Mobile travel applications becoming more popular
November 24th, 2009 by elisa

Travellers both young and old are increasingly using mobile devices for flight notification, check in, and seat selection, and are also willing to accept advertising with free travel applications according to a mobile survey of travellers by Sabre Travel Network.

The survey of 800 corporate and leisure travellers from Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America covered topics ranging from preferred features to fees travellers might pay for travel applications.

The majority of travellers surveyed had a smart phone (69%), with North American travellers most likely to own one (78%) and APAC travellers least likely (46%). Daily usage is highest for email at 63% with Internet not far behind at 49%.

Corporate and leisure travellers both showed strong adoption for using their mobile phone to gain timely and relevant information, in particular:

· Flight notification (72%)

· Weather forecasts (68%)

· Viewing of hotel locations via map (67%)

· Flight performance (65%)

· Destination information/city guides (64 %)

“Smart phones are becoming a traveller’s preferred tool for managing post-booking activities and getting relevant information,” said Greg Webb, chief marketing officer of Sabre Holdings.

“This trend has seemingly penetrated all ages across all continents, highlighting the tremendous opportunity for travel agencies and suppliers to leverage mobile solutions to demonstrate value to their customers and creatively reach target audiences,” he said.

Other results show:

· 71% of Europeans are interested in using their mobile device to check in for flights, compared to 64 percent of North Americans.

· 64% of Europeans would like to select/change seats via their smart phone, higher than the 59 percent of North Americans.

· 55% of Europeans would use their mobile device to track their baggage, against 45 percent of North Americans.

· 54% of Europeans would like to use their smart phones to book flight upgrades, compared to 44 percent of North Americans.

Sabre’s 2009 launch of TripCase, a mobile application available today for both iPhone and Blackberry users, continues to gain momentum with tens of thousands of individual downloads, Innovator of the Year nomination by PhoCusWright and being named “Best Travel App” by Business Week. Sabre’s Virtually There itinerary service is used by more than 30,000 travel agencies around the world and their customers.

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