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Online travel sites offering smooth departures for end of summer vacationers, according to Keynote

With summer waning, weary Americans turning to the Web to plan end-of-summer sojourns are finding, for the most part…

With summer waning, weary Americans turning to the Web to plan end-of-summer sojourns are finding, for the most part, the waters calm and the getaway easy. Keynote Systems<.>, the Internet Performance Authority, has been measuring performance and availability of leading travel-related Web sites from July 1-August 1, from airlines to rental car agencies to ticket discounters to hotels.



If you want to get away for a late summer vacation, making your plans online should get you out the door and in the air with relative ease. On average, there was steady baseline performance for all of the sites we monitored, said Roopak Patel, benchmarking product manager at Keynote. However, on many of the sites, there were spikes and some degraded performance, so for those visitors at those times, getting off the ground was not as easy.



Airlines — Each of the airlines monitored — American, Delta and United — had relatively fast performance time (the difference between the three averaged a little over one second) and availability. American Airlines had one major spike during the time tested — from a steady performance of just less than two seconds, AA rose to a high of 19.18 seconds at 10 a.m. on July 2. Performance resumed to its typical level by 11 a.m. This spike could have been related to pre-July 4 last minute ticketing or flight checking. Delta also had some degraded service — on July 9 content errors caused performance to rise to 14.65 seconds at 1 p.m. and on July 26 there were content errors on all pages downloaded from 7-9 p.m.



Travel-Related Web Sites — Travelers buying tickets through travel-related sites found little turbulence — Expedia, Priceline and Travelocity all had performance averages below four seconds and availability above 99%. Expedia did experience two spikes — one on July 15, a performance degradation from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a high of 25.40 second performance at 4 p.m. and availability of only 90%, and on July 29 a high of 26.52 seconds for a page download.



Rental Car AgenciesAvis‘ site drove smoother than National‘s for average performance for the month, but both performed within acceptable ranges. National’s site performance soared to 9.94 seconds at 4 p.m. on July 10, but by 8 p.m. was back down to normal level. During this time, the site remained at 100% availability.



Hotels — Checking on room availability at two of the major hotel chains, Marriott and Sheraton, was quick, with performance at both sites averaging less than 2.50 seconds and availability averaging near 99%.



Destinations — One specific destination site was monitored — DisneyWorld. Mickey has had better months as the site exhibited spiky performance, fluctuating between two-second performance and five-second performance to load a page on a typical day. Starting on July 12 at 9 a.m., availability declined to around 75%. This level maintained until July 16 at 5 p.m. when the site regained its near perfect availability.





Travel Related Sites



July 1-August 1, 2002 – Averages


Source: Keynote, The Internet Performance Authority(R).



Keynote has been measuring these sites 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from multiple Internet backbones in 25 major metropolitan areas in the U.S. from July 1 – August 1, 2002. Measurements are taken using high-bandwidth connections. Results for this report are based on more than 1,000,000 measurements for all sites.

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