Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Free flights for entrepreneurs

BA is offering more than 1,000 free business trips in an effort to underline the importance of personal contacts through business trips. Flights are available to London or anywhere that British Airways flies.

At the website, entrants will be directed to an entry form that includes a competition to write a 500-word explanation of why their business should get an overseas trip. Entries will be reviewed by British Airways executives and its partners including representatives from the UK Trade & Investment. Entries will be accepted until 12 midnight Eastern Daylight Time or 9 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on July 31. Winners will be notified by mid-August.

Business travelers can go to to enter a competition to win a free flight from Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.

British Airways said it had commissioned a survey of 2,200 Harvard Business Review readers to "gauge perceptions within the international business community about the importance of face-to-face meetings."

The results: About 95 percent said they believe that face-to-face meetings are a cornerstone of building successful long-term business relationships, and 87 percent agreed face-to-face meetings are the linchpin for "sealing the deal." Half said their business had been hurt because of business travel cutbacks.