Across various travel industries, customer satisfaction has fallen from previous levels, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Travel Study 2021-2022. The last studywhich analyzes satisfaction with airlines, hotels, car rental companies and online travel agencies, found that only online travel agencies improved customer satisfaction since the previous study , but not by much.
“Many people ventured to travel for the first time since the pandemic hit, only to be met with poor service and dashed hopes,” said Forrest Morgeson, director emeritus of research at ACSI. “We see this with hotels, where the quality of amenities and catering services both dip below the customer experience criteria of 70. Anyone anticipating their travel experience would feel that on “normal” days of before the pandemic are likely to be very disappointed. Although the desire to travel is on the rise, it may be time to adjust your expectations.
Based on surveys conducted from April 2021 to March 2022, this study provides data on customer satisfaction across four travel sectors: car rental, airlines, hotels and online travel agencies.
In the car rental industry, satisfaction dropped 1.3% to an ACSI score of 75 (out of 100). Alamo took the top spot for satisfaction, improving by 4% to a score of 79. Three rental brands tied with a score of 76: Enterprise (down 3%), Hertz (up 1%) and National (up 1%).
The dollar fell 3% to 75, ahead of Avis (74) and Budget (72), down 1% each, according to the study. The group of smaller car rental companies scored 71. Thrifty finished at the bottom of the industry, dropping 3% to 70.
In the airline industry, while passenger satisfaction fell 1.3% to an ACSI score of 75. JetBlue rose to number one, up 3% to a score of 79. American and United, both up 3% to 77, climbed to a four-way tie for second place with Delta and Southwest, which fell 3% each. Alaska fell 3% to a score of 75, followed by Small Carriers (down 4% to 71) and Allegiant (down 3% to 70). The industry bottom included Frontier, which fell 3% to 66, and Spirit, which fell 5% to 63.
For the hospitality industry, overall guest satisfaction fell 2.7% to a score of 71, with more than half of leading hoteliers seeing ACSI declines of 4% or more, according to the study. Marriott became the industry satisfaction leader after rising 3% to 78. Last year’s leader Hilton was second after falling 4% to a score of 76. Best Western remained flat at 75, just ahead of IHG, which fell 5% to 74. Choice and Hyatt each scored 73%, but the former rose 3% while the latter fell 4%. Wyndham held steady at 69. The industry bottom belonged to G6 Hospitality (Motel 6), down 15% to a score of 56.
Overall, user satisfaction with online travel agencies increased by 1.4% to an ACSI score of 75, according to the study. The group of small online travel sites took the top spot after rising 5% to a score of 77. Orbitz is next with a 1% improvement to 76, followed by Tripadvisor, down 1% at 75. Expedia and Travelocity both scored 73, down 1.% and 4%, respectively. Priceline remained at the bottom of the industry after falling 1% to 72.