Fast track: On-demand services for business travelers on the move
ON average, a person will spend five years of waiting during their lifetime, so it stands to reason travel managers polled by AirPlus would also rank it at the top of their list of business travel annoyances. But this could soon change.
Thanks to developments in the on-demand sector, “in-between time” can now be put to good use. Keen to know more, we took a closer a look at the flexible, instant-access services making life on the move more productive and less frustrating for business travelers:
Anytime meeting space
Cancellations and delays can leave gaps in even meticulously planned schedules, but travelers can do more with unexpected free time than check email.
Flexible, no-lease workspaces for impromptu breakout sessions, meeting prep and just about anything else, are springing up in cities and business hubs. Unlike typical co-working facilities, many offer well-equipped, private rooms for hourly or short hire.
Mobile platforms like Workwander make it easy to find these units and even easier to book. Users simply define their search criteria based on key requirements such as location and amenities, and then pick a suitable space from a shortlist of results.
For a jaded traveler, a few hours between a meeting or flight are an opportunity to get some much-needed rest. But traditional accommodation with a rigid check in/out policy is often impractical for anybody staying less than a day.
There is, however, an alternative. Capsule hotels like SleepPod or SnoozeKL provide futuristic cabins with ample privacy for a nap and quick refresh. They are available 24-7 and can be found at airports and city centers around the world. Often, they are hired by the hour or, as is the case at Nine Hours in Kyoto, for a defined period.
Beyond a place to sleep, some pods also include wash and shower facilities, baggage storage and access to WiFi.
Virtual travel assistants
Intelligent apps are emerging to ensure travelers spend more of their time doing things rather than arranging them. These systems integrate travel management and a virtual concierge, to provide round-the-clock support and a streamlined process for booking services.
With a few taps and swipes of a smart device, apps like Pana connect users to experts who can answer travel queries, assist with problems, compile lists of recommendations and organize reservations.
— TripMidas (@TripMidas) May 22, 2017
As everything is managed through a single user interface, plans can be made or rearranged quickly, in snatched moments, without the need to call or email numerous providers.
Short-stay luggage storage
An early finish is a chance to explore and indulge in a little bleisure before heading home, but this is often difficult with luggage in tow. Although coin lockers are one option, new app-driven facilities such as Ecbo Cloak offer greater choice and convenience.
The service, which is provided by local businesses like cafes and shops, enables travelers to stow their bags securely at a place nearby, for easy collection later. With no unnecessary journeys to make, time can instead be spent pursuing more enjoyable activities.