HAVE PHONE, WILL TRAVEL
The internet revolution has changed the way we book travel and now flights, hotels, cruises and tours can be researched and reserved in minutes without leaving the lounge.
But now apps are becoming the goto tool for holiday planning with some companies offering incentives – sometimes monetary, always time saving – to book travel on a tablet or smartphone rather than through “traditional’’ websites.
Here are four reasons to try an app the next time you’re ready to bon voyage.
THEY CAN SAVE YOU MONEY
Expedia is offering customers financial incentives to use its app and I made this discovery juggling devices to book a Singapore hotel for
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Bo@oknienwgsa.ctOwmo.-anuight stay at One Farrer Resort & Spa on the Expedia website cost $353 for the room while earning 705 points, but using the Expedia app to make my reservation would cost $342 with 1369 credits.
Expedia managing director Michael Pearson says the Expedia app now offers “mobile exclusive deals’’ where users can save up to 40 per cent on hotels as well as earning double points on all bookings that can be redeemed later to give members “more bang for their buck’’.
Wotif is another provider encouraging customers to use the app
firstname.lastname@example.orgOtme.au savings, which can’t be accessed when booking on desktop, as well as a “recommended tonight’’ function that potentially offers bonuses up to 15 per cent based on hotels in the user’s current location.
APPS CAN BE ACCESSED ANYWHERE
Pearson says an app lets you book on the go. “Whether it’s tickets for tours, shows, theme parks, car hire, or we found about 7O0nptewr cItetnetrof booked via@meoscbailpee_team devices were for room stays within 24 hours with travellers often picking up last-minute deals.’’ Travellers now expect to be able to use their mobiles. “Five years ago were 100 per cOennptIbnoteorkeisntg and now 40@peesrccaepnetsonfaps consumers use more than one device to shop before making their final decision and booking, and there’s a greater expectation to access everything on our mobiles.’’
Marriott’s Australian boss Sean Hunt says hotel apps are an efficient way to confirm bookings quickly. He says guests booking through the Marriott or Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG) apps access the lowest available rates.
“The apps are designed to streamline the check-in and checkout process, giving the option to use expedited mobile check-in desks, and tech-savvy guests can even use their mobile device as a room key with SPG keyless enabling them to go straight to their room,’’ he says.
Guests can use keyless technology to register theOirndtewviIctet,etrhen receive a message from@etshceahpoe_tteelawmhen their room is ready, and simply hold the phone over the suite lock for a signal to be sent that opens the door.
The Hilton app lets guests use their HHonors account to check in remotely andOcnhpoIonste room from a digital floo@r peslacnapaesswnealplsas customise their stay by making requests for upgrades of items to be delivered to their suite before arrival.
4 APPS REDUCE PAPERWORK
app means @vanceawtiso.cnOdme.taauils are stored in cyberspace eliminating the need to print airline details and plans.
When heading for a hotel, the app will not only highlight stay dates and the booking number but provide details on the check-in time, public transport options, and a map so guests have everything in their hand.
Travel apps enable users to have all their information on their smartphone. TAP INTO THIS