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WSU Newsline: Airline Quality Rating 2011 holiday travel forecast
Wednesday, October 5, 2011 9:00 AM

The scripts are available for printing and for sound bite identification.

Go to http://www.wichita.edu/newsline to get the current Wichita State University Newsline. If you cannot access the Newsline at the Web address above, contact Joe Kleinsasser at (316) 978-3013 or cell (316) 204-8266 or joe.kleinsasser@wichita.edu. Newsline cuts may be edited to suit your needs.

If you have additional questions for Dean Headley after listening to the WSU Newsline, please contact him at (316) 978-3367 or dean.headley@wichita.edu. 

Background:

The season of turkey, snow and mistletoe also is the season of flight delays, overcrowded airports and flight cancellations. Dean Headley, co-author of the national Airline Quality Rating from Wichita State University, says travelers on U.S. airlines have reason to be concerned this holiday travel season.

Voice wrap:

Announcer: The season of turkey, snow and mistletoe also is the season of flight delays, overcrowded airports and flight cancellations. Dean Headley, co-author of the national Airline Quality Rating from Wichita State University, says travelers on U.S. airlines have reason to be concerned this holiday travel season.

Headley: "This holiday season has the possibility of being better, but on the outset it's most likely the most hassled time of year to travel. More people fly. Want to be somewhere at a certain time; that always presents problems for people."

Announcer: Although there are few guarantees when it comes to holiday travel, Headley advises booking flights early and leaving some room for schedule changes. This is Joe Kleinsasser at Wichita State University.

Sound bite #1

Headley offers some tips on having a better holiday travel experience. The sound bite is 19 seconds and the outcue is "probably will happen."

Headley: "Maybe things will be better if you proactively book early. Leave a little room for schedule changes. I do think the airlines have a better chance now of being on time with fewer flights in the air, so book early and plan for some schedule changes, because they probably will happen." 

Sound bite #2

Headley says weather and canceled flights are two potential problems facing airline passengers. The sound bite is 20 seconds and the outcue is "that will be a problem."

Headley: "During the holiday season we always have weather. It's a hit or miss proposition, so weather is always a big factor. The process when a flight is canceled, which inevitably happens, there's no room for error. There's no other plane in 30 minutes to book you on, so be prepared for delays. That will be a problem." 

Sound bite #3

Headley says flying during the holidays will likely hit travelers in the pocketbook. The sound bite is 20 seconds and the outcue is "has to be added in."

Headley: "Air travel is certainly costing more than it has. The flight numbers have been restricted. The number of seats available is restricted. When that happens, prices can go up. Not only do you have higher ticket prices, sometimes noticeably higher ticket prices, you also have the inevitable ancillary fees — fees for bags, for pillows or food or whatever it may be. That has to be added in. 

Sound bite #4

Headley says booking early and flying on the holiday are a couple of tips for air travelers. The sound bite is 21 seconds and the outcue is "happen as planned."

Headley: "My suggestion is book early, and try not to fly on the day right before like, say, Thanksgiving. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after Thanksgiving are the two busiest travel days of the year. Go on Thanksgiving Day and the Saturday after. Get a little off peak if you would. Your travel experience will be far more likely to happen as planned."

Sound bite #5

Headley says the question is how much air travelers are willing to pay and tolerate travel hassles during the holidays to see family and friends. The sound bite is 20 seconds and the outcue is "think I'll stay home."

Headley: "Flying at the holidays is driven by mostly emotional or family reasons. At some point those get overridden by the hassle of it and the price. And depending on what your experience was last year and maybe your travel experiences during the year, you may make the choice to say, 'It's just not worth it this time. It's too much money, too much trouble. I think I'll stay home.'"

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Contact: Dean Headley, (316) 978-3367 or dean.headley@wichita.edu.