The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Travelocity Airport Poll Offers Snapshot of the Current Summer Travel Season

Survey Identifies Potential Trouble Spots, Best/Worst Airports and What to Expect While in Transit This Summer

SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 24, 2004–Despite relatively minimal delays reported across the country this past Memorial Day, consumers who traveled at the onset of summer help pinpoint some potential trouble spots and words of advice for July 4 and other summer travelers. With fewer TSA employees on site and new security procedures in place, most airports handled holiday crowds smoothly, while others are still working out the minor kinks, according to Travelocity’s post-Memorial Day poll. While some airports had minor waits, such as Sacramento, travelers in cities like Atlanta may need to prepare for lengthier wait times.

The majority of travelers reported that airports tended to be the busiest with more delays on the return flight home. Most respondents (88 percent) also recommended arriving at the airport 60 minutes or less prior to departure based upon their Memorial Day experiences (despite many airports’ suggestions to arrive earlier). Travelocity’s nationwide airport survey, conducted in June 2004, polled consumers who traveled during the Memorial Day weekend (May 27 – 31, 2004) and complete results can be found at

Travelers reported their experiences from trips through 50 busy U.S. airports (only airports with 30 or more respondents were included in the analysis). Survey results on airports to watch are as follows:

    Top 5 Airports with Shortest Waits at Security Checkpoints:
        Highest percentage who waited 15 minutes or less

        1. Sacramento

        2. San Antonio

        3. Norfolk

        4. Jacksonville

        5. Kansas City

    Bottom 5 Airports at Security Checkpoints: Highest percentage who
        waited 30 minutes or more

        1. Miami

        2. Atlanta

        3. Denver

        4. Phoenix

        5. Washington D.C. (Dulles)

    Top 5 Airports with Shortest Waits at Check-in Counters: Highest
        percentage of travelers who waited 15 minutes or less

        1. Milwaukee

        2. Sacramento

        3. Portland

        4. Providence

        5. Seattle/Tacoma

    Bottom 5 Airports at Check-in Counters: Highest percentage who
        waited 30 minutes or more

        1. Nashville

        2. Norfolk

        3. Miami

        4. San Antonio

        5. Atlanta

    Top 5 Airports with the Fewest Flight Delays

        1. San Diego

        2. Milwaukee

        3. Seattle/Tacoma

        4. Ft. Lauderdale

        5. Tampa/St. Petersburg

    Top 5 Airports with the Most Flight Delays

        1. Atlanta

        2. Chicago O'Hare

        3. Newark

        4. Dallas/Fort Worth

        5. New York La Guardia

“While the TSA continues to make an extremely positive impact on the flow and safety of air travel, weather and other random events that affect air traffic and check-in times can still add to the potential for a travel snafu,” said Amy Ziff, Travelocity editor-at-large. “This survey of actual travelers based on their real experiences helps identify cities that have more hold-ups than others, helping travelers gauge what they’re likely to encounter this summer.”

    Additional survey results included:

    Approximately half of all travelers experienced some sort of
        flight delay with the most reported at Chicago O'Hare, Atlanta
        and Newark airports: While most were minimal (less than one
        hour), almost 20 percent experienced hour or more delays on
        their return trips home. Further breakdowns include:

        1. 13 (departure) - 14 (return trip) percent experienced
            delays up to only 15 minutes

        2. 8 (depart) - 9 (return) percent had delays from 15 - 30

        3. 5 (depart and return) percent from 30 - 45 minutes

        4. 3 (depart) - 4 (return) percent from 45 - 60 minutes

    The vast majority of travelers (70 to 77 percent) waited less than
        15 minutes at check-in counters or getting through security:
        Approximately 18 percent waited 15 - 30 minutes and only about
        6 percent waited 30 - 60 minutes.

    When asked about the security measures in place, almost all (90
        percent) respondents felt that they were reasonable, as
        opposed to being too stringent or too lax: When asked what
        type of additional personal information they would be willing
        to disclose for security purposes, 20 percent would NOT be
        willing to disclose ANY information.

    With the possible release of a security express pass for travelers
        in the near future, the majority said they'd be willing to
        disclose additional personal information if necessary: Most
        (71 percent) would reveal their driver's license numbers and
        one third would release personal biometric data.

Following are some quick tips from Ziff on dealing with delays and preparing for summer based on some of the survey results above. For more travel tips, trends and data, visit

    --  Given that most travelers experienced more delays on the
        return trip during the Memorial Day holiday, consider
        alternate return dates to avoid the crowds heading back to
        work at the same time if you're traveling during a holiday

    --  Be sure to pack something to eat on the plane, or while you
        wait, as flight delays are likely this summer according to the

    --  If you may require medication, be sure to carry it with you in
        your carry-on and have extra dosages should you find yourself
        at the airport or on the plane longer than anticipated.

    --  A fully charged cell phone, extra reading materials, and a
        game or two will come in handy to help pass wait times.

    --  Remember that summertime traffic picks up everywhere,
        especially on the road. So, leave a little extra time to get
        TO the airport and not just to get through the airport.

    About the Travelocity Airport Delay Poll

The Travelocity study was fielded in June 2004 via a survey of Travelocity members who indicated traveling during the Memorial Day weekend (May 27 – 31, 2004). Results were accumulated from more than 2,671 responses received. Additional results can be found at

About Travelocity

Travelocity’s industry-leading technology and straight-talking, honest information help travelers take more rewarding and affordable trips. With 44 million registered users and booking nearly $4 billion of travel in 2003, Travelocity(R) negotiates thousands of low-priced deals with the world’s most reputable travel providers — top airlines, hotels, car rental companies, cruise lines, and other destination attractions and services. Additionally, Travelocity offers deeply-discounted rates for weekend getaways and dynamic packages through its Last Minute Deals and TotalTrip(SM) shopping engines, and provides customer service support over the phone 24 hours a day. Based in Southlake, Texas, Travelocity also operates Travelocity Business for corporate customers, powers international travel Web sites in eight languages, and has been recognized for its consumer advocacy and global leadership in online travel. More information about Travelocity is available at Travelocity is owned by Sabre Holdings Corporation (NYSE:TSG), a world leader in travel commerce. More information about Sabre Holdings is available at

CONTACT: Vollmer Public Relations
Judy Haveson, 212-554-7425
Amanda Borichevsky, 972-488-4790

SOURCE: Travelocity