What a difference a year makes. Last spring, Entrepreneur's Business Travel Awards focused on the growing trend toward upscale travel as business fortunes swelled and expense accounts fattened. Just a year later, the weakening economy and the threat of terrorism have altered the travel habits of entrepreneurs and their employees, and will continue to do so in coming years.
When four hijacked aircraft crashed last September, business travel ground to a halt. But slowly it crept back as companies realized that most trips are essential to their businesses' survival.
The frequency and the manner of these trips, however, are changing. In many cases, business owners are requiring employees to drive instead of fly to destinations that they can reach in four or five hours by car. When employees do fly, low-fare carriers are more likely to be business owners' first choice. And increasingly, business travelers are relying on the Internet to provide them with information as well as lower prices.
Keeping these trends in mind, we've come up with a list of suppliers we feel offer entrepreneurs the best bang for their travel bucks in 2002. Remember, this is not a formal or scientific survey, just a subjective list of suppliers that have been found to consistently offer affordable options to value-conscious business travelers.