Flyers don’t need airline apps to book, but they want them to improve flights

Skift Take

Users of airline mobile apps find them very handy for accessing flight information, but many travelers wait to break out their laptops or use desktops to actually purchase an airline ticket. This survey confirms the looking versus booking gap on mobile.

— Dennis Schaal

Travelers don’t articulate it this way, but many hunger for a HotelTonight-like app for flights. In other words, they are longing for the ability to book flights in a few taps.

That’s one takeaway from a March survey of Flightview app users, released yesterday, which found that nearly 50% of respondents expressed dissatisfaction with airline apps. They were disappointed in airline apps’ usability (48.1%), inaccurate flight information (28.9%), and sub-par functionality (22.9%).

In fact, although smarthphone and tablet users do a lot of research using airline apps, the percentage who actually book a flight or purchase an upgrade lags, according to the survey of 3,186 travelers.

Although 88.7% of travelers searched for flights on their smartphones, only 36.5% of them purchased an airline ticket, according to the survey.

Although a lower percentage of tablet users searched for flights (62%), they were more likely to book a flight (49.3%) over the past year, the survey found.

It isn’t security concerns chocking m-commerce as 81% of survey respondents indicated “concerns about mobility security” are not a barrier to using their devices to purchase airline tickets.

It is the usability — or lack of usability — of airline mobile apps “that are driving consumers back to their laptops and desktops and forcing them to make costly calls to customer service…” says Mike Benjamin, Flightview’s CEO.

An airline app that cuts down on information-input requirements — fewer taps — and provides easier navigation would go a long way toward making smartphones and tablets more of a flight-booking platform.

Here’s more on the Flightview survey:

Download (PDF, 1KB)



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