Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)

Southwest Shows That Airline Web Sites Can Compete with Online Travel Agencies

Change Sciences Group released new research ranking 14 airline-booking travel web sites for usability, engagement and conversion. While 3 online travel agencies (or OTAs) provide the best experience overall, one airline site, Southwest, provides an experience that approaches OTAs.

Travel Industry Wire Change Sciences Group released new research ranking 14 airline-booking travel web sites for usability, engagement and conversion. While 3 online travel agencies (or OTAs) provide the best experience overall, one airline site, Southwest, provides an experience that approaches OTAs.

Graph - Flight Booking Sites in Context

Not all airline sites fare as well however. The top performing airline web site is 25% more usable, 18% more engaging and 31% more likely to convert than the bottom performing airline web site.. Like the airline sites, OTA sites differ significantly. The top performing OTA is 28% more usable, 21% more engaging, and 34% more likely to convert than the bottom performing OTA.

Companies typically known for their great offline experience are not always able to translate that experience to the web. For instance, jetBlue was the lowest-performing airline site and lowest ranked site overall. The Virgin America web site also performed in the bottom third for usability, engagement, and conversion. "That one airline site is catching up to OTAs is good news for airlines, and shows that there is now pressure on OTA's to come up with ways to take online customer experience to a new level," explains Steve Ellis, a Change Sciences founder.

To learn more about the research and to purchase the full report, visit https://www.changesciences.com/trending/flight-booking-web-site-user-experience-2013. The user experience of the following sites is covered in the full report: American Airlines, Delta, Expedia, Hipmunk, jetBlue, Kayak, Orbitz, Priceline, Southwest Airlines, TripAdvisor, United Airlines, US Airways, Virgin America, and Yahoo! Travel.

The research is based on Change Sciences' Experience Cloud platform, which compares how people experience sites with competitors and with the best sites on the web. The Experience Cloud technology and process make it possible to compare a site's usability, engagement and conversion with competitive sites as well as the best sites on the web. Digital decision makers rely on the Experience Cloud to gain unmatched insight into their site's performance to move teams forward, confirm assumptions, and track performance over time.

Change Sciences is a group of qualitative researchers, data scientists, and programmers dedicated to helping organizations improve usability, engagement, and conversion. It counts 18 Fortune 100 companies as clients and has completed more than 700 projects in the last five years for clients in financial services, healthcare, entertainment, travel, government, e-commerce, and e-learning.



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