Helpshift Survey: American Travelers Want More Airline Apps

New data from the customer support experts at Helpshift reveals that 83 percent of American airline app users and 95 percent of airline loyalty members feel airline apps improve the travel experience

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Helpshift, the company revolutionizing the customer support industry through enterprise-level, in-app customer experiences, today announced the results of a survey conducted by Radius Global Market Research June 12-13, 2017, among adults ages 18+ that explored American travelers’ interest in airline apps and in-app support.

Trump’s ban is bad for travel

Nearly three-quarters of Americans (74 percent) believe that the Trump administration is making travel more difficult. How? They fear it has caused Americans to avoid traveling in and out of the United States.

  • That it has caused those from foreign countries to avoid traveling to the U.S.
  • That the travel ban on visitors from some Muslim majority countries created chaos and unpredictability at airports
  • That the proposed laptop ban makes professional travel difficult to some countries
  • That people will associate them with President Trump’s policies when they travel abroad

American travelers want apps

Eighty-one percent of American adults use smartphone apps to manage different aspects of their lives.

More than a fifth (21 percent) use airline apps, and, of those, the vast majority (83 percent) feel these apps improve their flying experience. These figures are even higher among airline loyalty members, 42 percent of whom use airline apps and 95 percent of whom feel these apps improve their experience.

Nearly half (47 percent) of American travelers (described as those who use airline apps) and more than half (53 percent) of airline loyalty members say that this is because they like being able to see flight and airport information right on their smartphone. Another 45 percent of travelers and 54 percent of airline loyalty members say they like being able to check in directly from the app.

Other top reasons include:





Loyalty Members


• No longer having to print out boarding passes

37 percent

42 percent

• Being able to watch entertainment on personal device

27 percent

36 percent

• Because it is easier to lodge complaints

20 percent

29 percent

A minority of travelers say they like airline apps because they dislike interacting with people (15 percent of travelers and 17 percent of airline loyalty members) and because they feel they are smarter than people working in the airline industry (11 percent of travelers and 19 percent of airline loyalty members).

Customer support matters

More than three-quarters (89 percent) of travelers and loyalty members (87 percent) say they’d want to use a customer support feature in an airline’s app while flying.

When asked why, more than half of travelers (61 percent) and loyalty members (54 percent) cited convenience; more than one-third (36 percent) of travelers and 31 percent of loyalty members said so they wouldn’t have to wait for the flight attendant.

More than a third (38 percent) of travelers and 32 percent of loyalty members said they might need help connecting to the airline Wi-Fi; 36 percent of travelers and 27 percent of loyalty members anticipated needing help connecting to in-flight entertainment; and another 26 percent of travelers and 22 percent of loyalty members worried that the flight attendants might be too busy handling difficult passengers.

Attractive flight attendants are intimidating, according to travelers and loyalty members (27 percent of travelers and 21 percent of loyalty members).

“There is a marked shift occurring in consumer expectations around how they interact with brands,” said Abinash Tripathy, Founder and CEO of Helpshift. “People want to interact with brands the way they interact with friends: through messages and apps. These survey results underscore the fact that people prefer apps as their first port of call for customer service and support. Airlines that provide more sophisticated in-app support are more likely to enjoy stronger customer engagement and loyalty. We’re here to help with that.”

Indeed, airline apps that are not providing in-app service and support are missing an opportunity to engage customers, and it matters: 96 percent of travelers and 92 percent of loyalty members surveyed said if they experienced a problem mid-flight that was resolved through in-app customer support, they would likely recommend that airline to friends; 63 percent of travelers—and 59 percent of loyalty members—said they would be “very likely.”


The survey was conducted online within the United States by Radius Global Market Research on behalf of Helpshift June 12-13, 2017, among 2,170 adults 18+ in the United States. The results were weighted to the U.S, census for age, gender, region and income. For further information, please contact Laura Ruark at

About Helpshift

Helpshift bridges the disconnect between conventional customer service channels like email and phone support and a growing consumer base that lives in a mobile-first world. As consumers do more on their mobile phones and have a strong preference for messaging as their primary mode of communication, Helpshift’s customer service platform provides instant answers and messaging right within the mobile app. The Helpshift SDK also easily integrates with third-party tools and allows for highly-personalized support and user segmentation. Through this streamlined support system, companies can resolve issues more efficiently, boosting customer satisfaction in the process. Companies such as Viacom, Virgin Media, Microsoft, Western Union, Flipboard and WordPress and thousands of other industry-leading brands, startups and developers use the Helpshift platform to provide in-app support. Helpshift is installed on two billion devices worldwide and serves more than 400 million mobile customers monthly. To date, Helpshift has raised more than $38.2 million and is backed by Cisco Investments, Intel Capital, Microsoft Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, Salesforce Ventures, True Ventures, and Visionnaire Ventures. To learn more about Helpshift, visit follow @helpshift on Twitter.


for Helpshift
Laura Ruark, 540-599-7886


for Helpshift
Laura Ruark, 540-599-7886