Knowing most Yapta users prefer to book their flights direct from an airline website, we thought you’d appreciate knowing which airline sites perform best. Compuware Gomez, which monitors website performance, conducted an exclusive 15-month study (at the request of USA TODAY) and ultimately determined that AirTran was the best-performing (or fastest) home page, while Delta, Hawaiian and Frontier were tied for second. Delta’s website was No. 1 for performing transactions, and AirTran’s site, No. 2.
As for hotel sites, Gomez named Marriott the the top-performing hotel booking site.
Also worth noting, among the 46 online travel agents included in the study, the fastest average home-page load of any travel website (1.231 seconds) went to…(insert drum-roll here)… Kayak. It’s nice to know that the engine that’s powering Yapta’s flight search is the fastest on the track.
Here’s some more travel news you can use:
- Airfares from American Airlines are now allowed back on Orbitz as an Illinois court granted Orbitz “injunctive relief” from the airline in their ongoing disagreement over distribution costs. And if you’re tired of following this on-again, off-again relationship – just use Yapta to search (and track) American flights and forgettaboutit.
- Close to 35 million Americans traveled over the Memorial Day weekend according to AAA. That’s about 100,000 travelers more than last year, which suggests a fairly busy summer season ahead. The Air Transport Association (ATA) predicts that U.S. airlines will carry a total of 206.2 million passengers from June through August – about 3 million more passengers than during the same period last year, an increase of 1.5 percent. Yep, we’re really feeling the bite of higher fuel and airfare prices, aren’t we?
- Since Delta began charging fees for checked bags — $25 for the initial piece on domestic flights; $35 for a second — the airline has been offering $2-3 discounts to travelers who prepaid those fees online instead of at the airport. Not anymore. Starting yesterday, passengers will now pay the full price regardless of when or where they pay the fee.
Are you fed up with airline fees? Well you’re not alone. The Associated Press reports that The Government Accountability Office (GAO), a government watchdog, says airline fees for checked bags and other services are complicating things for consumers trying to find the best deal on airfare.
The GAO recommended in a report released Wednesday that the government improve the disclosure of airline fees, not only by airlines, but also by travel booking services.
Besides checked bags, airlines have recently been charging for services that were traditionally included in the price of a ticket, such as seat selection, extra leg room, blankets, pillows, beverages and meals.
GAO said that if the 7.5 percent tax on airline tickets were applied to fees as well, the government could have raised $186 million last year just from checked bags. A Congressional hearing on the subject begins on Capitol Hill this week.
Here’s some more travel news you can use:
- Claire Newell, a Vancouver-based travel consultant and author, offered some travel etiquette tips on NBC’s Today Show that most people have always wondered about. While this footage is over a year old, but it’s new to me – so I’m passing it along to you.
- The Wall Street Journal reports that the Bermuda Department of Tourism is teaming up with hotels and restaurants to offer destination-wide discounts. Several hotel properties are offering a third night free for guests who book two nights, and others are offering a fourth night free to people who book three nights. A group of 13 restaurants are following suit and offering buy one, get one free entrée specials. The promotion is available for booking through Aug. 31 for travel Aug. 22 through Oct. 31.
- Hawaiian Airlines is continuing its summer airfare specials into the fall. The airline today announced a special “Endless Summer” fare sale providing discounted roundtrip flights between Hawaii and the U.S. mainland through Mid-November. Travel using the special roundtrip fares is good from August 3 through November 18, 2010, with the exception of the nonstop Maui-Las Vegas flight, which is October 3 through November 18, 2010. Tickets must be purchases on hawaiianairlines.com by July 31.