More Asia Executives Resigned To Economy Class

November 27, 2009

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Bangkok's Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Singapore Airlines were named the best in their sector in an annual Asian business travel survey that also revealed people had become more resigned to no-frills flights.

About 462 readers of Hong Kong-based Finance Asia magazine took part in an online survey with the results published in the November issue.

Bangkok's Mandarin Oriental was named the region's top hotel for the second year running, followed by the Four Seasons in Hong Kong and the Mandarin Oriental in the same city.

Singapore Airlines, which regularly wins people's choice awards, was voted as having the best business and first class service.

For flights to New York and London, however, Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific was ranked readers' preferred airline.

But while 42 percent of those polled said flying had become a less pleasant experience, the figure was lower than last year's 48 percent, a drop the magazine attributed to greater acceptance of stringent security checks and delays.

"Perhaps we've become inured to the security checks and delays, and are increasingly accepting of the new rules," wrote Lara Wozniak, the magazine's editor.

"That explains why most of our readers were positive about travel -- even as 51 percent responded that they flew more economy class this year than in 2008."

With the economic downturn curbing business travel globally, the survey showed for most people, their best inflight experience was getting an upgrade. Attractive ticket prices were the second-most popular perk, the magazine said.

As for the best place to touch down or take off, Hong Kong International Airport was voted the region's best.