Speaking Of Business Class

Dec 1, 2012
2012 / August 2012

Global Traveler and South African Airways hosted a roundtable discussion for valued GT subscribers at New York City’s Lotos Club. The dinner and discussion afforded frequent business travelers the opportunity to sit down with a leading airline carrier and share their thoughts, suggestions and feedback.

Global Traveler’s publisher and CEO Francis X. Gallagher facilitated the dialogue between the travelers and airline representatives. From South African Airways, Gregg Truman, vice president of marketing, and Todd Neuman, executive vice president, North America, joined the conversation.

Of the attendees, 85 percent regularly travel business class, and 50 percent visited South Africa. Discussion points ranged from the overall flying experience, perceptions of other airlines, thoughts on South Africa and its flagship carrier and the best ways for airlines to convey their messages to frequent premium travelers.

When purchasing premium tickets, attendees expressed expectations of fully flat seats, high-quality service, high-end amenity kits, exceptional food and wine, good value for the money and lounges. The majority of those in attendance book their own travel and agree they care most about hearing news and information on new aircraft and security and safety issues.

What do our readers want from an airline? From sense of ambience to a qualified flight crew, the Lotos Club attendees shared their perspectives on the in-flight experience. Some of the frequent travelers’ other suggestions included an enhanced thank-you from crew; complimentary beverages; onboard chefs; constant communication; reliability; a goodbye and a thank-you from the captain for business-class passengers; separate boarding for various classes; and lounges with showers, food, magazines and plenty of seating.

The night of thought-provoking discussion was unique and informative for all who attended, complemented by delicious cuisine and good company.

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