Sure, Airline companies are spending billions of dollars on catchy slogans and annoyingly memorable spokespeople to convince today’s rare and wary voyager that it’s safe to venture into the world by plane via TV, Internet, and print media advertising. But how easy do their websites make it to book a flight?

To find out, the siteIQ team evaluated a total of ten sites using the Airline version of the siteIQ Best Practices Usability benchmark. This benchmark includes 198 questions across four categories and nine sub-categories.

These questions measure the overall practicality, versatility, and convenience of any given website. A second review recategorizes the 198 questions into 16 unique Usability Dimensions that illustrate how sufficiently each website allows users to achieve everyday tasks, objectives, and goals.

The results of these evaluations allow the team to rank and rate each site to determine the winner overall. This case study announces key findings for the Airline industry segment based on Website Usability and Website Usability by Dimension scores. 

The websites evaluated in this segment include AA.com, AirChina.com, AirFrance.us, CSAair.com, Delta.com, Emirates.com, Lufthansa.com, Southwest.com, United.com, and VirginAtlantic.com.

Industry Findings 

The results of our inaugural Airline sector evaluations reveal that these sites, as a group, rank second among Travel websites behind the Booking segment. They also reveal that a margin of just 0.1% separates the two, so the Airline sector could easily overtake the Booking segment if any site underwent even the slightest improvement.

That said, the overall average for this group is 49.4%, and each of the ten tracked sites registers an overall score that receives a Competitive Rating of Below Average or worse, so these sites have a long way to go before they are ever able to compete with siteIQ Usability Index leaders — or be entirely useful and effective for visitors.

In fact, a detailed review of evaluation scoring shows that Airline sites generally score below 50% in more than half of all benchmark sub-categories and nearly three-quarters of all tracked Usability Dimensions. This means that only certain areas — and aspects — of specific sites are effective or easy to use.

Unfortunately, this detailed review also reveals that those areas — and aspects — are often the least critical for achieving core site and user objectives. As a result, Airline sites often seem cumbersome, clunky, cluttered, and just downright difficult to use in all the areas that matter most. This should be a huge incentive for the teams managing these sites to accurately identify challenges and gain insight on ways to fix them so they can make it easier for today’s rare and wary voyager to venture into the world by plane.

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About the siteIQ Usability Index

siteIQ evaluated the thirty-four Travel Websites listed on the 2020 siteIQ Usability Index. These Websites are categorized into three industry-specific segments including:

  • Hotel (All.Accor.com, BestWestern.com, ChoiceHotel.com, Hilton.com, Hospitality-on.com, Hyatt.com, IHG.com, JinJiangHotel.com, Marriott.com, Motel6.com, RadissonHotelGroup.com, StayInns.com, Whitebread.co.uk, WyndhamHotel.com)
  • Booking (Booking.com, Expedia.com, Hotel.com, Kayak.com, Orbitz.com, Priceline.com, SkyScanner.com, TripAdvisor.com, Travelocity.com, Trivago.com)
  • Airline (AA.com, AirChina.com, AirFrance.com, CSAair.com, Delta.com, Emirates.com, Lufthansa.com, Southwest.com, United.com, VirginAtlantic.com)

These in-depth evaluations were conducted using the 2020 edition of the siteIQ Usability Index Best Practices Benchmark, which tracks results in 9 sub-categories and 16 Usability Dimensions.

The 2020 evaluations were performed during the third quarter of 2020.

Category: Index Rankings

Class: Website Reviews and Rankings

Websites Profiled: siteIQ Usability Index Websites – Travel Industry

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