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Photos: U.S. Flyers Fee'd Up With Checked Bags Charges, but Will Soar for Savings
54 Percent Call Checked Bags the Most Annoying Airline Expense; 90 Percent Would Take a Spontaneous Trip in '09 for a Great Airfare Deal

TripAdvisor(R), the world's most popular and largest travel community, today announced its airline and airports survey of more than 1,500 U.S. respondents. Fifty-one percent of travelers plan to fly between one to four times in the next 12 months, and 45 percent will fly five times or more in the coming year.

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  Fees a Mixed Bag for Travelers

Checked bags are the most annoying airline fee, according to 54 percent of U.S. respondents. Sixty percent of travelers said they factor checked fees into their overall airline ticket price. However, 36 percent have been surprised by the cost of checked baggage fees upon arrival at the airport. Nineteen percent said they always carry-on a bag to avoid additional fees, while 39 percent often do.

Invasion of the Airline Seat Swappers

Fifty-three percent of respondents said they have tried to swap their airline seat for a better one after boarding a flight. Thirty-one percent of travelers get frustrated when another in-flight passenger asks them to switch seats with their travel companion. Eighty-five percent have been asked to switch seats in the past.

When asked about their seating preference, 53 percent of travelers prefer the aisle, while 42 percent would rather have a window seat. Forty percent of travelers said when selecting their seat, they request the emergency exit row.

Ahead of the Class

Sixty-five percent of travelers are aware that flying first or business class allows them to avoid most airline fees. Sixty percent have tasted the high life and flown first class, 43 percent have bumped up to business class and 22 percent have upgraded to a premium seat outside first or business class. When it comes to paying for higher class seats, 63 percent said they received a free upgrade from the airline. The favorite thing about flying in a premium class is the bigger seat, according to 64 percent of travelers.

Flyers Brown Bagging

Only six percent of travelers said they purchase food on a flight. Fifty percent said they typically satisfy their hunger at the airport, and 37 percent bring food from home.

Drawing a Line at the Loo

When asked what factors they would not be willing to endure for a significantly cheaper flight, 75 percent of U.S. respondents pooh-poohed the idea of coin-operated restrooms on planes.

To Err in the Air is Human

Travelers have experienced some unfortunate behavior from their seatmates on flights, below are the lowlights:

  --  44% have experienced loud snoring
  --  25% have experienced obvious intoxication
  --  19% have experienced excessive flatulence
  --  11% have experienced couples that cannot keep their hands off one
  --  9% have experienced vomiting

  Worth Every Penny

Travelers are willing to splurge for a more expensive flight for the following top three factors: Convenient departure/arrival times (69 percent), non-stop flights (67 percent), and good experiences with the airline in the past (44 percent.)

"It's apparent that travelers are frustrated about checked bag charges and are looking for more clarity when it comes to domestic airline fees," said Michele Perry, vice president of global communications for TripAdvisor. "By using TripAdvisor's new flight search and fees estimator, travelers get the whole picture on the cost of a flight and can take advantage of some excellent flight deals to stretch their vacation dollars farther."

About TripAdvisor Media Network

TripAdvisor(R) Media Network, operated by TripAdvisor, LLC, attracts more than 32 million monthly visitors* across 14 popular travel brands: TripAdvisor(R),,,,,,,,,,,, and TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 25 million monthly visitors*, 10 million registered members and 20 million reviews and opinions. Featuring real advice from real travelers, TripAdvisor-branded sites cover 300,000+ hotels and attractions and operate in the U.S. (, the U.K. (, Ireland (, France (, Germany (, Italy (, Spain (, India ( and Japan ( TripAdvisor(R) Media Network provides travel suppliers with graphical advertising opportunities and a cost-per-click marketing platform. Collectively, the sites comprising the TripAdvisor Media Network have won hundreds of awards and accolades from press and industry worldwide. TripAdvisor and the sites comprising the TripAdvisor Media Network are operating companies of Expedia, Inc. .

TripAdvisor and are registered trademarks of TripAdvisor LLC in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners.

(C)2009 TripAdvisor LLC. All rights reserved.

*Source: comScore Media Metrix, July 2008

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SOURCE: TripAdvisor, Inc.

CONTACT: Consumer: Brooke Ferencsik, +1-617-670-6575,