A new study found that customer satisfaction with travel apps and websites favors online travel agencies and other digital platforms instead of legacy hotel, airline and rental car brands.
According to the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Travel App Satisfaction Study, all travel industry websites scored substantially lower in customer satisfaction than the high-scoring websites in other industries, such as credit cards.
The study revealed overall satisfaction with travel apps is lowest for airline apps, which an average score of 854 on a 1,000-point scale. This compares with an average score of 872 for overall credit card customer satisfaction.
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The information collected by J.D. Power also found that overall satisfaction with hotel, airline, rental car and OTA websites is substantially lower than those of credit card, banking and insurance industry websites.
“Travel apps and websites have become primary conduits through which consumers experience travel, such as searching for a hotel, booking a rental car and getting real-time flight status updates,” J.D. Power Travel Intelligence Lead Michael Taylor said in a statement. “Given the crucial role they play, many travel apps and websites are still too complex for consumers to navigate and do not offer the most helpful information at the right time.”
“One hotel website, for example, requires 29 separate actions across five different pages to make a reservation,” Taylor continued. “That’s not good enough when customers are experiencing simple, elegant, seamless experiences in their banking and credit card apps and websites.”
As for what customers like when dealing with travel apps or websites, satisfaction substantially increases when making a reservation was quicker than expected, but only around 20 percent of respondents reported a quicker-than-expected reservation experience.
As for the actual travel app rankings, JetBlue ranked highest in overall satisfaction among airlines with a score of 872. IHG topped the hotel apps category, Orbitz ranked highest among OTA apps and Avis earned the No. 1 spot among rental car apps.
In terms of travel website rankings, Southwest Airlines, Choice Hotels, Booking.com and National all topped their respective categories.