The new “bleisure” class is reshaping air travel
The Future. “Bleisure” travel (or “blended” travel) — the combination of business and leisure — is on the rise. While that may seem like an obvious thing to many travelers, airlines have typically treated both classes of passengers differently, offering different kinds of perks. As work-from-anywhere arrangements become the new normal, the idea of bleisure travel might just become standard.
Meeting in the morning, skiing in the afternoon
According to Forbes, the frequent flier is changing.
- The concept of the “bleisure” passenger is one who combines business and leisure all in one trip.
- Bleisure travel requires airlines to think differently about how they market mid-week travel, premium seats (a bleisure normal), and checked-bag discounts.
And what is the typical type of bleisure traveler? It’s someone who is steeped in remote work and has the freedom to head out on a trip midweek in the middle of the day to “fly to Bozeman to work remotely and also ski, and sit in Delta Comfort or Main Cabin Extra or United Premium Plus, because they can.”
In other words, they have money to spend.
Business in the front, party in the back
While the term “bleisure” has been around since 2009 (coined by The Future Laboratory writers Jacob Strand and Miriam Rayman), it’s taken off as a trend post-COVID. American, Delta, and United have all brought it up on their last earnings calls, showing that how to capture these types of travelers (and their dollars) is on every airline exec’s mind.
Vasu Raja, chief commercial officer at American Airlines, said that “business and leisure is itself a nomenclature thing,” with the lines between the two now “blurred.” He noted that 50% of Americans’ revenue now comes from blended travel — up from 25% pre-pandemic.