A usability study of airline booking platforms

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Nakushian, Andrew J.

Nakushian, A.J. (2020). A usability study of airline booking platforms. Proceedings of the 2020 IEMS Conference, 26, 122-127.


The purpose of this study was to assess and compare the usability of booking airline flights on an airline's mobile app and on the same airline's website. The method of this study was a usability test where participants gave detailed evaluations of their thoughts while using two platforms. This study was conducted using a laptop and a smartphone. The five participants were assigned to either a group where they had to book a flight on the PC first or the mobile application first. They were timed while they completed a series of tasks such as finding a specific flight, adding a first-class upgrade, and adding a service animal. The test showed that users took approximately half as long to complete the booking process on the mobile application when compared to the website. Most of the users, however, felt the website was a more user-friendly interface despite it taking nearly twice as long to complete. The users explained that they felt the website had more information to aid in making booking decisions as well as more defined buttons, so it was less difficult to make a mistake. This feedback was unexpected since all of the participants were members of Generation Z. This result is important because it could be used to help airlines redesign their mobile apps to give more information about flight options. It also hopefully could inform airlines that even though Generation Z grew up with smartphones and mobile technology, they still prefer the website for booking flights.

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Published in SOAR: Shocker Open Access Repository by Wichita State University Libraries Technical Services, December 2022.
The IEMS'20 conference committee: Wichita State University, College of Engineering (Sponsor); Gamal Weheba (Conference Chair); Hesham Mahgoub (Program Chair); Dalia Mahgoub (Technical Director); Ron Barrett-Gonzalez (Publications Editor)