Surveys REVEAL Rental Car Woes
Enterprise ranked highest on the customer
Two new surveys indicate that consumers are experiencing increasing frustration with the car rental process. The J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Rental Car Satisfaction Study indicates that customer satisfaction with rental cars has declined considerably in the past year. The study measures overall customer satisfaction with renting cars at airports by examining six different factors: costs and fees, pick-up process, rental car, return process, reservation process and shuttle bus. Overall satisfaction has dropped from 767 points on a 1,000-point scale in 2006 to 750 in 2007.
The study also finds that the average reported time that rental car customers wait while picking up or returning their rental car typically exceeds the reported wait times incurred during other parts of the travel experience that are measured by the firm. Rental car customers say they wait an average of 22 minutes to pick up their vehicle, and 14 minutes to return the vehicle, while air travelers report waiting an average of 13 minutes to obtain a boarding pass and check baggage, 15 minutes to go through airport security, and 18 minutes to retrieve checked luggage. Hotel customers report waiting 10 minutes, on average, to check in.
Additionally, new research by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) indicates that a large percentage of U.S. consumers are confused about whether to buy insurance when renting a car. Many people purchase insurance without knowing whether their existing auto policies or credit card benefits are adequate. The survey found that consumers often purchase unnecessary insurance and end up wasting money. Or, they inadvertently underinsure their rental car. More information about rental car insurance is available at the NAIC consumer Web site, www.insureuonline.org.
Letterman Retires from Classic Vacations
Ron Letterman, vice chairman and senior advisor at Classic Vacations, will retire from the company at the end of December.
Letterman began his career with American Express in 1962 as a travel writer. His two stints with American Express spanned a total of 22 years, and concluded with his role as vice president and general manager of inbound U.S. travel. He later served as president of Cove Enterprises, Carlson Travel Network and Global Vacation Group, the previous parent company of Classic Vacations.
Travelport GDS to Offer Southwest Content
Travelport GDS has announced that implementation of Southwest Airlines’ published fares and inventory is completed for Galileo-connected travel agencies who have signed up for access.
“We are delighted to implement access to Southwest Airline’s fares and inventory through Galileo and to provide our customers with unique functionality,” said Jean Collier, vice president, supplier services, Travelport GDS, Americas.
AVC announces Record Q3
America’s Vacation Center (AVC) has announced record sales for the third quarter of 2007. The quarter also marked the highest sales performance per AVC Independent Affiliate thus far. Key to this success is the fact that AVC’s “Wave Season” has exceeded expectations.
“Our Live Leads program continues to expand and we are confident that in 2008 we will be presented with more opportunities to grow. That said, we are committed to adding professional Independent Affiliates to AVC who are serious about making a difference in the way we sell travel,” said Brad Anderson, co-president of AVC.