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Airlines are racing to get consumers' approval in the App Store

1 month ago by Jon Marino in Earnings

They're taking off - on your smartphone, at least. 

The top airlines in the US are in a slugfest to maintain iPhone rating count and app rating supremacy - and it's quite the race, too.

The biggest airlines in the US are scaling up their digital presence in both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, and we're able to measure the trajectory for market segment leaders in our chart above. It ranks the Apple ($NASDAQ:AAPL) Ratings Count for Southwest, Delta, United, and Jet Blue. We can also track the average Apple Store rating for each of the airlines' apps - all have ratings higher than 4.5 out of 5; with JetBlue's app leading the pack with a 4.9 (not shown). 

The first, clear takeaway is that it's not great news for Delta ($NYSE:DAL), which was once less than 100,000 ratings off the pace of group leader Southwest ($NYSE:LUV). Worse still, United ($NASDAQ:UAL) is closing in on Delta, having picked up a staggering 185% more reviews since November 2018 - in percentage and in number, the biggest leap for any airline. JetBlue ($NASDAQ:JBLU) places fourth; American Airlines' total ratings count leaves it pretty far off the pace of any of our core four, so to speak. 

So, what's good for Delta? We can start with its stock price appreciation - at 29% over the last 12 months, Delta ranks first among these airlines in terms of investor satisfaction, most likely. Delta hasn't announced earnings yet, but Southwest will reveal its earnings on January 23, along with JetBlue, and after Martin Luther King Day, we'll start earnings Tuesday next week with an announcement covering quarterly results from United. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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