"Flight Fixation" Could Cost Travellers in 2009



    
    Travelocity.ca's Annual Forecast Poll Reveals a Common Consumer Behaviour
    Causes Travellers to Miss Out on Money-Saving Opportunities
    

    TORONTO, Jan. 12 /CNW/ - Only days into the new year, consumers are
already seeing an abundance of travel deals in what experts expect to be a
great year for bargains amidst a struggling economy. However, Travelocity.ca's
annual forecast poll shows travellers will very likely miss out on true
savings by putting too much emphasis on airfares while ignoring other,
ultimately pricier components of a trip. Travelocity.ca experts have coined
this preoccupation with flight cost "flight fixation."
    Eighty-four percent of North American poll respondents said declining
airfares would have the greatest impact on their decision to travel in 2009.
While softening demand and lower jet fuel prices will likely lead to decreased
airfares this year, travellers waiting for big drops may miss out on hotel and
package deals that typically have an even greater impact on the overall cost
of a trip.
    "Consumers spend too much time searching for the best airfare when they
should really be focusing on the total cost of their vacation instead,"
Jennifer Gaines, Travelocity.ca contributing editor, said. "Travellers who are
consumed by flight fixation end up losing sight of the big picture and
cheating themselves out of the savings offered through package deals and hotel
promotions."
    With two-thirds of the poll respondents planning to travel "as
frequently" or "more" this year compared to 2008, knowing how and where to
find value is the key to affordability, creating opportunities to take more
trips than they may have thought feasible. Fifty-eight percent of respondents
said price was the most important factor when booking a flight, while only 46
percent said the same about hotels, even though accommodations are typically
the most expensive part of a trip and offer the greatest opportunity for
savings. In fact, a recent look at hotel data for spring showed average daily
rates are down in many top destinations, including Las Vegas, the most popular
destination for Canadians, which is down 28 percent from the same time period
last year.
    Surprisingly, only 14 percent said they would book a package in order to
save, even though this often yields the greatest savings. "On average,
consumers save when booking their flight and hotel together as opposed to
booking the same components separately," Gaines said. "Recently discounted
hotel rates further maximize those savings."
    Travelocity.ca's survey also revealed another misconception on how to cut
costs while traveling this year. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they
will use rewards and points as the number one tactic to cut down on the cost
of travel. Meanwhile, the cash-strapped airline industry has made redeeming
rewards miles more difficult than ever with more blackout dates and fewer
opportunities for redemption.
    The Travelocity.ca poll conducted from Nov. 17-Dec. 15, 2008 consisted of
responses from approximately 1,600 Travelocity members in North America. The
survey was conducted to obtain information from travellers who have booked at
least one travel component in the last 12 months. For more information or
complete data from this poll, contact Dave Fleet at Thornley Fallis
Communications at 416.515.7517 x 332.

    About Travelocity Global

    Travelocity(R) is committed to being the traveller's champion - before,
during and after the trip - and provides the most comprehensive and proactive
guarantee in the industry (www.travelocity.ca/guarantee). This customer-driven
focus, backed by 24/7 live phone support, competitive prices and powerful
shopping technology has made Travelocity one of the largest travel companies
in the world with annual gross bookings of more than U.S. $10 billion.
Travelocity also owns and operates: Travelocity Business(R) for corporate
travel; igougo.com, a leading online travel community; lastminute.com, a
leader in European online travel; and ZUJI, a leader in Asia-Pacific online
travel. Travelocity is owned by Sabre Holdings Corporation, a world leader in
travel marketing and distribution.





For further information:

For further information: Dave Fleet, Thornley Fallis, (416) 515-7517 x
332, fleet@thornleyfallis.com

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