GBTA Show Offers Great News for Business Travelers

businessOne of the many things discussed at the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) show that was just recently held in San Diego this month was the focus on the new business class seats. The focus is on business class travel mainly because, with the economy recovering, companies and individuals are expected to spend over $1 trillion on business trips this year alone. This is the most ever spent on business travel and its only expected to keep increasing with the coming years, according to the GBTA.


Every airline has their own design of seat. However, all provide a flat bed and comfortable blanket for those long transoceanic trips, along with power outlets, a reading light, a folding food tray and an entertainment system.


The seats all share the same design goal, to provide a long bed that moves from an upright, to an incline, to a bed with the push of a button. However, a couple of the airlines offer their own spin on this concept.


Turkish Airlines, which flies from LAX and SFO to Istanbul has one of the nicest, most accommodating business class seats on their brand new B777-300 and A330-300 aircrafts. Their seats open to a 6 foot 2 inch long bed, one of the longest in the industry. No part of this bed is tucked under the back of the seat in front of you, which is the case on some airlines to save space. The seats are open-space, unlike some of the pod-like, cocoon seats also found on other airlines. This option makes them more suitable if two people are traveling together and comes with a privacy screen that you can slide up. Another nice touch is the meal table that can rotate to let you out of the seat, even when the table is in use.


JAL, which now offers service between San Diego and Tokyo, has a seat that reminds you of its Japanese heritage. They offer a full size bed, and have the largest display screen of all, a 27-inch HDTV at every seat. A major plus if you ask me.


Delta offers a phone-like device that you can use to select and order your second meal to be served at your choice of time. There is no need for a set service or menu, just like ordering from room service. They have also upgraded lie-flat seats with bedding from Westin.


Additional news to come out of the GBTA show includes a statement issued from the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Michael W. McCormick commending the expanding eligibility for participation in Global Entry as U.S. Customs and Border Protection published a Federal Register notice that serves to officially begin implementation of the process.


“Secure, quick and easy international business travel will grow due to the official expansion of Global Entry to qualified citizens of the Republic of Korea, Germany, Qatar and the United Kingdom. Pre approved, low-risk business travelers from these global economies can ease through Customs clearance at 34 U.S. airports and 10 preclearance locations, serving 98 percent of arriving international travelers. That is good news for the global economy as well as America’s competitiveness, as face-to-face meetings are the key to business success.


GBTA forecasts global spending on business travel to reach $1.12 trillion in 2013, a 5.4% increase from 2012, and expects continued growth in the following years. Travel is indispensable to trade, commerce and business expansion in a global economy and if government authorities continue to take steps to ease travel burdens while ensuring security, business travel will significantly increase.”