British Airways has emerged victorious in a survey of travel websites and their performance during the busy March period.
The airline’s online portal, BA.com, was found to have the quickest download times and best reliability in a test of leading travel websites, including Deckchair, Expedia, Lastminute, Thomas Cook and Travelocity.
Online business consultancy Keynote carried out the survey in order to expose the difficulties some users have found with travel websites in terms of the length of time information is displayed onscreen, and the general availability of a service.
BA.com scored highly in both categories, gaining five stars for reliability – meaning it was available to 99 out of 100 users – and had an average loading speed of 0.61 seconds.
In contrast Travelbag was handed a two-star rating for reliability, with 4% of users having difficulty with accessing the site.
Vice president and managing director for Keynote in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Haran Sold, said: “It’s been a long winter, and the fact that several travel websites have experienced problems could indicate that UK residents have been surfing the web in greater numbers in the hope of securing some sunshine for themselves.
“Over the coming months, this could represent a potential online goldmine for travel companies such as British Airways, providing they continue to cope with the increased web traffic.”
Sold blamed some travel companies for their poor performance – especially with loading times – on the type of content used on a website. Some sites had, Keynote said, had loading times of more than 10 seconds.
“Too many companies fail to monitor website performance from the perspective of the average internet user, an attitude that could prove costly,” Sold argued.
“In the travel sector there’s an enormous amount of choice available online, and if a user can’t access a company’s site, or the site takes too long to load, it may well mean business lost to a competitor.”