Skift Take

Airline, hotel and car rental apps are rated by users as being well below the quality of travel booking apps. That they trail the travel booking apps isn't a huge surprise, but the the size of the ground they would have to gain to catch up is fairly daunting.

Airline, hotel mobile and car rental apps get the worst ratings from travelers and the gap between them and the most-popular travel-booking apps is huge.

That’s one of the conclusions that can be drawn from ARC 360’s compilation of user reviews of travel apps in both iTunes and Google Play.

The least-favored travel apps among 31 travel brands that had both iOS and Android apps and a minimum of 10,000 ratings and reviews for each platform were those of Southwest Airlines (a 25 rating out of 100), American Airlines (31), JetBlue (33), Delta (39), United (39) and Hertz (16).

The stood out “as app quality laggards,” the report, ARC 360 State of the U.S. Travel App Economy, concluded, and Hilton (18) and Frontier Airlines (6) had their apps rated even lower than the airlines and Hertz app cited above, although Hilton and Frontier didn’t have enough user reviews to qualify for inclusion.

ARC 360 didn’t make company-specific recommendations for improvements, but said the laggards should improve how they track crashes and bugs “and consider engaging earlier with users with future builds via a beta management program.”

It isn’t a huge surprise that the more technologically focused travel booking apps scored higher than the airline, hotel, car rental and cruise line apps.

The best-rated apps across both iOS and Android platforms considered together were (85), TripAdvisor (78), Kayak (77), TripIt (73) and (67).

The study didn’t consider user ratings for sharing economy apps such as Lyft, Uber and Airbnb merely because ARC 360 plans on writing a separate report about sharing economy apps.

But ARC 360 collected the numbers for Skift and the ratings were surprisingly low considering the buzz surrounding mobile-oriented ride-sharing apps and Airbnb.

Lyft’s rating was 67 and Uber’s 65 across the two platforms, and that makes  Lyft tied with, the 5th-rating travel booking app, and Uber’s rating was a tad lower at 65. Lyft’s and Uber’s iOS apps, though, were rated higher than their respective Android apps.

Applause travel mobile app quality index - Rideshare score

And on the nontraditional accommodations front, Airbnb scored a 65 and HomeAway was far off the pace at 55.

Applause travel mobile app quality index - Vacation rentals score

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Tags: apps,, delta air lines, jetblue airways, southwest airlines, tripadvisor

Photo credit: was the top-rated app among 31 travel brands considered in a study by ARC 360.

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