are up…customer satisfaction is down. Yet nearly 500 million people boarded
one of the 10 major U.S. carriers for flights within the United States in 1999.
Unfortunately, many of those air travelers are finding that "flying the
friendly skies" isn't so friendly – it's frustrating. According to a recently
unveiled Airline Quality Rating Survey (AQR) for 2000, airline service and quality
are going down and business travel may be in a period of decline due to inflated
business fares, cancelled flights, lost baggage, incidents of air rage and overall
dissatisfaction with service. One of the most interesting findings? The month
of July is one of the three worst months for mishandling baggage. Is it any
wonder people are forsaking the airlines and considering other options, such
as conferencing services? Today, conferencing services are helping businesses
find alternative solutions to avoiding airline dilemmas through conference calls
via the phone or Internet, including streaming, which combines video and audio
streaming so you can access your meeting or seminar any time, anywhere. A recent
annual survey by Yesawich, Pepperdine and Brown and Yankelovich Partners Inc.,
reported that 40% of business travelers found air travel to be stressful, a
hassle and depriving them of a good night's sleep.
Why is everyone tossing and turning? The frustrations lie not just in the thought
of missing work at the office and family activities at home, but the very process
of traveling by air. According to an April report on 20/20, the number of flight
delays last summer reached record-high levels. Most airports knew there would
be delays, even before you arrived at the airport, because of flight take-off
times being overscheduled.
Think checking statistics through the Department of Transportation will help
you when determining which airline has the best on-time records? Think again.
According to the report, airlines are often credited with an on-time departure
as long as they have you in the plane and pushed away from the gate. How many
stories have you heard of people sitting on the runway for hours, missing several
connections due to this overscheduling? One frustrated pilot in Minnesota even
ordered pizzas for everyone aboard his flight as they waited for hours on the
Incidents such as these may become more frequent, whether we like it or not.
According to the AQR survey, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)/Department
of Transportation (DOT) reports that air travel passenger volume will continue
to expand, with only limited airport capacity expansion being available until
2006 or 2007. Congestion is expected to get worse before it gets better.
About 44% of the participants in the Yesawich, Pepperdine and Brown and Yankelovich
Partners survey said they would drop out of today's airline scene with its full
flights and risk of delays if they could find some other way to get their jobs
done. Of those polled, 70% said they expected new technology, such as videoconferencing,
to reduce the need for business travel.
If They Only Knew...
Who wants the hassle of sitting on a runway, with the stress compounding as
you realize you're going to miss or walk in late to a business meeting AGAIN
due to flight delays? Avoiding the stress of business travel can be easy if
you incorporate some simple business applications through conferencing services.
Whether it's dialing into a conference call from your office or participating
in employee training from the comforts of your home, conferencing services can
provide a variety of convenient, easy and less-expensive solutions for many
of your meeting needs.
Did you really need to fly some of your employees into headquarters for two
weeks? At least one week could be dedicated to conducting employee training
through Conference Webcast. The trainees can even type in their questions or
replay a broadcast at a later date for reference. Through Conference Webcast,
you can also view CyberSeminars, product launches, or even communicate with
your top executives through the newest advances in video and audio streaming.
Anyone with an Internet-connected computer, Web browser and media player can
view a Conference Webcast.
If seeing the CEO isn't a priority, Net Conferencing is an effortless solution
that will bring people together from multiple, far-flung locations in a virtual
environment to collaborate, disseminate information and make decisions. Participants
need an Internet-connected computer and separate phone line to attend. Not only
can you share information via PowerPoint presentations, but you can also conduct
polls, take advantage of question-and-answer capabilities and surf the Web with
How about the monthly meeting update? An audio conference call can conquer
that task, and you don't even have to step away from your desk.
So, if air travel has got you down and you're fed up with airlines not adhering
to their own schedules or ignoring your needs, try the variety of conferencing
solutions available to you, and avoid being trapped on a plane this summer.
Your pilot might not be as generous as the one in Minnesota!