Archive for Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Holiday Travel: Airlines, airports brace for annual onslaught

Terminals in the Kansas City International Airport is expected to be teeming with travelers this Thanksgiving holiday. The airport is taking special precautions and offering tips for its holiday travelers.

Terminals in the Kansas City International Airport is expected to be teeming with travelers this Thanksgiving holiday. The airport is taking special precautions and offering tips for its holiday travelers.

November 15, 2011, 2:44 p.m.

Updated: November 16, 2011, 12:00 a.m.

Dean Headley, Airline Quality Rating co-author and marketing professor at Wichita State University, talks about air travel during the upcoming holidays.

Q: What’s the forecast for air travel going into the holiday travel season?

A: Air travel will cost more, but if you can find a seat, it may be operating better.

Q: Are ticket prices that much higher compared to years past?

A: Tickets may appear to be reasonable to slightly higher, but when the fees hit you, you truly feel that the overall cost of travel has gone up. Maybe a year ago the average price was $350, but with $75 in fees, that ticket seems noticeably more expensive.

Q: What airlines have the best Air Quality Rating?

A: Hawaiian was best in on-time performance. Jet Blue was best in avoiding denied boardings. Air Tran was best in baggage handling. Southwest had the lowest rate of customer complaints.

Q: What were the worst?

A: Comair had the worst on-time performance. American Eagle had the worst rate of denied boardings. American Eagle also had the highest rate of mishandled baggage. Delta had the highest rate of customer complaints.

Q: What advice do you give to people who want to fly during the holidays?

A: The best bet for the consumer is to travel as early before the actual holiday or as late as possible afterward, and always leave room for schedule changes.

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