US buses heralded as air travel hassle rises

A new report documenting the increasing hassles that come regularly with airline travel should serve as a consumer reminder that the ease of traveling via motorcoach is a logical alternative, the American Bus Association said. The annual “Airline Quality Rating” report released April 2 shows rising numbers of delayed and canceled flights, lost luggage, bumped passengers and other problems that have fueled growing customer dissatisfaction with flying.

“The facts researched and verified in this report shouldn’t lead to more finger-pointing, but rather a new surge of interest in alternatives to flying,” said American Bus Association President Peter J. Pantuso. “Motorcoaches now offer upscale amenities including airline-style seating, personal climate control, audio and visual entertainment options, and excellent value for the consumer’s travel dollar. And you can keep your shoes and belts on along with your cell phone. But we don’t offer any middle seats.”

Pantuso noted that for long-distance, time-conscious business travelers, airlines still have an obvious advantage. But for shorter trips, particularly within 200-400 miles, consumers have alternatives to airline travel that are less costly, and which can be time-competitive and comparatively free of many airport headaches.

“Consumers don’t have to be resigned to the idea that traveling is an automatic source of stress,” Pantuso added. “Motorcoach operators and their professional drivers still believe in the concept that part of the fun in traveling is enjoying the journey.”

With fare hikes looming for airline tickets, Pantuso emphasized that consumers have better reasons than ever to choose motorcoach travel. “The travelers still have the power of choice, even if events sometimes make them feel powerless,” Pantuso said. “Travelers can choose to take their business to a competitor. Give motorcoaches a chance to earn your business through old- fashioned customer service.”

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The American Bus Association is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry with more than 1000 motorcoach owner and tour company members in the United States and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,600 members are travel and tourism organizations and suppliers of bus products and services who work in partnership with the North American motorcoach industry. Visit http://www.buses.org for more information.
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