Last updated: 05:00 PM ET, Tue May 03 2016

Discover The Absolute Best and Worst Travel Apps Of The Year

Travel Technology | Gabe Zaldivar | May 03, 2016

Discover The Absolute Best and Worst Travel Apps Of The Year

Photo via Flickr

You use them to book flights and hotels, navigate the transom of the city in which you find yourself and explore its treasures. They are those valued and beloved travel apps, and a recent study has separated the best from the absolute worst in regards to consumer ratings.

ARC (The Application Resource Center), which is the digital magazine arm of app quality website Applause, released its third annual report specifically geared towards rating applications.

The Best and Worst Rated Travel Apps of 2016” scoured a whopping three million reviews across the App Store and Google Play and came back with 118 of the most pertinent apps.

It seems the answer to the question, "Who actually reads those reviews?"  is ARC and its team of dedicated personnel, which fortunately divulged who faired more favorably with travel consumers.

The report, which you can read in depth at the above link, tosses various apps in one of eight buckets (Navigate, Book, Cruise, Ride, Explore, Drive, Stay and Fly).

While some apps scored high on the favorability scale, there were six that ARC decided to feature due to their extreme popularity.

The Best

Of those apps that garnered 50,000 reviews or more, signaling a highly used and extremely tested application, the ones that scored the best were GasBuddy (85.0), (84.0), Groupon (82.5), Waze by Google, TripAdvisor (74.0), Yelp (67.5).

GasBuddy’s remarkable score makes a great deal of sense. Anyone who has used the app appreciates its intuitive interface. But really, who doesn’t love finding cheap gas?

Not only is it useful, it makes us feel like we are in on some elaborate secret society of travelers who have the skinny on low prices.

Perhaps much can be said for the other apps that are extremely easy to use and also offer a wealth of information that empower our respective travels.   

Whether it’s a possible shortcut in Waze or a local hangout we may have missed with Yelp, we get exactly what we desire in an instant.

Those six represent the tried and true examples of functional apps. However, there should be a nod to others that might not have had a wealth of reviews but scored fairly high: (86.5), Hailo (74.5), Alaska Airlines (83.5), Citymapper (84.5) and Rail Planner by Eurail Group (85.5).

READ MORE: Travix Welcomes Routehappy's Wealth of Airline Amenity Content

The Worst

Now it’s time to publically shame those apps that draw the Internet umbrage of so many smartphone-wielding travelers.

As above, ARC picked on those apps that received a great deal of reviews (10,000 or more in this case) and also netted a favorability score of 50 or less.

Here are the ones that can step on up for their virtual flogging: Foursquare (48.5), Expedia (47.0), GPS Navigation & Maps by Sygic (46.5), Zomato (fmr. Urbanspoon) (42.5), Delta Air Lines (35.5), Ola (40.5) and Southwest Airlines (25.5).

Taking a cursory look at some of the reviews, such as those with Expedia and Delta, it’s clear that a confusing interface and lack of basic functions is a quick way to get your app lambasted by consumers.


An extra round of applause is in order for Hilton, which garnered the greatest positive swing from last year’s round of scores, enjoying a 30.5 boost in sentiment regarding its app.  

Some of the more peculiar scores might just be some of the most popular. Airbnb, Lyft, Uber are constantly featured in headlines yet still warranted a 56, 60.5 and 56.5 average score respectively.

There may be that expectation with highly visible applications that a flawless experience is a few taps away. Perhaps it’s those apps that get hit the hardest with scrutiny shortly after a booking or ride – although that’s just conjecture.

In the end, receiving a high score seems like a simple task in theory.

Create something that solves one of travel’s little conundrums; make it absolutely vital and simple to use.


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