Consumers prefer airline websites for travel booking, survey shows

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The Independent Travel

A new survey has suggested that despite the growth of "meta-search" websites to find travel deals, when it comes to booking online, we prefer to go straight to the airlines.

A new survey has suggested that despite the growth of "meta-search" websites to find travel deals, when it comes to booking online, we prefer to go straight to the airlines.

The Frost & Sullivan study, which looked at the travel habits of 1,000 US consumers, found that whilst many of us are happy to browse for deals on price comparison sites such as Expedia, Orbitz or Travelocity, the largest proportion will then switch websites and book direct with the carrier.

The statistics showed that 47 percent of respondents book flights using commercial airline websites, compared to 36 percent of individuals that use a travel website.

That's despite 60 percent of bookers doing their research on travel websites, slightly more than the 57 percent that researched using commercial airline websites.

Those that opted to book via a travel site did so because the site offered better prices or more flight options, according to Frost and Sullivan's research.

The study also brought further bad news for traditional "bricks and mortar" travel businesses - while 12 percent used them as information sources, only four percent would book with an offline travel agency.

The findings mirror data released last year by food and travel surveyor Zagat, which suggested that 8 percent of today's flight bookings are conducted using travel agents, falling from 17 percent in 2007 and almost a quarter four years ago.

http://www.frost.com/

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