Travel frustrations earn 4 out of 10
Thursday, 23rd August 2007
Source : Access America
A new quarterly index that measures the frustration levels of travelers finds that most are not quite halfway, to their boiling point -

Based on a survey of more than 1,000 adults -- all of whom had traveled for business or leisure in the past three months -- the aggregated hassle factor scored 4.09 out of a possible 10.

The Traveler Frustration Index, commissioned by Access America, one of the world's leading providers of travel insurance, and conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, an independent, leading global research company, measured travelers' frustrations over a range of travel-related categories, from costs associated with travel to security issues to service levels. The overall 4.09 rating represents a weighted average of survey responses.

"The results of the first-ever Traveler Frustration Index includes more good news than bad as American travelers seem largely satisfied by their traveling experience," said Beth Godlin, Executive Vice President for Access America. "The survey results, however, do point to some areas of vulnerability for the travel industry, most notably the cost of gas and the perceived low levels of customer service toward the flying public. At Access America, we see ourselves as advocates for U.S. travelers, and we hope this regular index will help serve as a report card for how well the travel industry is doing to satisfy customer demand."

According to the survey, which was conducted between July 23 and August 3 travelers were most irritated with the price of gas. A total of 78 percent indicated some degree of frustration with the cost of filling their tanks. One in two survey respondents (54%) confessed to aggravations associated with airline or airport service, including such annoyances as lost luggage, long lines, poor food and cramped planes.

The cost of travel also was a point of contention among almost half of travelers surveyed. A total of 48 percent said they were frustrated with what they have to pay for airline, cruise line or train tickets, while 44 percent said that lodging and attractions costs were a source of dissatisfaction.

Hassles related to homeland security and safety were cited by 38 percent of respondents, with illness or injury to family members just behind at 37 percent.

The survey found that the least frustrating aspect of travel was booking the trip in the first place. Only one in five travelers said they found making reservations a nuisance.

The level of service provided by travel-related providers other than airlines also scored high. Only 24 percent of those surveyed said that the service at hotels, cruise lines, attractions and travel agencies was trying.

Finally, Mother Nature scored reasonably well. Just one in three travelers indicated frustration with the weather while on a trip.

Survey Results Summary:

Recent travelers reported frustration with the following issues (percentages show number of respondents who were frustrated with the issue):

1. Cost of gas (78%)
2. Airline/airport service (lost or delayed baggage, long lines, food or lack there of, cramped planes, missed connections, etc. (54%)
3. The cost of airline, cruise line or train tickets (48%)
4. The cost of lodging and/or other attractions (44%)
5. Homeland security/safety issues (38%)
6. Illness or injury that affects you or a family member causing cancellation or interruption of trip (37%)
7. Labor actions (strikes, slow downs, etc.) (33%)
8. The weather (hurricanes, snow storms, wildfires, flooding, etc.)
9. Service by other traveler suppliers (hotels, cruise lines, attractions, travel agents, etc.) (31%)
10. Difficulty booking a trip (DIY, using an agent, selecting a destination, selecting a travel supplies, etc.) (20%)

Index Results:

The index is an aggregated and recalculated ten point index scale across all respondents showing the average frustration level. The 4.1 out of ten results for July/August 2007 will serve as a baseline moving forward with research conducted on a quarterly basis.
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