WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — The percentage of travelers making online airline, rental car, and hotel reservations has increased 15 percentage points during the past year, according to a survey by J.D. Powers and Associates.
But bookings for independent travel websites have increased by only 1 percentage point since 2007, according to the survey, in its fourth year.
The survey found that overall, 70% of travel reservations were booked online in 2008, up from 53% in 2007. But only 16% were made through independent travel websites. Consumers who booked travel using an independent website also reported being less satisfied compared with 2007.
Sites run by airlines, rental car companies, and hotels often guarantee lowest prices, which makes them attractive for consumers.
Prices contributed to the decrease in customer satisfaction with independent travel websites, but so did problems with excessive content, pop-ups and having to download new software in order to book, the survey found.
For a third consecutive year, Hotwire.com ranked highest among independent travel websites, followed by Priceline.com.
Source: Associated Press, USA Today