Digital Apps for Airline, Hotel and Rental Car Play Critical Role in Overall Travel Experience
Travel apps and websites are heavily relied-upon digital tools used by travelers, containing everything from the QR codes used to board the plane to rental car location and digital hotel keys. Despite this critical role, according to the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Travel App Satisfaction StudySM
and the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Travel Website Satisfaction Study,SM
released yesterday, travel industry apps and websites lag behind their counterparts in other industries where J.D. Power measures the digital user experience.
The studies, which have been redesigned since J.D. Power’s last evaluation of travel industry apps and websites in 2019, measure customer satisfaction with the digital channels of leading travel brands in the airline, hotel and rental car segments.
"Travel apps and websites are unique because they are most frequently used when travelers are experiencing some level of stress, like when they are in travel mode, juggling bags, watching the clock or trying to navigate an unfamiliar place," said Michael Taylor, managing director of travel, hospitality and retail at J.D. Power. "Apps and websites hold a great deal of information about the particular user and their journey, making use of that information to personalize the journey, anticipate and provide support are critical to improvement."
Following are key findings of the 2023 studies:
- Travel app and website satisfaction lag other industries: Airline, hotel and rental car app and website satisfaction trails the highest-scoring apps and websites in other industries. Overall satisfaction with travel-related digital travel channels is lowest among airline websites, which is 640 (on a 1,000-point scale). This compares with an average score of 719 for overall insurance website satisfaction.
- Hotel apps perform best among digital travel tools: Hotel mobile apps (682) and rental car apps (681) have the highest overall satisfaction scores compared with airline apps (672), rental car websites (662), hotel websites (646) and airline websites (640).
- Travel apps and websites put to the test on day of travel: The specific digital tools used most frequently on day of travel are the boarding pass, check-in and flight status trackers on airline mobile apps. Despite being used so heavily, these features have substantially lower overall satisfaction scores than less frequently used tools, such as purchasing upgrades or tracking baggage.
The J.D. Power U.S. Travel App and Travel Website Satisfaction Studies evaluate satisfaction with travel apps and websites in three segments: airline; hotel; and rental car. The studies explore the key variables that influence customer choice, satisfaction and loyalty based on six factors: account management, day of travel/duration of stay (app only), navigation, reservation, speed, and visual appeal. The U.S. Travel App Satisfaction Study is based on 5,659 evaluations from users of airline, hotel and rental car apps. The U.S. Travel Website Satisfaction Study is based on 5,543 evaluations from users of airline, hotel and rental car websites. The studies were fielded in June-July 2023.
Travel App Rankings
ranks highest in overall satisfaction among airline apps with a score of 688. Southwest Airlines
(687) ranks second and JetBlue Airways
(680) ranks third.
World of Hyatt
ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction among hotel apps with a score of 722. Choice Hotels
(691) and Hilton Honors
(691) each rank second in a tie.
ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction among rental car apps with a score of 738. Alamo
(720) ranks second and Enterprise
(687) ranks third.
Travel Website Rankings
ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction among airline websites with a score of 658. JetBlue Airways
(654) ranks second and Southwest Airlines
(648) ranks third.
World of Hyatt
ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction among hotel websites with a score of 676. Hilton Worldwide
(661) ranks second, while Choice Hotels
(652) and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
(652) each rank third in a tie.
ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction among rental car websites with a score of 709. Alamo
(681) ranks second and Hertz
(674) ranks third.
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