Frustration with traveling drops in 08

By Golf Channel NewsroomJanuary 14, 2009, 5:00 pm
RICHMOND, Va. ' Frustration with traveling has dropped off sharply, according to the latest installment of Access Americas Travel Frustration Index, a quarterly barometer of travelers angst. The results of the latest survey, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs in December 2008, reveal that Americans consternation with just about all aspects of travel dropped significantly when compared to data collected earlier last year, as well as during the same period in 2007.
 
A familiar resident at the top of the list of frustrations for travelers is the cost of gas. More than half (51%) of Americans say they find this aspect of travel frustrating. However, that number is down a staggering 35 points since August of 2008, and 27 points from the same period in 2007.
 
It appears that frustration with costs have been significantly diffused in the last four months, perhaps because the price of oil is now a fraction of what it was during the summer. In fact, just two in 10 Americans (22%) say that cost issues, specifically gas prices (18%), are the most frustrating aspects of traveling. Compared to December 2007, the proportion of Americans who say theyre most frustrated with the price of gas is down six points and down 13 points from August 2008.
 
The cost of travel, which is greatly impacted by the cost of oil and gas, has been the major source of frustration for the last year, said Mark Cipolletti, vice president for marketing and communications at Access America. But now with cheap gas and airline tickets, consumer frustration has plummeted ' so much in fact that people dont even appear to be upset about baggage fees and the loss of free in-flight amenities.
 
Other aspects of travel that Americans are less frustrated with, compared to a year ago, include airline/airport service (44%, down 10 points), the cost of airline/cruise/train tickets (46%, down 3 points), the cost of lodging or attractions (41%, down 6 points), and homeland security and safety (35%, down 6 points).
 
By creating an index of frustration among those who have traveled in the last three months, Ipsos and Access America have identified the aggregate level of frustration that exists among American travelers. The results have been tallied, and Americans are much less frustrated, overall, than they were a few months ago when it comes to traveling. The index currently registers at 42.6, which is drastically lower than the frustration factor in August of this year (55.1) or even at the end of last year (53.3)
 
The index also allows for comparisons among various demographic groups:
  • Those living in the Northeast (44.6), South (43.6) and Midwest (42.5) are more frustrated with traveling, overall, when compared to those living in the West (39).
  • Those with children (45.5) are considerably more frustrated with traveling than are those without children (40.6).
  • Interestingly, those who are not married (46.0) are more frustrated by travel than are married individuals (41.3).
  • The gap in frustration between business (41.2) and leisure (42.6) travelers has been closed.
     
    Comparing the different modes of traveling, it appears that the calculated level of frustration is still higher when it comes to car travel (score of 44.3) than with air travel (score of 38.4). Car travel appears to be particularly frustrating for those with children (48.8) than for those without (41.3).
     
    Despite a drop in annoyance, fewer Americans report having traveled during the last three months of 2008, compared to the same period of time in 2007. One in ten (10%) say theyve traveled within the last week of taking the survey (down 4 points from a year ago), 8 percent have traveled two to three weeks ago (down 3 points), 8 percent one month ago (down 2 points), and 11 percent two to three months ago (down 2 points).
     
    About the survey:
    These are some of the findings of an Ipsos survey conducted December 4-21, 2008. For the survey, a nationally representative sample of 827 Americans who had traveled in the past three months was interviewed by telephone via Ipsos U.S. Telephone Express omnibus. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within 3.41 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population of adults in the U.S. been surveyed. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/gender composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
     
    About Access America:
    Access America is the consumer travel insurance brand of Mondial Assistance. Access America travel insurance and assistance products are purchased by millions of travelers each year, through leading travel suppliers including resorts, airlines, travel agents and more. Access America and Mondial Assistance are part of the Allianz (NYSE: AZ) family of companies. Visit www.accessamerica.com.

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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.