Mr. Obama landed in Munich this morning.
Many many spotters got up really early today to watch the Air Force One land in Munich. Obama touched down at 6:19am…
Don’t worry, you are not alone. German airports counted 207.934.803 travelers, in 2014. Out of all included airports in that report, the top 3 busiest airports, Frankfurt (FRA), Munich (MUC) and Düsseldorf (DUS), are responsible for more than half of all travelers, in total. (121.117.136 Travelers). And the numbers won’t include transit. Now consider the Munich Airport only serves all of Bavaria, which had 12.604.000 people living there in December 2013. With MUC serving 39.593.025 passengers (departure and arrival) in 2014, assuming everybody returns to where he departed, every Bavarian would fly from Erding 1.57times per year. And the trend is increasing, after the same paper from above. Obviously, there are some people traveling more than others, and I do definitely give to the side north of the average.
In times of global communication and videoconferencing means, commodity and convenience is a an argument for all business type of apps. Travel websites make it easy for customers, private and business, easy to get away. AirBnB even makes a (huge) business offering cheaper deals on privately let apartments. No traveler needs to work with a travel agency anymore. Any traveler can arrange a trip to a random European city by himself in minutes and spend a few hundred € max.
In particular, business makes huge use of this commodity, for one particular reason. Policymakers regulated business very much about how business partners can close deals, for a good reason. And compliance is a huge social achievement, laying out common rules for all business. But all personal interaction and mutual appreciation cannot be outweighed by Internet, e-Mail, social media or videoconferencing. The more valuable and complex a solution will be, trust is a part the decision maker will appreciate higher. That makes frequent business travel indispensable. And so are airports full of travelers that do not appreciate traveling. People that get up 5am in the morning, to fly out to a city 2 hours flight away, to make it to a 9.30am meeting, with executives from an important account. And come home by 9pm. Instead of enjoying the experience.
Remote work cannot replace traveling, in particular for business partners. But remote work should complement travel. Business travelers should see traveling as a privilege, enjoying the destinations they are traveling too, and not an annoying duty, just to get the business done.
How do you travel on business?