All those people complaining about how tough it is to travel so much in J, F and stay in top-notch hotels, could just change careers and settle for something more convenient. But they won't, and if there is a situation where someone else could take their job, they will fight to keep it.
That's true, however for every business traveler you mentioned there are 10 travelers like me - lowest logical fare + Holiday Inn. Believe me, becoming Star Gold on Dash 8 flights is literally painful.
I have to agree. I am an engineer in IT and telecommunication and in my last job I was working in customer service for a smaller company somewhere in Germany. We had customers around the world for our products. Local sales and service partners took care of the daily business, but there was only so much they could do. So sometimes the "specialist" had to be flown in for some technical sales or service activities or a training, and yep, that was me.
I usually had two or three trips each month, and at least one of it was outside of Europe, e.g. North America, Asia, Africa or so. Usually I stayed with the customer between 3 and 5 days, just enough to mess up my biological clock to make me suffer from jetlag, and to short to adapt to local time.
And as much a I enjoy flying, going to Australia from Europe in Economy is tough. The company tried to save on expenses and many times I had to fight with our in-house travel office:
Me: I will be in Melbourne, Australia next Monday to Thursday. Could you please check the flights for me? Thanks!
Office girl: There is this nice cheap flight leaving on Saturday arriving early Monday morning. So you will be on time with the customer.
Me: No, I'd like to arrive the night before and have a good night's sleep before working with the customer.
Girl: But this flight is 400€ more expensive then the other! And we need to pay another hotel night!
Me: Maybe, but Id' like to be rested before I do some demanding work.
Girl: But the CSO did the same trip two weeks ago and had no problem with the morning arrival.
Me: There is a difference.
He flew Business. He had space to do real work on the plane, got some decent food and slept in a real bed. On arrival he went to the arrival lounge, had breakfast, took a shower, changed and went fresh, relaxed and smart looking to a nice smooth 2 hour meeting with the customer, promissing our product will solve all their problems. This was followed by a business lunch in a fancy location and an interview with a local journalist. Later that day he played golf with some friends to take care of his network (in the interest of the company of course), had dinner in the clubhouse, some drinks in a nice bar, went to his hotel suite and flew to Sydney the next day to do more or less the same there.
I will fly Economy, cramped in a tiny seat for 23hours between two overweight smelly guys, have no space to even open my laptop, get junk food and no chance to catch some sleep. Then I will work 4 days with the customer for 12hours+ each day, trying to make our crappy product work, taking all the heat from the customer and trying to explain why it does not work as promissed. At night I will crash in the cheapest hotel you could find. Still by Thursday evening I will manage to make everything work well enough to be accepted by the customer, rush to the airport to get my flight home arriving Friday night. I will see nothing but the interior of the planes, airports, offices, server rooms and cheap hotels. I will need the whole weekend to recover.
Yes, I changed jobs now. Getting older I really felt this life was more and more demanding on me and my body. I needed ever longer to recover from such a trip. And of course it was hell for my family.