Is the travel industry thinking small or just being small-minded?

True story: US Airways, which has been in the news this week for announcing it will add first class service to its smallest planes, sent frequent flier Margery Wilson the following apology late yesterday.

Earlier this week, we inadvertently delivered an email message to many of our Dividend Miles members’ email accounts. Unfortunately, one of those accounts was yours. Worse, this email incorrectly stated that we posted 1,000 Dividend Miles into your account. This was not accurate and the email message was sent in error.

We apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused you and appreciate your understanding.

Wilson thought it was a belated April Fool’s joke. “If it wasn’t such a paltry amount I might be upset,” she said.
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Need an airline ticket? Surprisingly, “meta” search is where most travelers start

Conventional wisdom says most airfare searches start at an online travel agency or airline website.

But the conventional wisdom could be wrong.

Asked where they begin a ticket query, a new survey points to so-called “meta” search sites such as Hipmunk.com, Kayak.com and Mobissimo.com, which cull fares from multiple airlines and online agencies and then display the choices.

A slim plurality of travelers polled in a new Consumer Travel Alliance survey (37 percent) say they click on a meta-search site first. Another 35 percent begin with the airlines’ own websites, such as AA.com and Delta.com.

About 1 in 5 travelers go directly to an online agency, while only 7 percent call a travel agent and 2 percent visit a search engine like Google or Bing.
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