Hotel Online  Special Report


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Best and Worst Performance for Airline, Hotel and
Online Travel Agency Web Sites
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The Speediest Site in Hotel Category Was Intercontinental.com

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - April 1, 2004 -- 
  • New Web Transaction Performance Index Launched; First of Its Kind
  • Results Vary Widely on Comprehensive Travel & Hospitality Web Transaction Index Suite
  • Sites Ranked for Speed and Reliability
  • Continental Airlines, Intercontinental Hotels and Hotels.com top their categories for Speed; Southwest, Radisson and Orbitz Get High Marks for Reliability
  • Travel is the Leading Online Retail Category; Over $40 Billion in Revenue in 2003
Keynote Systems (Nasdaq:KEYN), The Internet Performance Authority(R), today launched the world's first Web transaction performance index for the online airline, hotel and travel agency industry and announced initial rankings. The new Keynote Travel & Hospitality Web Transaction Performance Index is the most comprehensive index available today and includes over 25 leading Web sites in three distinct categories: airline, hotel and online travel agency sites.

The new index, known as "The Keynote Travel and Hospitality Web Transaction Index Suite," is the first of its kind to measure the speed and reliability of leading travel and hospitality Web sites for performing common transaction tasks such as checking mileage on an airline site, checking availability and price on a hotel room or looking for a vacation package on an online travel agency site (a transaction is defined as clicking through multiple pages on a Web site to complete a business process), as opposed to measuring the success of home page downloads only.

The week of March 22, the first week of official results from the three categories on the index, revealed that some travel sites are stellar performers and others required a bit more patience. The speediest sites in airline, hotel and online travel agency categories were Continental, Intercontinental and Hotels.com with response times of 6.97, 8.27 and 18.04 seconds respectively to complete a transaction. The best success rates for a transaction in each category were for Southwest, Radisson and Orbitz at 100.00, 99.22 and 98.82 percent respectively.

The worst performers in the airline category took an average of 25.43 seconds to complete a transaction or had a transaction success rate of only 88.48 percent.

For Hotels, those at the bottom of the list took a slow 44.67 seconds to complete a transaction and transactions succeeded only 72.57 percent of the time.

For online travel agencies, the worst performers averaged 38.41 seconds to complete a transaction and succeeded only 91.32 percent of the time.

'Response time' is defined as the aggregate time in seconds it took during the week to complete a multi-step transaction from the 10 U.S. cities. A transaction consists of multiple components (that may represent four or more pages in typical travel related transaction).

'Success rate' is defined as the aggregate number of times out of 100 that Keynote's measurement computers are able to successfully complete the entire scripted transaction from start to finish.

The benchmarking index represents the most active travel sites on the Web as determined by industry experts and analyst reports and, for the first time, provides real time, 24/7 visibility into the performance of online transactions.

The Keynote Travel and Hospitality Web Transaction Performance Index is designed to reflect the speed and success rates of the most well-known travel related Web sites with a large online presence. Going beyond the home page performance, this index provides deeper insight into the performance of these high traffic Web sites.

Here is the summary data for the first week's worth of results from Keynote's new Travel and Hospitality Web Transaction Performance Index --

Airline Web Transaction Index
Week of March 22, 2004

 
RESPONSE TIME AVAILABILITY OR SUCCESS RATE
Rank Site Response Time (seconds) Rank Site Success Rate (percent)
KEYNOTE INDEX 11.63 KEYNOTE INDEX 98.00
1
Continental.com 
6.97
1
Southwest .com 
100.00
2
Southwest.com 
7.87
2
NWA.com 
99.82
3
AA.com 
8.61
3
Alaskaair.com
99.73
4
Jetblue.com
8.95
4
Continental.com 
99.46
5
Delta.com
9.17
5
UAL.com
99.37
6
UAL.com
10.75
6
Aircanada.com
99.10
7
NWA.com
13.28
7
AA.com 
98.74
8
Alaskaair.com
13.89
8
Jetblue.com
98.23
9
USair.com
19.40
9
Delta.com
98.22
10
Aircanada.com
20.52
10
USair.com
95.92
Worst Average 25.43 Worst Average 88.48

Hotel Web Transaction Index
Week of March 22, 2004
 
RESPONSE TIME AVAILABILITY OR SUCCESS RATE
Rank
Site
Response Time (seconds) Rank Site Success Rate (percent)
KEYNOTE INDEX 16.91 KEYNOTE INDEX 95.59
1
Intercontinental.com
8.27
1
Radisson.com
99.22
2
Crowneplaza.com
8.29
2
Crowneplaza.com
98.84
3
Holiday-inn.com
8.71
3
6c.com
98.73
4
6c.com
9.40
4
Intercontinental.com
98.56
5
Hilton.com
13.46
5
Hilton.com
98.48
6
Sheraton.com
20.97
6
Holiday-inn.com
98.30
7
Westin.com
21.06
7
Westin.com
98.03
8
Hyattregency.com
23.89
8
Sheraton.com
97.34
9
Fairmont.com
27.41
9
Hyattregency.com
95.16
Worst Average 44.67 Worst Average 72.57


Travel Agency Web Transaction Index
Week of March 22, 2004
 
RESPONSE TIME AVAILABILITY OR SUCCESS RATE
Rank Site Response Time (seconds) Rank Site Success Rate (percent)
KEYNOTE INDEX 31.73 KEYNOTE INDEX 96.23
1 Hotels.com 18.04 1 Orbitz.com 98.82
2 Expedia.com 22.52 2 Hotels.com 97.67
3 Travelocity.com 31.68 3 Cheaptickets.com
97.04
4 Orbitz.com 32.13 4 Travelocity.com
96.55
Worst Average 38.41 Worst Average 91.32
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Online travel is the highest grossing retail category on the Web accounting for $40.7 billion in purchases in 2003, according to data released by comScore. Additional metrics from the Travel Industry Association and eMarketer's Travel Industry Worldwide Report that underscore both the importance of this fiercely growing and competitive industry, and the need to ensure an optimal online experience for customers, include the following:
  • In 2003 64 million adults in the U.S. went online for travel information. Of those people, 42.2 million - or roughly 66% - actually made travel purchases online.
  • Worldwide online travel sales were projected to reach $80 billion in 2003.
  • By 2008, 28% of managed corporate travel booking will be made on the Internet (up from 12% in 2003).
  • Online corporate travel sales will triple, rising from $8.5 billion in 2003 to $26.4 billion in 2008.
"These growth and revenue figures validate the importance of providing customers with great quality of service on the Web, which can only be achieved by providing good, reliable site performance. Every failed transaction can represent a loss of real dollars," said Roopak Patel, senior Internet analyst for Keynote. "The new Keynote Travel and Hospitality Web Transaction Index Suite gives all those involved in marketing travel and hospitality on the Web a very useful and valuable tool to compare, contrast and improve their overall performance against both internal metrics and goals set for performance, as well as against the online performance of competitors."

Keynote has historically seen an improvement in overall performance results, over time, whenever it has launched a new vertical-based Web transaction performance index; in this case the online travel industry. The goal of the index is to help the travel and hospitality industry measure and manage the performance of its Web sites and optimize the experience customers receive when researching or booking trips online.

About Keynote's Travel and Hospitality Web Transaction Performance Index

Keynote pioneered the use of vertical indices and benchmarks for Web application performance over five years ago. The data used to produce the index for a given week is taken from actual online transactions Keynote's automated measurement computers execute and measure from the 10 U.S. cities (Boston, San Francisco, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston and Dallas) on an hourly basis Monday to Sunday from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. pacific time.

Keynote measures online travel transactions from all the major metropolitan areas in the United States and places its transaction measurement computers on the most widely used, familiar and recognizable Internet backbone and service providers in the United States including Uunet/Worldcom, Sprint, AT&T and Qwest.

Additionally, Keynote's global network of measurement computers run standard Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers on Windows/2000 to obtain the most accurate and representative transaction performance data possible today.

Complete index data that includes not only the aggregated and limited time-frame results as published here, but every data point taken 24/7 along with page, network component, content and error detail, is available from Keynote on a subscription basis for $3,885.00 per month. An aggregate view of the data is available for $895.00 per month.

Background on Keynote's Web Performance Indices

Keynote's Web transaction indices leverage Keynote's long history and experience developing Internet performance indices. Keynote launched the world's first Web performance indices that assess page download performance (as opposed to transaction performance), known as The Keynote Business 40 Internet Performance Index (measurements over T1 and T3 connections) and The Keynote Consumer 40 Internet Performance Index (measurements over dial-up and broadband connections). Keynote also launched the world's first transaction performance index, The Keynote Broker Transaction Index. All today are considered the 'gold standard' for Web performance benchmarking.

Now customers can use Keynote's growing line of industry-specific Web transaction indices to assess Web transaction performance against internal benchmarks and against competitors. Customers can then leverage Keynote's additional monitoring, performance management, load, content and usability testing services to improve the overall performance of their e-business applications and infrastructure.

To build and maintain its growing line of Web performance indices, Keynote uses its unparalleled global infrastructure of over 1,700 strategically and statistically located measurement, testing and diagnostic computers representing Internet performance from 50 metropolitan areas worldwide.

About Keynote www.keynote.com

Founded in 1995, Keynote Systems (Nasdaq "KEYN"), The Internet Performance Authority(R), is the worldwide leader in Web performance measurement and management services that improve the quality of e-business. Keynote's services enable corporate enterprises to monitor, benchmark, test, diagnose and optimize their e-business systems both inside and outside the firewall. Approximately 2,200 corporate IT departments and 17,000 individual subscribers rely on the company's easy-to-use and cost-effective services to increase revenues and reduce downtime costs, without requiring additional complex and costly software implementations.

Keynote Systems, Inc. is headquartered in San Mateo, California and can be reached at www.keynote.com or by phone in the U.S. at 650-403-2400.

Keynote, The Internet Performance Authority and Perspective are registered trademarks of Keynote Systems, Inc. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


 
Contact:
Keynote Systems
Della Lowe, 650-403-3233
dlowe@keynote.com
Dan Berkowitz, 650-403-3305
dberkowitz@keynote.com
Also See: How Hotels, Airlines and Travel Firms Treat Their Customers Online; Wyndham and Marriott Record Highest Customer Respect Index Among Hotel Firms / September 2003
Top Four Frustrations for Hotel Bookers; Consumers Find it Easier to Book Hotels Online Than Flights / September 2003
Travelocity Launches $80 million Ad Campaign; Hopes to Regain Market Share Lost to Expedia / January 2004


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