The JD Power 2023 US Travel App Satisfaction Study and US Travel Website Satisfaction Study reveal interesting insights into the digital user experience within the travel industry.
Key findings of the 2023 studies
Travel app and website satisfaction trails that of other industries. The study shows that airline, hotel and rental car app and website satisfaction falls behind that of other industries. In particular, airline websites received the lowest satisfaction score, at 640 on a 1,000-point scale. This is a stark contrast to the average score of 719 for insurance website satisfaction.
Hotel apps perform best among digital travel tools. Among digital travel tools, hotel mobile apps (682) and rental car apps (681) received the highest overall satisfaction scores. In comparison, airline apps (672), rental car websites (662), hotel websites (646), and airline websites (640) all trailed behind in user satisfaction.
Travel apps and websites put to the test on day of travel. On the day of travel, certain digital tools are used most frequently. These include boarding passes, check-in, and flight status trackers on airline mobile apps. Surprisingly, despite their heavy use, these features received substantially lower overall satisfaction scores compared to less frequently used tools such as purchasing upgrades or tracking baggage.
JD Power US travel satisfaction studies
The JD Power studies evaluate user satisfaction with travel apps and websites across three segments: airline, hotel and rental car.
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They look into key factors influencing customer choice, satisfaction and loyalty based on six criteria: account management, day of travel/duration of stay (app only), navigation, reservation, speed and visual appeal.
The US Travel App Satisfaction Study gathered data from 5,659 evaluations from users of airline, hotel and rental car apps, while the US Travel Website Satisfaction Study collected data from 5,543 evaluations from users of airline, hotel and rental car websites.
These studies were conducted in June and July 2023.
Travel app and website rankings
Among airline apps, Alaska Airlines secured the top spot with the highest overall satisfaction score of 688, followed by Southwest Airlines (687) in second place and JetBlue Airways (680) in third place.
Among hotel apps, World of Hyatt emerged as the leader in overall customer satisfaction with a score of 722. Choice Hotels and Hilton Honors shared second place, each with a score of 691.
Among rental car apps, National clinched the top position with an impressive score of 738, while Alamo ranked second with a score of 720, and Enterprise came in third with a score of 687.
Regarding travel website rankings, Alaska Airlines secured the highest overall customer satisfaction score of 658. JetBlue Airways followed in second place with 654, and Southwest Airlines ranked third with a score of 648.
For hotel websites, World of Hyatt maintained its lead with the highest satisfaction score of 676. Hilton Worldwide came in second with a score of 661, while Choice Hotels and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts tied for third place with scores of 652.
These findings emphasise the need for the travel industry to improve the digital user experience to meet the expectations of travellers who rely heavily on these tools, particularly during stressful moments of their journeys.