14 May, 2015

Does the flight attendant know you by name? Are you hopping a plane as your friends head to work by train? Congratulations, you are a probably a corporate traveller.

Corporate travel is not for the light hearted. It’s single serve insanity in city after city. You’ve looked at your watch or phone a thousand times but can’t recall what the time is – only that it’s not boarding time.

You get mildly excited by the “good” airport lounges and a little grumpy about bad ones. You can pack carry-on luggage with your eyes closed. You’re reading this article now because it’s been a long day and you need a smile. You are working the front lines for your company and your bunker never has enough legroom. You are an authentic Australian corporate traveller – how many of these apply to you?

1. You carry hand sanitiser at all times

Why oh why is the “coughing guy” always seated in your row? You can’t afford to catch a ghastly flu and whether you’re an international traveller, or you’re surrounded by them, you can’t help but see an airport as a global petri dish. You’ve got hand sanitiser in every bag you own and you get a little “confiscation anxiety” as you pass through bag check.

2. Free Wi-Fi is essential and free breakfast is a bonus

You need to be connected 24/7. Before the meeting you’re liaising to make sure everything is on track, and afterwards you’re getting on top of emails. Free Wi-Fi means you don’t have to worry about running out of data on your phone or not being able to access your tablet. Free breakfast means not having to think at all in the morning about when and where in an unfamiliar area. It’s a bonus, but not on a whole Wi-Fi level.

You also smile when the plane touches down and business class breaks into a chorus of the Samsung “on” tone.

3. Corporate travellers value chargers over clean socks

Your definition of torture is sitting on a long haul flight watching your laptop charge run down, minute by painful minute. What you wouldn’t give to have that charger, neatly packed in your checked luggage. That bit about being connected 24/7? You can’t do that if you’re not charged. You’re outraged when a business class seat doesn’t have a dedicated power outlet – what kind of backwards airline is this!

4. You have stashes of business cards in every suitcase you own

Corporate travel almost always leads to some planned, or surprise networking. There’s nothing more embarrassing than being asked for your card and realising it’s in your OTHER carry on. You carry them in a neat holder in your pocket so when the situation arises you can whip them out casually and quickly. You also carry a few in every pocket of every item of luggage you own.

5. You haven’t bought shampoo in years

You have more little bottles of shampoo than you’ll ever use. You are never, ever allowed to complain about your partner’s various jars and lotions. You take up more shelf space than she does.

6. You actually go to the gym

You have a gym membership card at home gathering dust but you have an encyclopedic knowledge of gyms at every major hotel. Corporate travel might make it tough to get into a regular fitness routine but it certainly makes commuting to the gym a lot simpler.

7. Jet lag doesn’t even affect you anymore

Sleep on the plane, sleep in the airport lounge, sleep on a hotel bed, sleep in a different time zone. You take that sleep when you can and let coffee take care of the rest.

8. You’ve had every vaccination under the sun

You don’t know what Japanese Encephalitis is but you’re protected from it nonetheless. You’ve had every shot under the sun from visiting far-flung factories and getting up close and personal with all kinds of exotic insects.

9. Google Maps is your travel agent

Accommodation bookings, where to eat, where to shop… if it’s not listed nearby on a local search engine, with at-a-glance directions and user reviews… you’re not going there. Travel guides are for tourists.

10. Your kids could “face time” before they could finger paint

Face time keeps you sane. Your child is the most technologically savvy kid in the kindy class. They can locate all major Australian cities on a map (and a few random locations too) and think that you work on a plane. They’ve probably told people that you’re a pilot.

11. At least one of your bags is at an airport you’ve never used

At least once, on extended trips, your luggage has gone astray. Somewhere out there, a bag formerly known as yours is sitting in an airport you’ve never visited. You have a clean shirt in your carry on and have, on more than one occasion, had shaving gear sent up by the concierge.

12. You can tell a chatty driver before you even get in the car

Some days you feel like some small talk with your chauffeur, some days you don’t. You have assessed your driver for chattiness within minutes of spotting your name at the gate exit. You are ready to send out the “don’t talk” or ” do talk” vibes. You feel a deep appreciation for a driver that “gets it”.

13. You appreciate a good airport transfer

Style that says “I have arrived”, comfort that feels like “I have arrived home”. After all that time on a plane, you appreciate a comfortable car and good driver like you might a fine wine. You appreciate local knowledge that gets you through traffic faster (without risking life and limb in a taxi) and the welcome of a driver ready and waiting to help. There’s no place like home, there’s no people like family but a good chauffeur will always brighten your day.

If corporate travel is part of your everyday working life, you appreciate the little things. The good single-serve sugar, the well-stocked hotel room desk (and minibar) and the airport transfer company that understands what it means to be a corporate traveller.

Car Australia is the premium corporate transport for metropolitan areas of Australia. Book a Car Australia airport transfer next time, to feel the difference a little luxury can make to a seasoned corporate traveller.