Business travellers would like to be able to use their mobile devices to make or change their travel plans, and would prefer to interact with human customer-service representatives only when an emergency arises, according to a recent survey from Egencia, the business-travel subsidiary of Expedia.

Two-thirds of the 4,500 business travellers queried in the Egencia Business Travel and Technology Survey — including 76 per cent of US business travellers — said they want to be able to manage all of their travel through their mobile devices.

Nearly half of survey respondents said they would like to be able to make travel plans via text message, for example.

“We are at a turning point in business travel,” said Rob Greyber, president of Egencia. “Business travellers have high expectations and they want instant access to information and tools on every device.”

Technology was viewed as a better pathway to productivity than perks like airport lounges and priority boarding.

For example, 49 per cent of business travellers said that companies could improve efficiency by paying for in-flight wifi, a service that only 29 per cent currently get reimbursed.

Nonstop flights are also seen as improving productivity and job satisfaction on the road, the survey found, along with extra time off to compensate for travel on weekends and class upgrades on flights lasting longer than six hours.

Despite the call for such improvements, however, the survey found that 70 per cent of business travellers enjoyed their time on the road more than being in the office.