‘Real-life’ test of travel sites shows speed discrepancy

A test of leading travel brands has found a “real disparity” between how well sites perform in technically advanced and real-life environments.

The experiment by web management services group Gomez discovered that some sites in a list of 21 major players were found to have a significant time-lag for users when running through 150 so-called node locations (telecommunications centres, or Backbone) and home broadband connections.

The study singled out EasyJet as a strong performer in the Backbone environment with response times of around half a second, but some customers would wait for up to six seconds on standard broadband connections.

In addition, Travelocity saw response stretch between three and nine seconds during the same study.

Gomez vice president for performance strategies, Matt Poepsel, said: “We were staggered that some of the biggest brands in the industry sat at the bottom of the benchmark for response time, and didn’t fair much better for availability.

“Running the tests through the peer community added an average of three seconds to the Backbone test results, with the bottom half of the table almost doubling.

“This testing re-confirmed that companies running performance tests from data centre nodes alone can’t guarantee a precise view of how their websites are really performing.”

The sites in the test included Accor Hotels, Air France, Avis, BMI Baby, British Airways, Budget, Easyjet, Expedia, Hertz, Hilton, KLM, LastMinute, Lufthansa, Opodo, Ryanair, Travelocity and TripAdvisor.

A full list of the results will be available shortly.

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