What Businesses Have Employees Flying Now?

Following the American Airlines third quarter earnings call on Thursday, senior executives held a ‘State of the Airline’ question and answer session with employees. One of the questions was about which businesses are traveling now?

American’s Chief Customer Officer Alison Taylor, who prior to this summer led sales for the airline, shared that “our largest customers at the moment” are:

  • Fedex
  • UPS
  • federal government
  • Siemens
  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Health and pharmaceuticals

During the Southwest Airlines earnings call, American’s cross-town Dallas rival shared that over 90% of their large corporate travel accounts are traveling in some amount. They aren’t sending many people on the road, but their employees aren’t completely grounded. Taylor also described travel from their top accounts as “only a fraction of what they used to be” as well.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Siemens may seem to be a surprise to many who read VFTW, but if you see what Siemens does and how big it is, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise:

    Power generation technology;
    industrial and buildings automation; medical technology; railway vehicles; water treatment systems; fire alarms; PLM software,
    business services, financing, project engineering and construction. And then there are their retail products.

    Siemens has way more employees than even GE nowadays.

  2. But those 10% of corporate accounts that have no one flying are the really big companies. I work for one of the top ones, and no one in the industry is traveling.

  3. @GUWonder – I was going to say Siemens makes the most sense of all. Machines don’t stop breaking down, manufacturing is largely still 100% up and running.

  4. I’m in technology. Nobody seeing anybody. Nobody going to the office. Not a big surprise. Using a lot of their own technology to communicate. Blue states mostly and will be the last to open. I do not expect a face to face with any of the major tech firms before Q3 2021.

  5. I work in the A & D sector. My employer has offices in every state and no one is flying. Not just those in blue States. Over 75% of the staff is working from home. In a normal year, I was on the road over 100 to days. My last business flight was March 5th. No one is flying..

  6. I’m a risk manager for public entities and we haven’t stopped traveling but we are avoiding flying as much as possible. Personally I’d rather drive 12 hours with no mask on than take a 1 hour flight and deal with the mask and security theater. I get enough of the misguided attempts at safety at courthouses and other public buildings I visit for work.

  7. Defense contractor, still on the road – never really slowed down except for a few cases of 14 day state quarantine issues (Hawaii/Alaska).

  8. By “largest customers”, doesn’t Alison Taylor mean freight rather than people? Almost all the companies listed ship a lot of merch.

  9. Hotels are about half full nationwide and almost 6 million passengers were screened at US airports over the past seven days – of course there are some people traveling for work…

  10. @Miles

    Amazon, FedEx and UPS have to move their flight crews around the world. All are essential workers.

  11. Seems like there are two types of OPM.

    One with responsible employers who care about them, and are not requiring their employees to endanger themselves, and then one who dont give a …. about their employees

  12. Taking my first business trip this coming week since early March. That experience will determine how I go about future trips… Working as a private marketing consultant.


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