Business travelers hit by United cuts

Fewer flight options cost biz travelers time and money
Travelers at Hopkins
Travelers at Hopkins

Local travelers are still reacting to the news that United Airlines will drop Cleveland Hopkins as a hub.

And business travelers may be the hardest hit by the loss of all those flights.

Those traveling for business make up 48 percent of passengers at Hopkins Airport.

"I go to Minneapolis once a year, twice a year...Kansas City, St. Louis.  Now I'm probably going to have to fly through Chicago," said Steve Willoughby.

Inconveniences aren't just annoying, they come with a price tag.  Willoughby travels frequently for work and says the loss of the United hub could cost his company money.

"We'll have to see what happens with air fares.  Certainly if I'm spending the night in hotels that's an increased cost that I'm not paying for now since I'm able to come home," he said.

His co-worker Joe Calvello says layovers, and fewer flight options will also cost them time.  And time is money.

"It's more time in the airports, more time traveling...less time actually with clients or at home," said Calvello.

Loss of productivity and fewer in-person meetings are significant possibilities for lots of local companies with road warriors.

Both business travelers are also concerned about what the news will mean for Cleveland's competitiveness.

"It's a bummer, when I heard the news, especially when I heard all the news that's going on with downtown Cleveland. It's going to make it a lot more difficult to get conventions here without having a hub status," said Willoughby.

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