Executive Group Travel Blog

Direct Flight Dilemma

[fa icon="clock-o"] May 18, 2016 1:34:00 PM [fa icon="user"] Marci McCormack [fa icon="folder-open'] Incentive Travel

Limited Daily Options:

Many companies who are new to incentive travel insist on direct flights for their President's Club trip.  For NYC, Dallas, Miami, Charlotte, Philadelphia and Chicago based companies a daily direct flight is easy to come by for most of the Caribbean.  But for the rest of the US, including major cities such as Boston and San Francisco reality is that most airlines only fly to the Caribbean on weekends, at best.  And this only applies during the busy season. 


Caribbean Destinations:

When you only look for direct flights for Caribbean based travel you are limiting your options to only a handful of destinations.  In general the most common US airlift is into Cancun, Punta Cana, Jamaica, Bahamas and Aruba.  For Boston based companies there are only a handful of destinations in the Caribbean that have a daily direct flight (mostly those listed above).  See blog article on Boston destinations.  Costa Rica is currently a hot destination for incentive travel but companies from a majority of the US would be missing out if they stuck with locations with a daily direct flight only.  Once you start to grow your incentive trip to over 60 employees the direct flights become less important.  This is because there is a risk to flying all employees on one flight so dividing them up between multiple flights becomes more realistic.  Employees will always insist direct flights are extremely important but at the end of the day attendees will still go and have a great time.  And more importantly you will have a larger pool of destinations to choose from.  So many times we get feedback that direct flights are extremely important but their recommendation for future President's Club is Hawaii (Unfortunately this is not possible unless the company is flying private plane from Boston).  


One compromise is finding a location with at least a direct flight one-way.  One compromise for Boston companies is utilizing JetBlue and Delta's direct weekend flights to locations such as Turks & Caicos, St. Lucia and St. Maarten.  Also a second compromise is providing guests 4 nights of accommodation versus only 3 nights if the destination requires a layover both ways.