Before the pandemic, customer satisfaction among the travel industries tracked by the American Customer Satisfaction Index was mixed. This year, the car rental industry debuted with a score of 76 (based on surveys from January to March 2020). From April to September 2020, overall customer satisfaction remains unchanged.
Enterprise holds the top slot, unchanged at 79. Dollar improved during the outbreak, grabbing second place with a 5% gain to 78. The two other Enterprise brands, Alamo and National, tied for third place, each down 1% to 76.
The namesake Hertz brand remained steady with an ACSI score of 74, while Avis fell back 1% to 73. The group of smaller car rental companies did not move, staying at 71, tying both Budget and Thrifty. For Budget, customer satisfaction slid 3%, while Thrifty increased 3%.
From April to September 2020, user satisfaction with internet travel services plummeted 5.2% to an all-time low ACSI score of 73. All five major travel sites, along with the group of smaller sites, experienced downturns in user satisfaction during the outbreak.
As of September 2020, Travelocity held the lead for customer satisfaction despite dropping 3% to 77. Expedia is next, slipping 1% to 76. Orbitz and TripAdvisor both decreased 4% to 75, followed by Priceline, which slid 3% to 74.
Airlines had been gradually trending upward in passenger satisfaction for two years running and hotels made slight gains year over year. However, according to the ACSI Special COVID-19 Travel Report 2020, only airlines have improved customer satisfaction during the pandemic.
“Hotel guest satisfaction takes a U-turn, with ACSI losses for nearly every major chain,” David VanAmburg, managing director at the ACSI, said in a statement. “Online travel agencies dig themselves an even deeper hole as the industry reaches an all-time user satisfaction low.”
The ACSI Special COVID-19 Travel Report 2020 on airlines, hotels, car rentals, and internet travel services is based on interviews with 4,642 customers from April 1 to Sept. 30.