Travelers say they’ll skip the airport and hit the road in 2011

How are you traveling in 2011?

In some ways, like you did this year. And in some ways not, according to a new survey.

Asked what mode of transportation they planned to use in 2011, most respondents indicated they would stay the course by cruising, driving, flying and using mass transport roughly the same as they did in 2010.

However, a significant number of travelers said they intended to fly less and drive more.

The poll of about 500 travelers, conducted last weekend by the Consumer Travel Alliance, suggests next year could be a busy one for motorists, while demand for air travel could weaken slightly.
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Who had the worst customer service in 2010? (Hint: it wasn’t airlines)

The US airline industry, which has an unenviable record of failing practically every customer-service survey for the last generation, has a new rival: The Transportation Security Administration.

A new poll says the agency charged with protecting the nation’s transportation systems offered travelers the worst customer service in 2010. The survey, conducted last week by the Consumer Travel Alliance, found half of all travelers believed TSA offered the worst service, followed by airlines (29 percent), car rental companies (10 percent), hotels (5 percent), cruise lines (3 percent), online travel agencies and bricks-and-mortar agencies (roughly 1 percent each).

Travelers say they picked the federal screeners not because TSA’s service is universally bad, but because it is inconsistent.
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Weekend survey: When should a car rental company charge you for damage?


That’s not an academic question, given all the recent stories about excessive car rental claims on this site.

And yes, it still is the weekend. I’m in another time zone. (But I’ll be back on the mainland tomorrow.)

Here’s the link to the survey.

I’m also interested in your comments. Should car rental companies go after the last person who rented the car, or should they be more conservative, and only pursue claims that have been acknowledged by the renter?

You can comment here or email me.

Should airlines disclose fees before you buy your ticket? Survey says …


Yes. Heck, yeah.

Only 6 people out of the initial 812 respondents — just 0.7 percent — said “no.”
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What annoys you the most about your hotel? Survey says …

Uncomfortable beds, says a new survey by D.K. Shifflet & Associates. But that’s not the real story. Three out of the top five annoyances had to do with extra charges — fees that properties could easily eliminate.

If they wanted to.

Coming in a close second is “charging for Internet access” followed by “hidden fees at checkout” and “charging for parking.”
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Holiday travel forecasts: “Cautious optimism” — or billion-dollar bloodbath?

snowyThere are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Maybe Mark Twain, or Benjamin Disraeli, or whoever first said that, worked in the travel industry. Because this week, as we look ahead to the busy holiday season, we are presented with two conflicting views of the future. One of them is probably wrong.

(And don’t even get me started on yesterday’s AAA Thanksgiving forecast, which basically said nothing was going to happen.)
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