CHICAGO, March 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- For 10 years, Orbitz.com (www.orbitz.com) has sent couples on honeymoons to Maui, executives on business trips to Chicago, singles to bachelor parties in Las Vegas and families to magical places like Disney World. Today, the company announced the kick-off of a campaign to celebrate its 10th anniversary with the results of a "Then vs. Now" consumer survey which examines how travel has evolved over the past ten years. The Orbitz 10th anniversary celebration will run through the remainder of the year.
"As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Orbitz.com, we're launching with a survey that captures how traveler sentiment has changed over the past decade," said Jeanenne Tornatore, senior editor of Orbitz.com. "Price remained an important theme for consumers throughout the survey results with comparison shopping and innovations like Orbitz Price Assurance receiving incredibly high approval ratings among consumers."
Orbitz.com fielded a survey of 1,000 U.S. travelers that have taken at least one trip over the past 12 months to see how their travel expectations and experiences have changed since the launch of Orbitz in 2001(1).
Survey highlights Include:
- Despite headlines about rising prices, tarmac delays and increased taxes and fees, 71% of travelers feel that travel overall is better today versus 10 years ago.
- 61% of travelers believe that the ability to comparison shop online is the best thing about travel in 2011 versus 2001; while 81% feel the worst thing is extra airline charges such as baggage fees and paying for meals.
- While mobile technology is the wave of the future, 76% of travelers with mobile devices have not booked travel via their smart phone or tablet; and 32% of consumers still don't own a smart phone or tablet.
The Best of Travel
According to the Orbitz.com survey, consumers said that their three favorite things about travel overall now versus 10 years ago are the ability to comparison shop online (61%), online booking and check-in (52%) and access to more deals and discounts (51%). Travelers feel that the best thing about the in-flight air travel experience is the ability to choose seats (27%), just beating out the safety travelers experience on airlines now (25%) and the introduction of Wi-Fi on planes (20%). Specific to the hotel experience, travelers like the ability to find more hotel deals and promotions when booking (32%), with expedited check-in/check-out coming in second (16%).
The Worst of Travel
Consumers feel the three worst things about travel now versus 10 years ago are ancillary fees airlines charge for items like pre-boarding and checked baggage (81%), fluctuating prices of airfares and/or hotel rates (62%) and increased security procedures and rules (59%). When consumers were asked specifically about their gripes with the in-flight experience, there was a virtual tie between travelers who believe that delays and cancellations topped the list (36%) versus no more free food or drinks on flights (35%).
The Best Innovations
For a decade, Orbitz has created innovations and industry firsts that make comparison shopping and booking travel easier and more affordable for consumers. 55% of travelers said that Orbitz Price Assurance is the best company innovation over the past decade. Here's how Orbitz Price Assurance works:
- Book a flight or hotel: Book a flight or prepaid hotel room on Orbitz and we immediately start tracking to see if another customer books the same itinerary at a lower price.
- Another Orbitz customer books it for less: If another Orbitz customer books your itinerary for less, we'll issue a cash refund for the difference. Amounts range from $5 to $250 per airline ticket or $5 to $500 per hotel booking.
- You get a check, automatically: No need to call, e-mail or fill out forms. We'll mail your refund check about 6-8 weeks after your trip.
Since its inception in 2008, the Orbitz Price Assurance program has sent over $9MM in refunds to customers.
The second most popular innovation is the Orbitz Display Matrix (18%) which allows consumers to easily view and compare pricing for flight and vacation package options at once. The Display Matrix is followed by Orbitz Customer Care Alerts with 15% of travelers saying that email, text messages and phone calls about flight delays from the Orbitz Customer Care Center are among some of the greatest innovations at Orbitz.
The Next Big Thing
In 2010, Orbitz introduced its mobile app for iPhone and Android. Despite seeing an increase in bookings through the mobile Web (m.orbitz.com), 76% of travelers who own a mobile device (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry or iPad, Galaxy Tab) have not used their phone or tablet to book travel. In fact, the survey found that nearly one-third (32%) of those questioned still do not own a smart phone or tablet. Although macro consumer behavior has not caught up with the technology, as we look ahead to the next 10 years in travel, Orbitz predicts mobile bookings will be the next wave of innovation within the online travel industry.
Other interesting findings from the survey:
- 33% of consumers said that calling around to different hotels and airlines topped the list of how they comparison shopped and booked travel before products were available online.
- 46% of travelers said they take more long-weekend getaways now versus ten years ago
- Only 6% said they had engaged in some form eco-tourism in their travels. In fact only 5% of travelers called green travel offerings at Orbitz (ability to rent a hybrid car or book a green hotel) one of the company's most important innovations.
- 34% of travelers said their favorite thing about travel is that it allows them to spend more time with family and friends.
(1) This survey was fielded by Orbitz from March 21-25, 2011 via insightexpress. 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older who had traveled within the past twelve months were surveyed.
Orbitz.com (www.orbitz.com) is a leading online travel company that enables travelers to search for and book a broad array of travel products, including airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. Since launching its Web site to the general public in June 2001, Orbitz.com has become one of the largest online travel sites in the world and has led the industry with innovations including Flight Price Assurance, Hotel Price Assurance and Total Price hotel search results. On Orbitz.com consumers can search more than 80,000 suppliers worldwide including airlines, hotels and car rental companies. Orbitz.com is owned by Orbitz Worldwide. Stay connected to Orbitz.com with sale alerts, exclusive promotions and engaging conversations by following Orbitz on Facebook (www.facebook.com/orbitz), Twitter (www.twitter.com/orbitz) and the Orbitz Travel Blog (www.orbitz.com/blog).
About Orbitz Worldwide
Orbitz Worldwide is a leading global online travel company that uses innovative technology to enable leisure and business travelers to research, plan and book a broad range of travel products. Orbitz Worldwide owns a portfolio of consumer brands that includes Orbitz (www.orbitz.com), CheapTickets (www.cheaptickets.com), ebookers (www.ebookers.com), HotelClub (www.hotelclub.com), RatesToGo (www.ratestogo.com) and the Away Network (www.away.com). Also within the Orbitz Worldwide family, Orbitz Worldwide Distribution (http://corp.orbitz.com/partnerships/distribution) delivers private label travel solutions to a broad range of partners including many of the world's largest airlines, and Orbitz for Business (www.orbitzforbusiness.com) delivers managed corporate travel solutions for corporations. For more information on partnership opportunities with Orbitz Worldwide, visit corp.orbitz.com. Orbitz Worldwide uses its Investor Relations website to make information available to its investors and the public at http://www.orbitz-ir.com. You can sign up to receive email alerts whenever the company posts new information to the website.
For further information: Marita Hudson Thomas, Director, Public Relations, Orbitz Worldwide, +1-312-260-8304, or fax, +1-312-894-4911, MARITA.THOMAS@orbitz.com