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New JD Power Survey Ranks Travel-Booking Websites

Booking.com rates highest and Hotwire.com is second in customer satisfaction among 10 popular travel-booking websites, a survey of consumers released Friday by J.D. Power and Associates finds.

Booking.com, a hotel reservations website that's part of Priceline.com, scores 816 on a 1,000-point scale. That's 3 points higher than Hotwire.com, a company owned by Expedia that books airline flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages.

Priceline.com ranks No. 3 in customer satisfaction in J.D. Power's survey, followed by Orbitz.com and Hotels.com. Travel.yahoo.com finishes with the lowest customer satisfaction score: 777.

Unlike Priceline.com, where consumers bid on hotel rates, customers of Booking.com see room prices at the start of their reservations search. Booking.com says it attracts more than 30 million visitors monthly.

The website's No. 1 ranking and other rankings in the J.D. Power survey are based on responses from 2,009 consumers who made an online purchase during the past 12 months from an "independent" travel website — a website not owned by an airline, hotel or other travel supplier.

The survey looks at six factors to measure overall customer satisfaction. In order of importance, they are competitiveness of pricing, usefulness of information, availability of booking/reservation options, website/online store, ease of booking/reserving, competitiveness of sales and promotions, and contact with customer service.

"The top-ranked travel websites in overall satisfaction — Booking.com, Hotwire.com and Priceline.com — have significantly higher satisfaction with pricing," says Sara Wong Hilton, a J.D. Power director.

The survey also finds that customers of independent travel websites book flight reservations most often, followed by hotels, rental cars and vacation packages.

Customers who indicated they booked a vacation package are the most satisfied and the most active travel website users, according to the survey. They averaged 43 visits and seven travel purchases annually at the booking website they visited most often, the survey shows.

Consumers who indicated they booked auto rentals are the second-most-active website users. They annually average 32 visits and six travel purchases at the booking website they visited most frequently.

How the Websites Stack Up

Travel-booking websites are ranked in customer satisfaction based on a 1,000-point scale:

  1. Booking.com (816)
  2. Hotwire.com (813)
  3. Priceline.com (808)
  4. Orbitz.com (799)
  5. Hotels.com (798)
  6. Expedia.com (795)
  7. Travelocity.com (793)
  8. CheapOair.com (785)
  9. CheapTickets.com (785)
  10. Travel.Yahoo.com (777)

Source: J.D. Power and Associates

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