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

Applause 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.

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