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“High Fliers Survey” reveals inside tips on travel heading into the summer

Summer is certainly an exciting time for the leisure traveler but can often be stressful for the business traveler as lines are longer and filled with less experienced travelers. Plus there are fewer choices when it comes to flight availability.

In light of this, I thought I’d share Expedia’s High Fliers’ Survey, as reported in the Wall Street Journal. Perhaps their inside tips can help make your summer travel season a bit more enjoyable.

Some of America’s most beloved airports also rank among the most despised: both Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL) and Chicago’s O’Hare International (ORD) topped the list of favorite and least favorite airports. New York-area airports fared poorly; both John F. Kennedy (JFK) and LaGuardia (LGA) made the least favorite top five, while Newark Liberty International (EWR) was cited as offering the worst food and beverage options. JFK did crack the top five among “Best Food & Beverage,” however. The 2014 High Fliers’ choices include:

Favorite Airports:

  1. Atlanta (ATL)
  2. Denver (DEN)
  3. Chicago (ORD)
  4. Dallas (DFW)
  5. Orlando (MCO)

Least Favorite Airports:

  1. Atlanta (ATL)
  2. Chicago (ORD)
  3. Houston (IAH – Bush)
  4. New York (JFK)
  5. New York (LGA)

Best Food & Beverage:

  1. Atlanta (ATL)
  2. Chicago (ORD)
  3. Dallas (DFW)
  4. New York (JFK)
  5. San Francisco (SFO)

Worst Food & Beverage:

  1. Los Angeles (LAX)
  2. New York (LGA)
  3. Atlanta (ATL)
  4. Las Vegas (LAS)
  5. New York (EWR)

Business or Pleasure?

63% of High-Fliers said that going on vacation is more important now than it was two years ago. Las Vegas, New York and San Francisco share top billing as stellar destinations for food and drink, and rank highly for serious travelers as both business and leisure destinations.

Best Destinations for Leisure:

  1. Las Vegas, NV
  2. Hawaii (The Big Island)
  3. San Francisco, CA
  4. New York, NY
  5. Orlando, FL

Best Destinations for Business:

  1. New York, NY
  2. Chicago, IL
  3. Washington, DC
  4. Las Vegas, NV
  5. San Francisco, CA

Best Destinations for Food & Drink:

  1. New York, NY
  2. Las Vegas, NV
  3. Chicago, IL
  4. San Francisco, CA
  5. New Orleans, LA

When asked the most important factors when making travel arrangements or while traveling, High-Fliers cited:

  1. Hotel room cleanliness (89%)
  2. Good customer service (81%)
  3. Privacy of online information (80%)
  4. Saving money for leisure travel (73%)
  5. Free wireless internet (63%)
  6. Hotel location (66%)
  7. Loyalty programs (42%)
  8. Ability to manage travel itineraries via mobile device (32%)
  9. Ability to get travel alerts on mobile device (31%)
  10. Hotel Upgrade Option (28%)
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What to Do on Your Layover–Airports Aren’t Just For Changing Planes Anymore

I can still remember the day I took my first flight. I was about seventeen years old and flew United Airlines from Flint, Michigan to Colorado Springs, Colorado to visit my brother who was in the Army.

Our layover was in Chicago and I had three hours to kill before I had to make my connection. Back then (this was 1972, mind you) there really weren’t very many choices along the concourses. I remember waking past two or three bookstores, a few fast food restaurants, and a couple of ice cream shops. And of course there were a few of the typical souvenir shops trying to sell Chicago trinkets to any traveler that walked by. I quickly decided where to eat for lunch and then headed to my gate. To my amazement, I still had two hours to wait so I opened up a book to pass the time. It was also a good opportunity to people watch.

It’s been quite a few years since that first flight and airports sure have changed–or rather, evolved–over the years. Now, if time permits, you can enjoy a nice, sit down meal at some of the finer restaurants. There are electronics stores where you can purchase the lastest gizmos and gadgets. There are also stores where you can purchase some of the comforts of home, like that neck pillow or phone charger you left sitting on the kitchen counter. Most airports now offer Wi-Fi and some of the larger airports even have spa services, sleeping and shower facilities, or just a place to relax away from the crowds.

If you’re curious as to some of the best (and worst) airports around the world and what they offer, you can find a full airport guide HERE.

You can also find a list of the world’s best airport amenities (like wedding services, concerts, and shoe shines!) HERE.

If anything, it makes for some interesting reading while you’re waiting for your next connecting flight!