Applause Survey Reveals Travel Apps Leave 37% of Users Unsatisfied When Facing Delays, Changes

Applause Survey of 5,200 User Experiences with Travel and Hospitality Apps Reveals Friction for Travelers, Opportunities for Brands to Differentiate with Higher Quality Digital Experiences

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Applause, a world leader in testing and digital quality, today announced the results of a recent survey examining the use and user satisfaction of travel and hospitality apps. More than 5,200 global respondents provided insights into overall satisfaction with the apps they use, to the most typical flaws and friction points they encounter, and whether apps have been useful in navigating travel challenges such as lost baggage, flight cancellations, delays or unexpected closures.

More than 90% of respondents had more than one travel or hospitality app on their phone, and 82% had traveled at least once during the past year.

Key Findings

  • Top reasons for using apps: to help plan accommodations (23%), make flight reservations (21%), purchase train, ferry or bus tickets (17%), rent a car or reserve car service (12%), to make entertainment purchases such as bike rentals or museum tickets (12%), and to make meal reservations (10%).
  • When plans change, users are often disappointed: 37% said apps have not been helpful in managing recent travel challenges (rebooking canceled flights, finding last minute accommodations). 20% noted that they were either “somewhat” or “very dissatisfied” with their overall app experiences.
  • Common bugs and friction points: The most notable problems travelers encountered when using apps were inability to find the information they were looking for (18%), very slow app response times (13%), localization problems (12%), difficulty using payment sources (11%), or unfulfilled requests, like a preferred hotel room or seating option, not honored on-site (10%).
  • When plans don’t change, much higher satisfaction: 67% responded that they were somewhat or extremely satisfied with the apps they used for planning travel details.

“In a time when a majority of travelers are facing travel disruptions, delays and other issues, it’s so important that brands are focused on the quality of their digital experiences,” said Luke Damian, chief growth officer for Applause. “Ensuring that apps are tested by users in local markets especially helps eliminate design flaws and friction points that can heighten a traveler’s frustration. Providing travelers with helpful tools and high quality digital experiences can go a long way in protecting brand reputations and enhancing customer loyalty. It can be a differentiator in the market.”

Earlier this year, Applause released the State of Digital Quality Report for Travel and Hospitality, which analyzed the company’s 2021 testing data across travel and hospitality organizations, and provided observations and recommendations for areas of quality improvement. In that report, workflow and functional errors accounted for 59.9% of travel app functional defects.

About Applause
Applause is a world leader in testing and digital quality. Brands today win or lose customers through digital interactions, and Applause delivers authentic feedback on the quality of digital assets and experiences, provided by real users in real-world settings. Our disruptive approach harnesses the power of the Applause platform and leverages the uTest community of more than one million independent digital testers worldwide. Unlike traditional testing methods (including lab-based and offshoring), Applause responds with the speed, scale and flexibility that digital-focused brands require and expect. Applause provides insightful, actionable testing results that can directly inform go/no go release decisions, helping development teams build better and faster, and release with confidence. Digital-first brands – including Google, American Express and Dow Jones – rely on Applause as a best practice to deliver the digital experiences their customers love.


Jennifer Maguire

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