Why do some airlines ask for the reason for travel when booking domestic flights within the US?


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  • Does your employer have a preferred fare agreement?
    – littleadv
    Aug 24, 2023 at 23:48
  • @littleadv Sorry I am not sure if I can publish that information, but that could perhaps be a good reason to ask for the travel reason indeed. Aug 25, 2023 at 0:07
  • @littleadv This seems to be quite late in the booking process, I would be surprised if at that stage the selection changed anything.
    – jcaron
    Aug 25, 2023 at 14:04
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    Often, when you finish going through the reservation steps and paying, the airline site will bring up a screen offering you deals with their partners "See these hotel deals in San Jose" or something like that. That choice (business or pleasure) may filter which deals get offered.
    – Flydog57
    Aug 25, 2023 at 16:48

1 Answer 1


As far as I know this is purely a marketing question, and will usually be optional.

You can find such questions on airline websites but also hotels, railways, and more, in many countries. In most cases the question is asked during the booking process, sometimes they ask the question upfront in search parameters (in which case it may have an influence on what fare types they put forward).

Apparently the answer to that question is useful to them for reporting, to optimise their yield management, communication campaigns and whatnot.

It may have an influence on what additional services they put forward, or they may take that into account in overbooking ratios.

Another possible reason is that some agency at either end wants the info for their own statistics.

On some sites/apps this allows the user to filter past bookings (so if you use the same account for business and personal trips, you can easily find the business ones for your expense reports), or may change the payment method (e.g. Uber allows one to save one payment card for personal and another for business), but in the latter case this is usually quite a bit more explicit.

  • 5
    In some countries, if you're travelling for business, you are exempt from city tax at hotels Aug 25, 2023 at 8:08
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    @NicolasFormichella Which countries? Aug 25, 2023 at 8:18
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    @bdsl at the bottom of the screen it says that required fields have red asterisk. No red asterisk, it should be optional. I suppose by default neither option is selected, and that OP selected one OP before taking the screenshot. What the UI lacks is a way to cancel the selection.
    – jcaron
    Aug 25, 2023 at 14:02
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    @jcaron Right. I think good UI design generally requires always having a radio button selected by default if radio buttons are used.
    – bdsl
    Aug 25, 2023 at 14:11
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    @jcaron Commonly understood UI/UX usage dictates that radio buttons should be pre-populated with a default value. And that is the whole point of the entire HTML radio button analogy to .. radio buttons.
    – Peter M
    Aug 25, 2023 at 15:17

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