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CWT research: women book flights earlier and pay less

April 12, 2016

Women book their flights 1.9 days earlier than their male counterparts, according to Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s (CWT) analysis of 6.4 million air booking transactions. They therefore pay an average of around two percent less for their tickets than men.

The full findings are published today by CWT in a white paper: “Gender differences in booking business travel: advance booking behavior and associated financial impact”.

The financial implications of these findings are significant. For companies with 1,000 business travelers, the difference – and therefore the potential saving – is just under $50,000 a year. That rises to $1 million for a traveler base of 20,000.

CWT Solutions Group worked with Javier Donna, Assistant Professor of Economics at The Ohio State University, and Gregory Veramendi, Assistant Professor of Economics at Arizona State University. Using advanced statistical techniques, they were able to quantify a direct link between gender and flight booking patterns. Further details about the statistical analysis are available in the white paper.

Other findings include the fact that people tend to book flights further in advance the older they are. Additionally, as people’s flying frequency increases, they typically book flights closer to their departure date. Interestingly, the gender gap almost disappears among the most frequent travelers.

The analysis technique can be used to examine other areas of travel, helping travel managers gain new insights by understanding traveler behavior better. This will help develop personalization, including more targeted messages, more precise travel management and improved program efficiency.

Catalin Ciobanu, Senior Director Data & Analytics in the CWT Solutions Group, said, “This analysis technique opens up a whole new range of opportunities in the quest for personalized travel. It can also be applied to many other types of traveler segmentation, including geography, booking channel used, or individual business unit, for example. Ultimately, by knowing our travelers better we can improve both their experience, as well as the effectiveness and efficiency of corporate travel programs.”

About Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Companies and governments rely on us to keep their people connected. We provide their travelers with a consumer-grade travel experience, combining innovative technology with our vast experience. Every day we look after enough travelers to fill almost 200 Boeing 747s and around 100,000 hotel rooms, and handle 95 corporate events. We have more than 18,000 people in nearly 150 countries, and in 2016 posted a total transaction volume of US$ 23 billion.

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