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November 07, 2008

Questions About Readers' Choice Awards

Since our November issue hit stands, Condé Nast Traveler has received a lot of feedback--fan mail, questions, complaints, and everything in between--on our Readers' Choice Awards results. In the current spirit of democracy, the DT will be posting some of these letters and answering your questions.

Here's one: "I was just wondering how you choose the hotels and resorts in your top picks--is there a way to nominate our favorite places? I've noticed that the Honor Mansion, an inn in Healdsburg, California, has never been in your top picks, but it is one of my absolute favorites."

To answer: If you can imagine, we polled more than 9,000 properties this year. We try to be as inclusive as possible and cover everyone. But with the hospitality industry moving at the speed of sound, we can't always keep up. This is where our readers come in. Since you are the most savvy travelers around, we rely on you to tell us what we've missed. That's why we always include the option to write-in any properties or destinations that you loved so they can be included in next year's poll. We've just added the Honor Mansion to the 2009 survey. Thanks for the tip!

Do you have a question, response, or rant about any of the properties, destinations,  or modes of transportation featured in the Readers' Choice Awards? If so, post a comment. We'd love to hear from you.

Check out our methodology after the jump.

Since we received a number of methodology questions, here goes:

Every year since 1988, a sample of Condé Nast Traveler readers have taken the Readers' Choice Survey. In 2008, the questionnaire was available to all readers through a secure Web site. The final tabulations of 32,633 responses were done by Mediamark Research, Inc., of New York City.

Questionnaires contained lists of candidates (individual cities, hotels, airlines, etc.). Only candidates that received a required minimum number of responses were deemed eligible for an award.

Each candidate was rated, criterion by criterion, on a five-point scale: excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor. Criterion scores, which represent the percentage of respondents rating a candidate excellent or very good, were averaged to determine the final score--e.g., in the category of Islands, Maui's 89.5 is the average of its scores for Activities, Atmosphere/Ambience, Beaches, Friendliness, Lodging, Restaurants, and Scenery.


A word of warning about Hertz car rental at Charlotte NC Airport. On Sunday May 3 I arrived to return my car, with ample time to make my flight. I was flying to Europe, with a connection in Philadelphia.
The return process was unusually slow, as there was only one young man checking the cars, but I had it finished and was checked out a full one hour before my flight time which was 5.50. Just as I was walking to the bus stop, the bus left for the terminal, but knowing that the bus trip to the airport takes only about five minutes, I was not worried.
Little did I know, however, that the next bus would not arrive for another TWENTY-FIVE minutes. During this time, as I was getting increasingly worried, I complained to the counter staff. One woman was quite rude, and showed no interest in helping me. I asked her to call the bus drivers and see what was the delay, but she wouldn't. I suggested that a Hertz employee drive me and another passenger who was in a similar situation to the airport, but she refused.

In short, the next bus arrived, 25 minutes after the previous one had departed. This is in contrast to stated Hertz advertising, which promises a regular bus availablity from rental Return to Terminal. the bus driver told me that he was the ONLY one working that afternoon.

I missed my flight, costing me in excess of $300, not to mention really bad stress and tension.

I have asked Hertz to reimburse me, but they refuse.

What should I do?

click to post a comment >

About this blog
The editors at Conde Nast Traveler answer questions and share travel secrets, tips, and dispatches

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