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Aisle of Discontent

Biz travelers never had it better. So why are they still so cranky?

Business travel took a hit during the last years of the noughties, but overall the decade was an innovative one, as business travelers pointed out in a survey for the 2010 Business Travel & Meetings Show, a gathering of Europe's corporate travel industry.

73% of airline passengers are OK with a little small talk. But just a little.
Flat beds in first class, Wi-Fi on planes, cloud-friendly netbooks and even online check-in (voted "innovation of the decade"): It's never been more comfortable to travel for business or so easy to remain plugged in for work. No wonder the new decade is off to such a good start: 91 percent of the 2,400 survey participants say they plan to travel the same amount or more for business this year, up nearly 20 percent from 2009.

The survey also revealed business travelers to be a cranky lot. The No.1 perk of traveling for business wasn't the chance to see new places or hang out in first-class lounges. It was "being away from home."

B-travelers seem quite demanding, too, judging from their suggestions on how to enhance the business travel experience: even faster check-in, security and immigration, carbon-free travel options, supersonic aircraft and the invention of--drumroll, please--a "miracle child silencer."

This story appears in the May 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »