Travel Research

Alaska, Southwest, Marriott and Holiday Inn Express top customer experience ratings

a building with glass windows

2018 Temkin Experience Ratings found Holiday Inn Express and Marriott scored the highest customer reviews among 20 hotel brands rated. The Temkins report made the rounds of hotel industry news reporting this week. Customer survey data evaluated success, effort and emotion to compare and rank 318 brands and businesses in different sectors.

The travel sector looked at airlines, car rentals and lodging. You will notice not all brands are included. There needed to be a minimum of 100 survey responses to be included.

Airlines: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, ExpressJet, JetBlue Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin America

Hotels & rooms: Airbnb, Best Western, Comfort Inn, Courtyard By Marriott, Crowne Plaza, Days Inn, Fairfield Inn, Hampton Inn, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hyatt, La Quinta Inn, Marriott, Motel 6, Quality Inn, Residence Inn, Sheraton, Super 8, Wyndham

Rental Cars & transport: ACE Rent A Car, Advantage Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Fox Rent A Car, Hertz, Lyft, National Car Rental, Uber.

Southwest Airlines scored 78% to top airlines. Alaska Airlines ranked highly favorable. Spirit Airlines ranked at the bottom of the airlines and at #317, near the bottom across industries. CarMax ranked #318.

National Car Rental at 72% ranked best and Dollar at 51% poorest among rental car industry.

Hotel Brands Ranked

Holiday Inn Express and Marriott ranked 78% to top hotel industry. Days Inn at 56% and Motel 6 at 57% ranked lowest. The data point that caught my eye is Sheraton at 69% ranked below Best Western, Wyndham, Hyatt and several Hilton and Marriott brands. Sheraton is the only Starwood Hotels brand ranked in the survey.

Airbnb had the most improved ranking from 2017 to 2018, while Fairfield Inn had the biggest decline.

  1. Holiday Inn Express: 78 percent
  2. Marriott: 78 percent
  3. Hampton Inn: 76 percent
  4. Hilton: 74 percent
  5. Courtyard By Marriott: 73 percent
  6. Residence Inn: 73 percent
  7. Hyatt: 72 percent
  8. Wyndham: 71 percent
  9. Best Western: 71 percent
  10. Holiday Inn: 70 percent
  11. Sheraton: 69 percent
  12. La Quinta Inn: 68 percent
  13. Airbnb: 67 percent
  14. Super 8: 67 percent
  15. Fairfield Inn: 66 percent
  16. Crowne Plaza: 65 percent
  17. Comfort Inn: 64 percent
  18. Quality Inn: 62 percent
  19. Motel 6: 57 percent
  20. Days Inn: 56 percent

Overall the hotel industry ranked better (70%) than airlines (66%) for customer experience.

a building with glass windows

Does it matter?

In the final analysis, I think a traveler’s own experiences with a brand are all that truly matters. In general, I think these rankings look reasonable based on my brand experiences with hotels and airlines.

Fairfield Inn is a brand that I have had increasingly better experiences over the years, but I mostly have stayed in new build Fairfield Inn hotels.

I think new build hotels also accounts for high satisfaction with Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn. Those two hotel brands open a new property every other day on average in their rapid expansion of the upper midscale hotel market.

You can download a free version of the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings report here.