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What We Do in Hotels When No One's
Looking: "Hotel Habits" Survey

Orbitz's Survey Reveals Americans' Sneaky Vacation Behavior

Chicago, IL (April 26, 2004) -- We throw our towels on the floor, we eat in bed and we leave the television blaring when we're not in the room.  We sneak things into - and out of - our rooms, and we don't always tip.  No, we're not rude houseguests, we're Americans on vacation, as revealed in a recent survey by the popular travel website Orbitz on what we do in hotels when no one's looking. This summer, nearly three out of five of people who have ever stayed in a hotel for leisure (59%) plan to do so again.  What will we be doing behind closed doors?

According to the Orbitz "Hotel Habits" Survey, 52% of adult Americans who have stayed in a hotel for leisure do things in a hotel that they don't normally do at home, like throwing towels on the floor (25%), using more towels than necessary since they don't have to do the laundry (24%), eating in bed (19%) or leaving the television on when not in the room (13%).  Other hotel-specific activities included ordering pay-per-view movies (10%), taking a bath (7%) and other miscellaneous activities they reserve for out-of-their-home behavior (10%).

"People vacationing in a hotel want to escape from every-day responsibilities whether they're staying in a five star hotel or a motor inn," said John Samuel, Orbitz Executive Vice President for Consumer Travel. "Orbitz makes it easy for consumers to find the hotel that has what's important for their stay, from a pool for the kids, to room service for couples, or even a business center on site so they can stay in touch with the office."

As for sneaking things out of hotel rooms, it's no surprise that 61% of people nab the toiletries, but almost 20% of respondents have or have considered taking the toiletries off the housekeeping cart when the housekeeper isn't looking.  Seems as though males ages 18 - 35 confuse the housekeeping cart with the shopping cart, as 32% of this demographic - almost one in three - admitted to taking or considering taking toiletries off the housekeeping cart.  Other "souvenirs" include towels (18%), ashtrays (14%), bathrobes (2%) and bathmats (2%).

The survey also reveals what Americans have snuck into hotel rooms, including extra people (29%), cigarettes in a non-smoking room (12%) and pets (11%).  How many people can you fit in one bed?  Ask the 52% of 18 - 34 year olds who have snuck extra people into their hotel rooms.  Some hotel guests are less likely to pull the sheets over the check-in desk's eyes - such as married people; only 19% of whom have snuck extra people in as compared to 48% of singles.

Other Key Findings from the Orbitz "Hotel Habits" Survey:

  • Who's poolhopping on the prowl?  30% of males ages 18 - 34 are, and admitted to sneaking or considering sneaking into the pool at another hotel to check out the scene.
  • Hungry?  68% of respondents never touch the minibar.
  • One in three (33%) of respondents have brought their own alarm clocks to a hotel because they don't trust that the wake-up call will get them out of bed. 
  • They trust the staff to let them back in their room, though, as almost the same percentage (31%) admitted to locking themselves out of their hotel room, and needing assistance to get back in. Back to the question, did they tip for that assistance?

Harris Interactive(R) fielded the ten-question study from April 8-12, 2004, via its QuickQuerySM online omnibus service, interviewing a nationwide sample of 2,745 U.S. adults (aged 18+), of whom 2,494 have ever stayed in a hotel for a leisure trip.  In theory, with a probability sample of this size, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the results have a statistical precision of plus or minus 3 percentage points of what they would be if the entire population of adults who have ever stayed in a hotel for a leisure trip had been polled with complete accuracy.  This is not a probability sample. Data were weighted to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity and for their propensity to be online.

About Orbitz

Orbitz, Inc. became a publicly traded company on Dec. 17, 2003, when its shares were listed on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol ORBZ.  Orbitz is a leading online travel company that enables travelers to search for and purchase a broad array of travel products, including airline tickets, lodging, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages.  Since launching its website in June 2001, Orbitz has become the third largest online travel site based on gross travel bookings.  On Orbitz, consumers can search more than 455 airlines, as well as rates at over 45,000 lodging properties and at 23 car rental companies.  For more information, visit

About Harris Interactive(R)

Harris Interactive ( is a worldwide market research and consulting firm best known for The Harris Poll(R), and for pioneering the Internet method to conduct scientifically accurate market research. Headquartered in Rochester, New York, Harris Interactive combines proprietary methodologies and technology with expertise in predictive, custom and strategic research. The Company conducts international research from its U.S. offices and through wholly owned subsidiaries--London-based HI Europe (, Paris-based Novatris and Tokyo-based Harris Interactive Japan--as well as through the Harris Interactive Global Network of independent market- and opinion-research firms.

Statements in this press release regarding Orbitz that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements and are subject to risks, assumptions and uncertainties that could cause such statements to differ materially from actual future events or results. 

Terri Shank
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