In a recent report from the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Travel App Satisfaction StudySM and the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Travel Website Satisfaction Study, travel apps and websites are found to fall behind in user satisfaction compared to counterparts in other industries. Despite being essential digital tools for travelers, these platforms, crucial for tasks from boarding planes to accessing hotel rooms, are lacking in overall user experience.
The studies, redesigned since the last evaluation in 2019, gauge customer satisfaction with the digital channels of prominent travel brands in the airline, hotel, and rental car segments.
Michael Taylor, Managing Director of Travel, Hospitality, and Retail at J.D. Power, emphasized the unique challenge of travel apps and websites, stating, “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.”
Key findings from the 2023 studies include:
- Satisfaction Lags Behind: Airline, hotel, and rental car app and website satisfaction trails other industries. Overall satisfaction with travel-related digital channels is lowest among airline websites, scoring 640 on a 1,000-point scale.
- Hotel Apps Perform Best: Hotel mobile apps lead in overall satisfaction scores (682), followed closely by rental car apps (681). Airline apps (672), rental car websites (662), hotel websites (646), and airline websites (640) trail behind.
- Day of Travel Challenges: On the day of travel, the most frequently used digital tools, such as boarding passes, check-in, and flight status trackers, have lower overall satisfaction scores compared to less frequently used tools, like purchasing upgrades or tracking baggage.
The J.D. Power U.S. Travel App and Travel Website Satisfaction Studies categorize satisfaction across three segments: airline, hotel, and rental car. The evaluations consider key variables influencing 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.
Travel App Rankings:
- Alaska Airlines ranks highest in overall satisfaction among airline apps (688), followed by Southwest Airlines (687) and JetBlue Airways (680).
- World of Hyatt leads in overall customer satisfaction among hotel apps (722), with Choice Hotels and Hilton Honors tying for second place (691).
- National takes the top spot in overall customer satisfaction among rental car apps (738), followed by Alamo (720) and Enterprise (687).
Travel Website Rankings:
- Alaska Airlines claims the highest overall customer satisfaction among airline websites (658), with JetBlue Airways (654) and Southwest Airlines (648) in second and third place, respectively.
- World of Hyatt secures the top position in overall customer satisfaction among hotel websites (676), while Hilton Worldwide, Choice Hotels, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts tie for third place (652).
- National tops overall customer satisfaction among rental car websites (709), followed by Alamo (681) and Hertz (674).