CHICAGO, IL, October 29, 2007 - Orbitz (www.orbitz.com), the online travel company with a heritage of keeping travelers "A Step Ahead™," today announced the results of its Orbitz Traveler Update Report - a quarterly survey focusing on industry trends and the most prevalent issues affecting travelers. The Orbitz Traveler Update Report examined changes in travel behavior in the wake of a record-setting summer for flight delays and cancellations, as well as rising travel costs in a number of sectors.
When it comes to flying, passengers are changing air travel plans in a number of ways. The report found that one-third (33 percent) of those surveyed have opted to travel through a smaller regional airport to avoid possible delays, even if the airport requires more travel time. Regardless of which airport they are using, almost 70 percent of travelers are leaving for the airport earlier than they used to, with nearly 40 percent saying they have added an extra 30 minutes to their travel time.
"Travelers are exploring new ways, through technology and alternative trip choices, to make the experience more enjoyable," said Randy Wagner, chief marketing officer, Orbitz Worldwide. "Whether they're using services like OrbitzTLC Traveler Update to stay a step ahead of local airport conditions or arriving to check-in 30 minutes earlier than normal, our customers continue to be resilient in choosing to travel."
Airports aren't the only places where travelers are changing behaviors. Rising gas prices are also affecting travel choices, with 35 percent of those surveyed saying they are renting smaller cars as a result of current fuel costs.
And travel costs in general, associated with airfare, gas prices and lodging have caused 31 percent of respondents to stay at a less expensive or lower-rated hotel than they would prefer while traveling.
Many of the behavioral changes, however, are occurring in and around airports. With the TSA's 3-1-1 rule regarding carry-on liquids, 40 percent of travelers say they are checking luggage more often, while only 25 percent say they have altered what they check in order to adhere to the regulations.
Although checking luggage is becoming more frequent, technology is helping to alleviate the check-in process. Sixty percent of those surveyed say they now check in from home or work before arriving at the airport. This, along with positive feelings toward check-in kiosks, helps explain why two-thirds (67 percent) of those surveyed feel the check-in process has become a more positive experience overall.
What has become the most difficult? The largest number of respondents (42 percent) say getting through airport security has become a more negative experience this year. This was followed by getting a preferred seat on a flight, at 36 percent.
Travelers are also becoming more educated on ways to avoid possible flight delays. Thirty-two percent of those surveyed say they now book the earliest flight of the day or travel the night before a meeting or appointment, to minimize risk of delays and ensure arrival at their destination ahead of time.
Summarized findings of the Orbitz Traveler Update report are:
One-third (33 percent) of those surveyed have opted to travel through a smaller regional airport to avoid possible flight delays.
70 percent of travelers are leaving for the airport earlier than they used to, with nearly 40 percent saying they have added an extra 30 minutes to their travel time.
35 percent of those surveyed say they are renting smaller cars as a result of the increasing gas prices.
40 percent of respondents stated they are checking luggage more often than, while only 25 percent say they have altered what they check in order to adhere to the TSA's 3-1-1 carry-on liquid regulation.
60 percent of those surveyed say they now check in for flights from home or work computers prior to arriving at the airport.
67 percent of those surveyed feel flight check-in has become a more positive experience overall.
42 percent say getting through airport security has become a more negative experience this year, followed by getting a preferred seat at 36 percent.
32 percent of those surveyed said they now book the earliest flight of the day or travel the night before needing to be at a destination in order to avoid possible flight delays.
31 percent of those surveyed feel current travel costs associated with airfare, gas prices, rental cars and lodging have caused them to stay at a less-expensive/lower rated (e.g., lower star rating) hotel.
About OrbitzTLC Traveler Update
OrbitzTLC Traveler Update (http://updates.orbitz.com) is a one-stop resource for updated information on flights, flight delays, as well as up-to-the-minute updates from fellow fliers. The site includes historical security wait times from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), up-to-the-minute flight information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), OrbitzTLC air traffic alerts and other reliable traffic and weather information.
About Traveler Update Report/Ipsos Public Affairs
The Orbitz Traveler Update Report (formerly known as the "Take 5 Survey") is a quarterly survey that polls consumers on travel-related issues. This quarter's Traveler Update Report, which focused on changes in travel behavior, was based on a poll conducted on behalf of Orbitz by Ipsos Public Affairs, based in Washington, DC. The total sample size of the nationally representative and scientifically conducted Omnibus phone poll was 838 consumers who have traveled in the past year. The Omnibus poll was conducted between September 21 and September 27, 2007. For more information on Ipsos, please visit their Web site at http://www.ipsos-na.com/news/.
Orbitz (www.orbitz.com) is a leading online travel company that enables travelers to search for and purchase a broad array of travel products, including airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. Since launching its website www.orbitz.com to the general public in June 2001, Orbitz has become one of the largest online travel sites in the world based on gross travel bookings. On Orbitz, consumers can search more than 80,000 suppliers worldwide including airlines, hotels and car rental companies. Orbitz is a brand that is owned and operated by Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW).
About Orbitz Worldwide:
Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE:OWW) 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 and operates 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) and corporate travel brands Orbitz for Business and Travelport for Business (www.travelportcorporatesolutions.com).