What Google Autocomplete Says About These 25 Travel Brands
Rafat Ali, Skift
December 9th, 2013 at 8:00 AM EST
A small peek into consumer perceptions of travel brands, and how they think about it.
Rafat Ali, Skift
Likely consumers still think Priceline in terms of its name-your-price model, which is now a tiny part of its business. And oh, people really want to know if Kaley Cuoco is really Shatner’s daughter….
People think Expedia and Travelocity are interchangeable, and can you blame them?
People still want to call online travel brands in case they need customer service, and none of the online brands make it that easy.
Safety and reliability is still an issue with online travel brands, and is reflected in the queries.
More on all-online-travel-sites-are-interchangeable. And then users want to know about Orbitz’s insurance policy for tickets, through its “Ticket Protector Plus” policy.
Clearly review sites have a long way to go to be considered more reliable, and that is why Tripadvisor is currently spending big money in a consumer campaign for a reason.
Same issue with Yelp, where trusting its reviews are an issue.
Kayak.com’s commercials always seem to be amusing and provocative, and people want to know more.
People *really* want to know what that anonymous hotel they’re booking on Hotwire is….
Common issue, legitimacy. People want to know if Travelzoo deals are for real.
The second result threw us, until we did the search and realized there is a song by that name. Otherwise, people apparently still want to work for Amtrak.
Alliances still matter for international airlines, as these searches show. And oh, does Emirates serve alcohol? Answer is yes, except on the Saudi Arabian routes.
Extra fees, the money making machine for airlines now, is all users want to know about…
United, meanwhile, has a huge customer perception (and reality too) problem…
Same with Delta, fees, and if it is worst among all U.S. carriers.
JetBlue, still a relatively loved airline, compared to other U.S. airline brands.
Similar queries for Southwest, though some people want to know if the low cost airline is the worst. And the low cost always helps…
People are intrigued by Sprit’s low cost model, and want to know if it is safe, even if it is has horrible customer service.
Virgin America’s upgrade to “Main Cabin Select” is a pretty popular question everyone flying wants to know.
Easyjet has to perpetually fight off Ryanair’s reputation too.
And Ryanair’s reputation is in a class of its own.
On to sharing economy, Airbnb and others still need to prove they are not illegal, across the country and particularly in NYC, and if they are a safe alternative accommodation option.
People seem to love (or are curious) about Uber’s tip-included policy. Same with trying to learn its business model is, and if it is legal.
HotelTonight’s deals, are they too good to be true?
Early adopters love it, but will it ever be profitable? Same thing we ask here.
That Google knows everything about us — our hopes, fears and dreams — is by now obvious. What we also tell Google is what we think, believe and search about the brands we use, and in this case, travel brands.
Autocomplete, the Google feature that has been around in some form or the other since 2004, helps users find information quickly by displaying searches that might be similar to the one they’re typing.
As Google says, “the search queries that you see as part of Autocomplete are a reflection of the search activity of users and the content of web pages indexed by Google.”
So what does that say about what general consumers think about travel brands? We decided to find out — part fun, part consumer research — and the results for 25 online travel and airlines brands are above in the gallery.
We decided to not add hotel brands to this list because most of the hotel queries are more specific and local, tied to a locality where the hotel visitors are going to. For destinations, there is a similar issue, where people search for town, cities, and countries for a lot of reasons, not just for travel.