Both the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Travel App Satisfaction Study and the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Travel Website Satisfaction Study, released this week, find that travel industry websites—even those operated by digital natives—score substantially lower in customer satisfaction than high-scoring websites in other industries, such as credit cards.
“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,” says Michael Taylor, J.D. Power travel intelligence lead. “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.”
The studies found airline, online travel agency (OTA), hotel and rental car apps all trail highest-scoring credit card apps when it comes to overall customer satisfaction. Overall satisfaction with travel apps is lowest for airline apps, which score 854 (on a 1,000-point scale). This compares with an average score of 872 for overall credit card customer satisfaction.
The J.D. Power studies both find that customer satisfaction with travel websites substantially increases when customers say the process of making a reservation was quicker than expected. Still, many travel websites contain multi-step processes and fewer than 20 percent of customers report a quicker-than-expected reservation experience.
Among carrier travel apps, JetBlue ranks highest in overall satisfaction among airline apps with a score of 872, followed by FlyDelta and Southwest. Among hotel apps, IHG ranks highest, followed by Hilton Honors and World of Hyatt.
When it comes to websites, Southwest Airlines ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction among airline websites with a score of 849. Alaska Airlines (831) ranks second and JetBlue Airways (829) ranks third.