opinion

Making Business Travel More Efficient, Comfortable

Juicy Jay

The survival rate of an airline “accident” is somewhere around 95 percent and, ironically, most injuries actually occur after the plane has come to a stop.

The actual odds of being in a plane crash are 1 in 11 million, compared with 1 in 5,000 while driving a car.

I can agree that long flights are brutal, but for the extra thousands of dollars in cost of traveling first or business class, there is more value in flying out a day or two early.

At the peak of my commuting over the last three years, I was doing 80 exhausting flights a year. As exciting as flying can be for many people, it’s an exhausting lifestyle when you’re on a plane every two-to-three weeks. Let’s just say I learned a lot.

Even with XBIZ Berlin and the other European adult conventions wrapped up and behind us, it’s never too late to make your business travel more efficient.

The suggested maximum spending on business travel for any company is about 1 percent of revenue.

Flights can be very productive.

Flights don’t need to be cringe-worthy. Most people see being trapped on a plane for a half-dozen hours as being a tragedy, but most of the hours I spend traveling (40-60 days a year) are used for working on email, coding, planning, strategy and reading. It’s an opportunity to stop procrastinating and to do something that needs a focused distraction-free environment. Trust me, it works.

Strategy of booking.

I was often flying to Las Vegas and knew that my flight nearly always had open seats. Instead of selecting my seat when booking my flight, I would wait and choose my seat at the last minute. I got a better seat for three times cheaper, room to work and some food and drinks, not to mention that feeling of “Look at me! I’m in business class and I’m a badass!”

Consider what you are going to want to be doing during your flight. Window seats are for undisturbed sleep, aisle seats are for working or accessing your carry-on stuff. The only thing the middle seat is good for is playing seat roulette and to hope someone cute sits on either side of you (but in my experience, that pretty much never happens).

For overseas travel, you should always be trying to sleep when jumping time zones while flying west to east, and staying awake when following the sun from east to west. If you reverse those two, you’ll be fucked up with jetlag for days.

In military studies, it was found to take four days to recover from one bad night sleep. You can also look up the plane layout to find power availability and WiFi options through the airline website or on websites like SeatGuru.

Stop collecting miles like they’re gold bars.

Don’t get too wound up about airline miles. It takes a ton of miles to get anything worthwhile. Someone once told me that you should choose one airline and stick to it for loyalty. However, on average, the estimated value of airline miles ranges wildly between 1cent and 2 cent. If you consider a 2,000-mile “qualifying” flight would earn you 2000 miles, the value of those miles is $40 at most. Therefore, if you find a flight on a comparable carrier selling the identical 2,000-mile flight for a difference of $40 or more, you are better off to buy the cheaper ticket and cheat on your favorite airline.

Scandalously lucrative.

If you really want to get better status and free miles, pick your primary airline and get their credit card (many airlines offer one). Use it to pay for everything, including the flights you buy from other airlines. Some airline credit cards will bump you up in the boarding order or give you free bags just for having it, which will save you a lot if you’re flying often.

To upgrade or not upgrade?

I rarely fly first class. It’s hard to justify the expense of it, unless its cost effective. With plug-in power and more room I can avoid losing productivity and avoid losing a work day, which would cost more than the price of the ticket. An article I read years ago suggested that first class for overseas travel was well worth the price. I can agree that long flights are brutal, but for the extra thousands of dollars in cost of traveling first or business class, there is more value in flying out a day or two early.

There’s no amount of “free drinks” or lay-flat seat that can replace sleeping in a comfy hotel bed, and then working remotely for a day or recharging before a convention. There’s a reason why most of the “regulars” at the adult conventions arrive a day early (just ask people like Jo from Kiwi Sourcing, Brad from MojoHost, or Joey from Affil4you).

Airports, planes and porn.

Awhile back, a photo was posted of someone in the seat in front of them streaming PornHub from the plane. What a world we have created! The first time I was blocked from working on JuicyAds (the Sexy Advertising Network I founded) and also from accessing XBIZ for being related to “pornography” was in the airport in Montreal. It happened on airline WiFi also, until I found the simple solution to these “adult filters” was a VPN or proxy, easily installed on your laptop.

Be careful with discount websites.

As part of our honeymoon, my wife and I lived in Rome and Venice for a month while we both worked remotely. I was still in crutches following the whole broken-foot-in-Peru incident (See XBIZ World’s August 2016 edition) and probably shouldn’t have immediately toured across Italy and hiked Mt. Vesuvius with a cast and crutches.

My wife had booked all of our return flights on a discount website. This lead to us flying multiple airlines that we had never flown before, including Air Berlin and Aer Lingus on our way to Ireland. (Yup, sounds a lot like “cunnilingus.”)

Although we saved a bundle on the flight, we ended up paying €60 for one bag for the short hop from Venice to Dusseldorf. We almost missed flights because we had to change carriers, re-check bags, and go through security as well as customs. Sometimes convenience has a price and it’s just easier to spend a bit more not to deal with the headaches and possible lost baggage.

Status Matters.*

Granted, status level gives anyone a warm fuzzy feeling, but it doesn’t really matter. Unless you’re flying an ungodly amount per year, the “bonuses” you get at the lower status levels are pretty underwhelming. At best you may get upgraded for free. The bottom line is that your seat on the plane is much more important than what your status is.

The exception to this is when your boarding status directly correlates with your seat choice on an airline like Southwest. Anything less than “Group B” and you’re pretty much guaranteed to be squeezing into a middle seat and talking to the lady next to you about her cats.

*So yes, status matters — but only to your ego.

Juicy Jay is the CEO and founder of JuicyAds, the Sexy Advertising Network. You can follow Jay on Twitter @juicyads, visit JuicyAds.com, or like on Facebook.com/juicyads.

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