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These Are the Best Travel Apps, According to J.D. Power

The travel app with the highest customer satisfaction score is World of Hyatt. That’s according to the first-ever U.S Travel App Satisfaction Study from J.D. Power. And according to the report, there’s much room for travel apps in general to improve.

Overall, average scores for three travel groups—hotels, online travel agencies (OTA), and rental car companies—are at 849 on a 1,000-point scale. And the overall score for airline apps (840) falls below scores for such financial groups as credit cards (874) and retail banking (867). Scores are based on “the key variables that influence customer choice, satisfaction and loyalty,” as measured by: clarity of information provided; ease of navigation; overall appearance, speed of screens loading; and range of services/activities.

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The Best Travel Apps Overall

J.D. Power also found a substantial range of scores within each travel category (more on them below). The stand-outs were:

The Best Airline Apps

JetBlue is tops, with a score of 864, but Southwest is close behind, at 861, and Alaska is next at 849. It’s not surprising; those three lines seem to be or near at the top of most airline ratings. Delta, at 844, is still above the airline average of 840, dragged down by American at 823 and United at 815, which had the lowest satisfaction score in the entire travel group. Satisfaction with airline apps seems to follow the pattern of overall scores.

The Best Hotel Apps

World of Hyatt tops the list, at 867, followed by IHG at 855; the next three are closely bunched with Hilton Honors at 853, Marriott Rewards at 852, and Wyndham Rewards at 848, also close to the group average of 849. The bottom of the list includes Choice at 841 and Best Western to Go at 839. The list also includes Starwood, at 827, still independent at the time of the study but no longer a separate brand from Marriott.

The Best Online Travel Agency (OTA) Apps

Orbitz ranks on top, at 866, followed by Priceline, at 859. Expedia at 847 and Travelocity at 844 are close to the group average of 849. CheapOair, at 827, scores lowest of the group.

The Best Car Rental Company Apps

National, at 860, and stablemate Enterprise, at 854, share top places. Hertz, at 844, is close to the group average of 844; followed by Avis at 841 and Budget at 826.

Overall, you might think that a difference of, say, the 12 points out of 1,000 that separate second place Southwest from third place Alaska, is not statistically significant. But Power does, in fact, consider those small differences important enough to warrant the rankings and evaluations.

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Consumer advocate Ed Perkins has been writing about travel for more than three decades. The founding editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, he continues to inform travelers and fight consumer abuses every day at SmarterTravel.

By Ed Perkins

A nationally recognized reporter, writer, and consumer advocate, Ed Perkins focuses on how travelers can find the best deals and avoid scams.

He is the author of "Online Travel" (2000) and "Business Travel: When It's Your Money" (2004), the first step-by-step guide specifically written for small business and self-employed professional travelers. He was also the co-author of the annual "Best Travel Deals" series from Consumers Union.

Perkins' advice for business travelers is featured on, a website devoted to helping small business and self-employed professional travelers find the best value for their travel dollars.

Perkins was founding editor of Consumer Reports Travel Letter, one of the country's most influential travel publications, from which he retired in 1998. He has also written for Business Traveller magazine (London).

Perkins' travel expertise has led to frequent television appearances, including ABC's "Good Morning America" and "This Week with David Brinkley," "The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," CNN, and numerous local TV and radio stations.

Before editing Consumer Reports Travel Letter, Perkins spent 25 years in travel research and consulting with assignments ranging from national tourism development strategies to the design of computer-based tourism models.

Born in Evanston, Illinois, Perkins lives in Ashland, Oregon with his wife.

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