What bugs you most about traveling? If it’s airline luggage charges, add-on airline ticket fees and rude treatment from staff or all of the above you’re right in line with fellow traveler complaints, according to a recent Consumer Reports survey.
In a national study conducted in January, Consumer Reports asked 2,000 Americans to score three lists of travel gripes covering rental-cars, airlines, and hotels on a 1-to-10 scale, with a 1 equaling an experience that “does not annoy you at all” and a 10 meaning it “annoys you tremendously.”
Luggage charges (8.4) ranked as the worst complaint overall with respondents, followed by airline ticket fees (8.1) and rude or unhelpful staff at rental-car companies (7.9), hotels (7.8) and airlines (7.7).
The complete report on how Americans ranked all annoyances is available at www.ConsumerReports.org.
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 less annoying that some other irritants. Many people give crying babies and unruly kids (4.9) on planes a pass and have apparently 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 sufficient: 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).
Nothing bugs me more than rude employees. The other day I tried to rent a car but the one-man-band staff could not be bothered to tell me how long I would have to wait for service (I had waited 10 minutes by the time I asked) nor tell me what types of cars were available until my turn came up. But a close second is the extra fees, like charging me more to drink a bottle of water or to connect onto WiFi. These are things that should be provided by a good host, especially when the guest already forked over hundreds of dollars for a ticket and the right to carry luggage.