Oprah, Julia Roberts Most Desired Seatmates Among Star-struck Air Travelers

More Than a Third of American Adults Desire a Valentine’s Day Getaway; One in Four Men Don’t Plan to Give a Gift to a Valentine

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ — Does sitting next to an attractive stranger make air travel less mundane? For many American adults, the answer is yes.

A recent survey by discount travel site Hotwire.com of American adults found that 40 percent feel that being seated next to an attractive stranger makes the flight more interesting. More than half of men (53 percent), compared to one in four women (27 percent), responded that it would add intrigue to their flight.

When it comes to celebrities, Americans love coffee talk with the queen of daytime TV. Among a list of seven celebrities, almost a third (32 percent) would prefer to sit and chat with icon Oprah Winfrey while in flight. Julia Roberts also ranked high, with 20 percent of both men and women selecting the pretty woman as their ideal seatmate.

What other celebrities would Americans most like to share peanuts and leg room with?

– Laughter is the best medicine and as such, 14 percent stated that they’d like to sit next to comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

– Veteran “Sexiest Man Alive” George Clooney proved more popular among women than current heartthrob Jude Law. More than one in 10 women (13 percent) chose Clooney, with just five percent opting for Law.

– Men under 35 were torn between business, laughter and pleasure; 21% chose Jerry Seinfeld, 19 percent chose Jessica Simpson, while leading ladies Oprah and Julia Roberts each received 15 percent of votes, and 14 percent opted for Donald Trump.

Attractive strangers and celebrities aside, many Americans are hoping to share a window view with their special valentine this year. According to the Hotwire survey, an out-of-town getaway is the most desired Valentine’s Day gift among five options offered, with 35 percent of respondents desiring a vacation with their valentine. A dinner for two (23 percent) or a night’s stay in a romantic hotel (13 percent) were the second and third most popular choices.

Surprisingly, many Americans aren’t listening to their hearts. While an out-of-town getaway was the most desired gift to receive, dinner for two (34 percent) and candy and/or flowers (21 percent) are the most popular gifts Americans plan to give their significant others. And women beware, 25 percent of men won’t give a Valentine’s Day gift at all!

It’s not too late to give the gift of travel. In fact, customers will often find that the price of a four-star hotel room on Hotwire is less than the cost of a romantic dinner for two. For those considering an extended weekend escape, a dreamy stay at a hotel with their sweetheart, or a solo getaway in search of a valentine, Hotwire offers great values on vacation deals and hotels this month. Hotwire offers some of the best hotel rates available, with savings of up to 60 percent off hotel rooms, including rates found on hotel web sites or leading online travel agencies.

Below are examples of discount hotel rooms and vacation packages recently booked on Hotwire:

– $295 Hotel St. Marie (3-Star) New Orleans — Three nights hotel and flight from Washington, D.C.

– $441 Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa (3.5-Star) Orlando — Seven nights hotel and flight from Las Vegas

– $448 Miramar Mision Cancun (3-Star) Cancun, Mexico — Four nights hotel and flight from Austin, Texas

– $475 Shelter Pointe Hotel & Marina (3-Star) San Diego — Six nights hotel and flight from Chicago

– $476 Hyatt Regency McCormick Place (4-Star) Chicago — Three nights hotel and flight from Ontario, Calif.

– $647 Embassy Suites San Francisco Airport-South San Francisco (3.5- Star) San Francisco — Seven nights and hotel from Denver

— $49/night 3-Star hotel, Phoenix – Metro Center, Glendale
— $51/night 3.5-Star hotel, Atlanta – Hartsfield International Airport
— $69/night 3.5-Star hotel, San Diego – Downtown, Harbor Island
— $73/night 4-Star hotel, San Francisco – Fisherman’s Wharf
— $82/night 4-Star hotel, New Orleans – French Quarter

Whether you are planning an out-of-town getaway or a local retreat, Hotwire’s discount hotel rates are backed by the industry’s most aggressive guarantee. Find a lower rate within 48 hours of booking, and Hotwire will refund double the difference. For more information, visit www.hotwire.com.

All prices shown are actual bookings made on Hotwire between January 11 – January 24, for travel between February 11 and February 16, 2005. Vacation packages are per-person with double occupancy and roundtrip air. Packages shown include all taxes and fees, while hotel rates do not. All bookings are nonchangeable and nonrefundable. Because prices change all the time, Hotwire customers are encouraged to check prices for themselves.


Harris Interactive(R) fielded the study from January 20-24, 2005, via its QuickQuery(SM) online omnibus, interviewing a nationwide sample of 2,688 U.S. adults (aged 18 and over). Data were weighted to reflect the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online. In theory, with a probability sample of this size, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the results for the overall sample have a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Sampling errors for the following sub-sample results: men (1,336), women (1,352), and men under 35 years of age (413) are higher and vary. The online sample was not a probability sample.

About Harris Interactive(R)

Harris Interactive Inc. (www.harrisinteractive.com), the 15th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world, is a Rochester, N.Y.-based global research company that blends premier strategic consulting with innovative and efficient methods of investigation, analysis and application. Known for The Harris Poll(R) and for pioneering Internet-based research methods, Harris Interactive conducts proprietary and public research to help its clients achieve clear, material and enduring results.

Harris Interactive combines its intellectual capital, databases and technology to advance market leadership through U.S. offices and wholly owned subsidiaries: London-based HI Europe (www.hieurope.com), Paris-based Novatris (www.novatris.com), Tokyo-based Harris Interactive Japan, through newly acquired WirthlinWorldwide (www.wirthlinworldwide.com), a Reston, Virginia-based research and consultancy firm ranked 25th largest in the world, and through an independent global network of affiliate market research companies. EOE M/F/D/V

About Hotwire

Hotwire.com is a leading discount travel site with consistently lower prices on airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. Launched in 2000, Hotwire negotiates deep discounts from its travel suppliers to help distribute their excess inventory. Hotwire is a wholly owned business of IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI) . For more information, visit www.hotwire.com.

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