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Young more apt to expense frills

Young business travelers are more likely than older travelers to spend their company’s money on expensive meals and first-class airline seats and to schedule vacation time during work trips.

But if things go haywire, these young road warriors are probably going to fire off a negative review of a restaurant or hotel.

The findings come from a survey of more than 8,500 travelers in 24 countries that was designed to look at the different behavior of millennial business travelers and older trekkers.

Globally, 42 percent of business travelers ages 18 to 30 said they will spend more of their company’s money on pricey meals than they would their own money, compared with only 26 percent of travelers ages 46 to 65, according to the survey by travel website Expedia and Egencia, the business travel arm of Expedia Inc.

But don’t upset the millennials: One in four American travelers younger than 34 has posted a negative hotel review in the last year, compared with only 14 percent of older travelers.

Mark Hollyhead, a senior vice president at Egencia, would not theorize why young travelers spend and vacation more than veteran business travelers. But he said they are more likely to post hotel and restaurant reviews because information sharing is a big part of the digital age.

Kelsey Blodget, editorial director at the hotel review site, has another theory.

"It could also be that more mature generations have many more hotel and restaurant experiences under their belts and are just less fazed about bad experiences than they once were," she said.

U.S. workers get higher per diem

The federal government agreed recently to increase the per diem rate that it reimburses federal employees for hotel stays on work trips. This follows two years when the rate remained nearly flat.

The General Services Administration raised the per diem to an average of $113 across the country, up from $105 last year and $104 the previous year. (The rate varies by city and region.)

"The increase in per diem rate was a big win for the industry," said Vanessa Sinders of the American Hotel & Lodging Association.


Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times

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