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CHICAGO – When asked in a recent survey how they save on hotels, 34 percent of respondents replied they join hotel loyalty programs; in a similar survey conducted in 2012, just 25 percent of respondents checked this option.

The surveys were conducted by GO Airport Express, which provides airport shuttles to and from O’Hare International Airport and Midway Airport, and GO Airport Shuttle, an international transportation provider. More than 620 people participated in the 2012 survey while 690 participated in 2016. Respondents were allowed to provide multiple answers.

Online comparison sites also saw an increase from 26 percent to 30 percent, but the most popular option used is still booking rooms far in advance, with 45 percent reporting this method in 2016 compared with 43 percent in 2012. 

Using membership discounts, such as AAA and AARP to reduce hotel costs remained steady at 31 percent.  There also were no changes in percentages of people relying on their employers for negotiated corporate rates, which was 16 percent in both surveys; traveling during off peak times and using frequent flyer points for hotel rooms were at twelve percent. Seven percent noted they look for last minute deals while 12 percent don’t use any strategies at all to save on hotels.  Almost seven percent of respondents in both years checked they use all options listed in the survey.  

Write-in suggestions included using government and military discounts and discounted rates offered through convention sites.  Also, several commented on their use of home-sharing programs such as Airbnb which were not as well known in 2012.

“Travers are willing to give their repeat business to hotels offering the best deals,” says John McCarthy, president, GO Airport Express. “But savvy travelers are exploring all their options to save on accommodations.”

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