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Baggage fees top survey of traveler gripes

Consumer Reports also finds that add-on ticket fees really annoy airline passengers.

By Karen Datko May 6, 2010 5:28PM

This post comes from James Limbach at partner site


Travelers have a lot to gripe about, but what bugs them most are luggage charges and add-on airline ticket fees, according to a survey by Consumer Reports.

In a nationally representative survey conducted in late January, CR asked 2,000 consumers to score three lists of travel gripes covering rental cars, airlines and hotels for a total of 24 items on a 1-to-10 scale, 1 meaning an experience "does not annoy you at all" and 10 meaning it "annoys you tremendously."


Luggage charges (8.4 overall) and added airline ticket fees (8.1) topped the list, but rude or unhelpful staff at rental-car companies (7.9), hotels (7.8) and airlines (7.7) were also among the more annoying things that rub travelers the wrong way.


The complete report on how travelers ranked all 24 annoyances is available in the June issue of Consumer Reports. Among the highlights:

  • Poor communication about airline delays (7.1) annoyed people slightly more than the delays themselves (6.8).
  • Airline travelers who hog your seat (7.0) and carry-on space (6.7) are also annoying. Many people give crying babies and unruly kids (4.9) on planes a pass and have apparently have gotten used to puny or no airline snacks (5.1), and long lines for security and check-in (5.2).
  • Women travelers are somewhat more annoyed than men. Among complaints for which the gender gap was apparent: pricey in-room hotel snacks (6.8 women, 5.2 men); insufficient or chintzy hotel bedding (7.2 women, 6.2 men), and high-pressure pitches for extra rental-car coverage or upgrades (7.1 women, 6.0 men).
  • Some gripes annoyed respondents under age 50 much more than those 50 and older. Those included rude or unhelpful airline staff (8.6 under 50, 8.0 50 or older), rental-car pitches (6.8 under 50, 6.1 50 or older), and absence of the ordered car (6.5 under 50, 5.4 50 and older). However, older folks are far more ticked off than younger people by those unruly kids on planes (4.5 under 50, 5.3 50 and older).

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