Many travel industry apps are falling short of user
expectations, according to J.D. Power's inaugural U.S. Travel App Satisfaction
"While some travel apps are delivering on their promise, others are
missing the mark at critical moments of truth that can significantly influence
traveler perception of brands and services," J.D. Power travel
intelligence analyst Michael Taylor said in a prepared remark. "We see big
swings in scores among travel apps when users evaluate searching and booking
Hotel, OTA and rental car apps scored an average of 849 on
J.D. Power's 1,000-point scale. Airline apps scored an average of 840. Those
figures compare to average customer satisfaction scores of 874 and 867 for
credit card and retail banking apps, respectively.
The travel app ratings were based on more than 12,000
evaluations by users during December and January. Survey participants reviewed
the apps for the clarity of information that they provided, their ease of
navigation, their overall appearance, the loading speed of screens, and the
range of services they offered. The study showed that the most important performance
measure for users across all segments of the travel industry was the apps'
Among the travel sectors considered in the study,
airline apps had the highest level of adoption, followed by hotel, OTA and
rental car. On a whole, airline apps received worse reviews than the apps from
the three other industry sectors, in part because they load the slowest during
the day of travel, J.D. Power said.
Among the six airline apps ranked in the study, JetBlue was the best, followed by Southwest. United brought up the rear. JetBlue's
app especially excelled at the clarity of the information that is provided on
its day-of-travel screens, such as the boarding pass screen, Taylor said.
United unveiled a new app in early January.
Among the eight hotel apps ranked in the study, Hyatt led
the way, followed by InterContinental Hotels Group. The Starwood app had the
Orbitz led the way among the five OTA apps ranked in the
study. Priceline was second. CheapOair was last.
For rental cars, National's app received the best reviews
among the five apps ranked in the study. Enterprise was second. Budget had the
Taylor explained that the ranked apps make up only a portion
of the apps reviewed in the J.D Power study. Some apps -- he used the Kayak app
as an example -- don't provide a full-service experience and require customers
to complete a booking on the company's website. Only full-service apps made the