Online travel management companies, such as Expedia Corporate Travel, are tracking the aftermath of Katrina and its likely effects on clients, and report that disruptions for travelers have been limited.

But Mitch Robinson, a spokesman for Expedia, said that attitudes among Expedia's business clients have shifted during the last week. There is a feeling now that "honestly, some things are more important than work," he said. "And if conditions look like they could become ominous, no one will think less of you if you delay a business trip or leave early."

That kind of talk hasn't been heard in corporate travel circles since 9/11, and it is still far too early to tell whether it will make employers rethink their travel policies. It is easy to see why some travel managers might start to put a premium on prudence, though, in the view of Ellen Keszler, the president of Sabre Holdings' Corporate Solutions, which operates Travelocity Business.

"This is the first time in recent memory that a major regional business center has been essentially eliminated for a period of weeks or potentially longer," she said.

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