Different Generations, Different Business Travel Preferences

Different Generations, Different Business Travel Preferences

Originally posted on March 4, 2016

They may take the same flights, use the same carry-ons and visit the same cities, but for business travelers of different generations, many similarities end there.

Boomers ages 55 and older who travel for work are more comfortable with their company's travel policies, and are more likely to sign up for an airport security pre-screening program, according to the Q4 2015 GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index™, in partnership with American Express.

For their part, Millennial business travelers ages 18 to 35 showed higher satisfaction with using social media to connect with friends while they're on the road, and were more likely to extend their trips for leisure purposes compared to business travelers of other age groups.

Here's a closer look at generational differences in business travelers:


Business travelers 55 and older are more likely to report being satisfied with their overall travel experience (82%) than Millennials (76%), and less likely to report being stressed by work travel (27%) than Millennials (36%). They're also more likely to have a better understanding of company travel policies (72%) than their Millennial peers (56%).

Boomers were more satisfied than travelers in other age groups with expense reporting policies and procedures. For example, in Q4, 80% of Boomer business travelers were pleased with being able to keep track of their receipts, compared to 59% of Millennials. They were also more satisfied with their ability to complete expense reports (74%), compared to Millennials (55%).

The older the business traveler, the more likely they were to be enrolled in TSA Pre✓®. More than half (51%) of Boomer business travelers have the airport security pre-screening program, compared with 32% of Millennials. However, slightly more Millennials said they planned to enroll (31%) than Boomer (27%) travelers.


Millennials are the most eager social media users, using sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to meet up with friends or business associates when they travel for work. In Q4, 52% of Millennials agreed social networking sites improved their ability to connect with friends and collegues when they travel for business, compared with 20% of Boomers. In the same vein, 37% of Millennials said social media improved their ability to connect with colleagues or business contacts on the road, compared to 16% of Boomers.

Millennials who travel for work are more likely to extend a business trip for leisure purposes (43%) than Boomers (35%), according to the survey. Forty-three percent of Millennials said they extended one or more business trips for leisure travel over the previous three months, compared with 34% of Boomers.

Read the report here.

The GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index™, in partnership with American Express, aims to understand how business travelers feel about their experiences on work trips and how those feelings affect their travel behaviors. Results are based on an online survey conducted by the GBTA Foundation Sept. 21-29, 2015, of 804 U.S. business travelers employed part- or full-time who had taken at least four business trips in the prior 12 months. The margin of error is +/- 3.4% at the 95% level of confidence.

The content in this published material is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute investment, financial, tax, legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. Please contact your investment, financial, tax, legal or other professional advisor regarding your specific needs and situation. American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“American Express") do not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information contained in these materials. American Express does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of these published materials.