ForeSee Study: Southwest Airlines, Choice Hotels, Marriott Top Mobile Travel Satisfaction Index

 ForeSee Study: Southwest Airlines, Choice Hotels, Marriott Top Mobile Travel
                              Satisfaction Index

ForeSee study ranks top mobile travel sites and apps; Bookers happier than
Lookers; Mobile users not so "mobile"

PR Newswire

ANN ARBOR, Mich., March 26, 2013

ANN ARBOR, Mich., March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Customers give high marks to
Southwest Airlines for providing the best mobile experience, making the
airline the one to beat on mobile devices as well as in the air, according to
new research from customer experience analytics firm ForeSee. The ForeSee
Mobile Satisfaction Index: Travel Edition is a study of the mobile experiences
of 25 major airlines, hotels, online travel agencies, and car rental
companies. Customers gave Southwest a score of 82 on the 100-point scale,
while Choice Hotels (80) and Marriott (79) rounded out the top three in terms
of mobile satisfaction.


Of all the measured travel categories, hotel mobile sites and apps provide the
best mobile experience, with an average score of 78. Airlines and car rental
companies tie at 77, while online travel agencies score lowest at 76.

"Simple is the rule. Customers are attracted to the convenience of the mobile
platform and do not want a complicated experience," said Larry Freed,
president and CEO of ForeSee. "That's much easier for a hotel company to do
because they have fewer moving parts and a predictable inventory. Airlines
introduce more variables like seat selection and variable pricing. Online
travel agencies have the most difficult challenges because they're dealing
with all of these factors. Making matters worse, some travel properties are
trying to assert more control over their own customers by withholding
inventory from the travel aggregators."

Hotels: Choice Hotels and Marriott International lead the industry, while
Best Western trails in terms of customer satisfaction with the mobile

Mobile Satisfaction with Hotel Sites and Apps

Hotels                            Satisfaction
Hotels: Average                   78
Choice Hotels International       80
Marriott International            79
Hyatt Corp                        78
Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts 78
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts          78
Hilton Worldwide                  77
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Intl    77
Best Western International        76

Online Travel Agencies: Individual companies within the lowest performing
category are closely grouped, with only three points separating category
leaders Kayak and Travelocity at 78 and and at 75.
Competition is tight, and there is opportunity for differentiation and
innovation. A disproportionately large percentage of leisure travelers (84%)
visit the mobile sites and apps of online travel agencies.

"Leisure travelers are more demanding than we thought," said Eric Feinberg,
ForeSee senior director of mobile. "It is clear that travel aggregators need
to do a better job of understanding what the leisure traveler needs."

Mobile Satisfaction with Online Travel Agency Sites and Apps

Online Travel Agencies (OTA) Satisfaction
OTA: Average                 76                    78              78                  76                76                   75                   75

Airlines: While Southwest is the undisputed king of satisfaction, the rest of
the airline industry trails far behind, with no company within 5 points of the
leader in mobile satisfaction.

"Southwest's simple, friendly, and no-frills approach to doing business
translates well in the air as well as online. No assigned seats and no fees
for baggage help to simplify the process for the consumer, which no doubt
contributes to a more satisfying mobile experience," added Feinberg.

Mobile Satisfaction of Airline Sites and Apps

Airlines           Satisfaction
Airlines: Average  77
Southwest Airlines 82
American Airlines  77
Delta Airlines     77
United Airlines    75
US Airways         74

Car Rentals: Avis and Enterprise share the podium at 78; Budget and Hertz tie
for second with a 77. Dollar trails everyone at 75.

Mobile Satisfaction with Car Rental Company Sites and Apps

Car Rental            Satisfaction
Car Rental: Average   77
Avis Rent-a-Car       78
Enterprise Rent-a-Car 78
Budget                77
Hertz                 77
Dollar                75

Other findings:

  oApps vs. Mobile Sites: Customers using mobile apps (78) are more satisfied
    with their mobile travel experience than those using mobile sites (77).
    Apps may benefit from a slightly higher score because their platform,
    unlike mobile sites, is tailored specifically to a mobile device.
  oNot-So-Mobile Users: More than 70% of mobile users book with various
    travel sites from home, while only 12% of app and site users combined
    claim to be on-the-go when booking similar services.
  oLookers vs. Bookers: More people access mobile travel sites and apps to
    research (43%) than book a service or flight (23%). And those who use the
    sites to simply research (77) are less satisfied than those who book (79).
  oSteer Clear of the Stars: Despite what customers may think, star ratings
    in app stores reveal very little when it comes to truly tracking the
    mobile experience. While a stars rating may be helpful from customer to
    customer, executives should be tuned in to satisfaction as a key
    performance indicator for any travel-related mobile investments.

The ForeSee Mobile Satisfaction Index: Travel Edition is based on more than
6,000 survey responses collected in February 2013. The full index is available

Chaat Butsunturn, Kearns & West
415-391-7900 x1214

Amanda Piasecki, Kearns & West
202-535-7800 x1114

About ForeSee
As a pioneer in customer experience analytics, ForeSee continuously measures
satisfaction across customer touchpoints and delivers critical insights on
where to prioritize improvements for maximum impact. Because ForeSee's
superior technology and proven methodology connect the customer experience to
the bottom line, executives and managers are able to drive future success by
confidently optimizing the efforts that will achieve business and brand
objectives. The result is better business for companies and a better
experience for consumers. ForeSee is headquartered in Ann Arbor, MI and can be
found online at


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