in the business lounge, can make waiting for the takeoff that much easier.

Airports have to stop thinking about themselves as transit zones, and positioning themselves as active contributors to millions of road warriors’ jobs and eventual success. And that is not small feat. It is a serious matter of listening to what they need. And implementing their demands. After all, airports who listen will be the airports that flourish…