Southwest Tops In Value, BrandIndex Finds
The lowest-ranking brands in each category were United Airlines, Aeromexico, Motel 6 and W Hotels.
BrandIndex also ranked buzz for each brand by asking consumers if they had heard anything positive or negative about them in the preceding two weeks. The two top-valued airlines also received the most positive buzz, but the top hotels buzz-wise were Holiday Inn in non-luxury and Hilton in luxury. The most negative buzz came from US Airways, Air France, Motel 6 and Omni Hotels.
BrandIndex derives brand scores from 100 to -100 by subtracting negative feedback from positive. In this respect, Southwest nabbed a 40.0 value ranking--flying well above No. 2 JetBlue (16.9), which itself was miles ahead of No. 3 AirTran (3.0). In buzz, Southwest also soared, with a 30.6 score vs. JetBlue's 8.9 and Continental's 2.4.
Scores were much lower in general for the international airlines, with Virgin only earning a 5.4 in value (over Lufthansa's 2.6) and a 4.8 in buzz (over British Airways' 4.5).
The hotel races were much tighter. For the non-luxury brands, less than five points separated the top six value-wise, with Courtyard by Marriott nabbing 27.8, its sister Marriott chain, 27.4; Comfort Inn, 27.2; Holiday Inn, 26.0; Best Western, 25.8, and Hampton Inn, 23.3. In buzz, Holiday Inn's 18.7 was followed closely by Marriott's 18.5.
In luxury hotels, W was the only chain of nine surveyed to have a negative value score, with Hyatt's 13.4 followed by Hilton' 12.9, Westin's 9.5 and Windham's 8.3. In buzz, nobody came up negative, with Hilton's 11.2 leading Ritz-Carlton's 9.6, Hyatt's 8.1, and Four Seasons' 7.7.
BrandIndex interviews a sample of 5,000 U.S. consumers, 18+ every day, with respondents drawn from an online panel of 1.4 million people. The latest travel brand results were based on figures as of Dec. 8.