Travel industry paying close attention to customer frustrations

POSTED: Saturday, May 26, 2012 - 5:00am

UPDATED: Saturday, May 26, 2012 - 5:04am

A new survey finds Americans are frustrated with high airline fees, but have taken for granted that gas prices are going to remain high.

The new summer travel survey by consulting firm Deloitte found 31 percent of respondents still plan to hit the road this holiday weekend.

That's up about seven percent from last year.

Holiday travelers taking to the air seem to be changing the way they pack.

The survey says 43 percent use carry on luggage more frequently to try to save on baggage fees.

In fact, airline fees in general were the top complaint in survey.

Even so, empty airline seats are likely to be rare through the summer.

"Airline tickets in general are still very inexpensive when you consider where you are going around the country and how you can fly place to place for a relatively inexpensive amount," says Deloitte vice chairman Adam Weissenberg.

Weissenberg is in charge of Deloitte's survey.

He says the travel and hospitality industries are trying hard to listen to customer feedback, particularly in social media.

The comment you tweet or post is likely to get acted upon to try to maintain a competitive edge.

"Any time there is a complaint, the hotel industry is just so happy to hear about it because they can address it," he says.

When it comes to choosing a hotel, free breakfast is the most sought after perk, with WiFi a close second.

It's also in demand in the sky.

"Travelers want that, so I think that's going to become much more prevalent on all the airlines," Weissenberg predicts.

An airline trade association group says domestic air travel should remain flat this summer, but could be a record breaker for international travel.

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