iPads on board

TUIfly is the first European Airline testing the possibilities of Tablet use in airplanes. Passengers on medium-haul flights can rent an iPad for €9 during the evaluation phase running until the end of October this year. Users of the service will have the chance to compile their own in-flight entertainment channel and to choose between a range of current movies, kid programmes, travel magazines and radio stations. Thus, passengers can choose whatever they like on a finger tip.

TUIfly says if passengers accept the new entertainment service, TUIfly plans to provide Tablets on all flights beginning in summer 2012.

Also Australian national carrier Qantas recently started a trial with iPads for entertainment using Wi-Fi stream content on board of the a Boeing 767-300. Use cases for Tablet PCs in aircrafts can not only be seen for passengers. Thinkable is also the use of Tablets for navigation, i.e. Boeing division Jeppsen offers an iPad App for flight Navigation charts or flight attendants equipped with iPads. British Airways is testing to see whether iPads will make cabin crews helpful and more productive during loading and flights.

The trend of using Tablets in the air is just in its beginnings and provides plenty of opportunities. We keep excited.


User-Survey: Mobile Self Services at Airports

In its annual Survey airport tech provider SITA points out that more and more passengers use self-services at airports. Reason for that trend is on one hand the increased number of passengers carrying a smartphone (from 28% to 54 % within the last twelve month) and on the other hand the improvement in booking and check-in processes as well as the availability for self-service facilities.

Already one third of the respondents checked in via smartphone. 17 % use mobile boarding passes and more than 70 % stated they would like to use this service. More than half of the business and first class travellers get SMS texts for alerts.

Free wifi at airports is increasingly popular.  Three of four passengers would connect to a free WIFI network at an airport to look for trip-related information.

Nearly 80 percent want information on their flight. Half of the respondents are interested in security information and 40 percent would search for department gate and walking times. More than 20 percent want to get information about directions and airport parking.

Since six years SITA analyzes the usage of smartphones at airports. In 2011 a total of 2,500 passengers at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Beijing International Airport, Frankfurt International Airport, Mumbai International and Sao Paulo Guarulhos got interviewed.
Find full study here

Expedia with four iPhone Apps

At the end of 2010 Expedia acquired the mobile app developer Mobiata. Since then the worlds largest travel marketplace released three more iPhone apps. Today the company offers with its now four published iPhone applications a variety of possibilities of mobile travel apps.

Egencia Mobile
Egencia Mobile is the latest app release of Expedia, which was especially tailored for the needs of  business travellers. The service of Egencia, that is a part of Expedia specialised in business travel, offers useful services for people on the road:

– Interactive map with all stations of the trip
– Push messages with travel information
– Flight alerts
– Destination alerts
– Flight schedule
– Online check-in
– Click-to-call Egencia customer service

Egencia Mobile
is available in 13 countries and supports eight languages so far. At the moment Egencia Mobile is only available for iPhone. New versions for BlackBerry, Android and Smartphones shall follow.

Expedia Pauschalreisen
The app, which is only supported in German, is a booking tool for package tours. Users can search for and book their next  holiday trip on their mobile device. The app has been listed within the Top 100 Travel apps in the German App Store for months now.

Download app here



Expedia Hotels-Book your Hotel Rooms
With Expedias Hotels app one can check the real-time availability and book an accomondation from the Expedia contingent of more than 130,000 hotels worldwide. Since September the App is available in 15 languages.

Download app here



Trip Assist by Expedia
Trip Assist is a mobile itinerary tool that provides extra value such as flight alerts or direct connection to the mobile   website of Expedia to book or change a trip. The tool is only available in the US Apple App Store.

Download app here
What will be the next step in Expedias mobile strategy?

Mobile Travel App Catalog for iPad now available

The Mobile Travel App Catalog 1.0 for iPad is now available in the Apple App Store worldwide.

For all those who neither could grab a printed version of the Mobile Travel App Catalog 1.0 at this year`s ITB Berlin nor downloaded it from the internet, we proudly present the catalog for the iPad. Now you can easily browse on the tablet through the pages of the catalog and get an interesting insight into the opportunities of mobile travel applications.

You want to be part of the next version of the Mobile Travel App Catalog? Contact us!

Bluetooth Marketing at Airport Düsseldorf

I thought Bluetooth Marketing was dead. But no, there is an airport trying it. Airport Düsseldorf uses 120 Beamzones from Blue Cell Networks to cover its airport with download stations. The interesting part of it is that DUS uses a performance based business model. Advertisers such as N24 pay per download and can reach as much as 100.000 downloads per month.

I will be at DUS this week trying by myself. Will see…

Read on: mobilbranche.de




Mobile Travel App Catalog ready for download

Our Mobile Travel App Catalog which we presented to the public at ITB Berlin 2011 two weeks ago was a great success. The booklet was out of stock by the end of the exhibition. Fortunately we do have a digital version of it. You can download it from today. The only thing you have to do is paying with a tweet (just click on the button). I saw it the first time on Mobile Zeitgeist (@Heike you are always ahead ;-). If you don’t have a Twitter or Facebook account, please post: Just downloaded Mobile Travel App Catalog via https://mtiblog.wordpress.com to any Social Network and send us a screenshot. We will send you a copy via Email.

I would like to say thank you to our sponsors helping us to cover the costs of the Mobile Travel App Catalog. For our next catalog please get in contact with us if you want to be part it. Here are the sponsors in alphabetical order:



ITB Asia ——————————————————————–ostseh.com

Mobile Travel Takes Off: Smartphones are changing the way people travel

According to eMarketer the number of US mobile users who research travel on their mobile devices will climb from 19.7 million in 2010 to 29.7 million in 2012. Those booking via mobile will nearly double in the same timeframe, from 8.7 million to 15.1 million. “Mobile has dramatically altered the travel experience,” said Noah Elkin, eMarketer principal analyst and author of the new report. “From pre-trip planning to in-flight and on-property services to context- and location-aware destination information, mobile devices promise to transform every phase in the travel process, putting vital information—and new marketing opportunities—within hand’s reach.”

Unfortunately this research represents the US market only. I am sure that Europe looks similar.

Furthermore Juniper Research reports that every seventh bar coded boarding passes worldwide will be delivered to passengers’ mobile devices within 2 years. This equates to 480 million mobile boarding passes which is treble the 160 million for last year, as mobile technology and especially smartphones are having a rapidly growing impact on the airline industry. Juniper Research has also identified significant market progress for mobile tickets from both vendors and crucially airlines as well as growing potential across train travel and in suburban metro systems, which will be boosted by the momentum currently being seen in NFC.

Introducing the Mobile Travel App Catalog ITB Berlin 2011 Edition

Pick up your personal edition of the brand new Mobile Travel App Catalog by mvolution at
ITB Berlin 2011 hall 7.1c booth 107.

The Mobile Opportunity

Since the arrival of the Smartphone (not only iPhone but also Android, BlackBerry and newer Nokia devices) and the increasing public awareness thereof, end users (including travellers) have been quick to embrace mobile applications (apps). In the last 12 months there has been an explosion of companies leveraging apps to capture the benefits of mobile technology. According to BITKOM about 900 million apps have been downloaded in Germany in 2010 generating an annual growth of 112% and revenues of 357 million Euro. Over 25% of the German population own and more interestingly use their Smartphone to access the mobile internet: this has become a mass market.

By today the German Apple App Store accounts for about 300.000 apps including 18.324 travel apps (category travel). This is rank no. 7 just after category Utilities with 19.020 apps. Interestingly paid apps account for 72% and only 28% are free travel apps. In terms of downloads the most popular free travel app (in Germany DB Navigator) will reach over 2 million in 2011 and Kayak already has more than 5 million downloads in the US.

Within the App Store category Travel we had a close look at different apps. We analysed the most interesting ones and created 16 categories relating to the travel industry. For each category we took (if available) five travel apps and tried to extract their differences in terms of functionality, ranking and App Store user reviews. We discovered very interesting features and multiple approaches to creating and marketing apps.

The Search function for example, is important for finding places, hotels, train or rental car stations, connections or directions. The analysis showed that there are 10 different ways search (from Augmented Reality to Voice) is used by the app providers. Or Social Media features can range from pure Facebook or Twitter links to integrated sharing functionalities with other Social Media apps. It is also notable that for travel companies booking and reservation via mobile becomes a real positive return on investment business case.

Some players believe that mobile commerce will be arround 20% of their revenue share within the next few years. We think too, that this can be true, because Smartphone apps can create a user experience that is superior to using the corresponding website with the desktop device, and at the same time add specific value to certain travel related use cases. However we also discovered that only a fraction of travel companies do a good job with their mobile strategy which is not understandable considering the importance of the mobile channel.

So we are excited about the future developments in this segment and hope to bring you with this first edition of the Mobile Travel App Catalog, interesting insights into the market. We are also looking forward to getting feedback from you on your mobile experience.

The Mobile Opportunity

mvolution shows Mobile Travel Apps at ITB Berlin

At this year’s ITB Berlin exhibition we will present 3 hot mobile travel topics making the Travel Industry even more valuable. Contact us (mvolution) under:

+49 3641 573 3399 or solutions@mvolution.de for a person to person meeting at Hall 7.1c booth 107.

First is: From Web to App for iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia …

As one of the most experienced App Developers (already 6 years) we will show how to develop a Mobile strategy and value added Apps with a Cross-Mobile-Platform approach. We offer full services: From consulting (finding the right mobile strategy for your business), concept building (designing screens, storyboard and architecture) and implementation (developing frontend, backend and interface) to quality management (testing, debugging and updating). Additionally, we provide hosting, support and app-store management.

Second: Itinerary Management

Aimed at the business traveller, travelload solves a problem by providing a single itinerary consolidation travel manager as a tool keeping the travelload subscriber informed, alerted and organized about flight information, trains, hotels, rental cars, weather, timetables, alerts, delays, traffic, change of gates, on fly reservations, booking, navigation, maps and expense reports which are all delivered through intuitive well designed mobile applications, tablet applications, web browsers and social networking integration.

Third: Real Time Traveller Tracking

Travel security is a big issue these days. Whether the outbreak of a volcano, weather chaos or political conflicts: There are thousands of scenarios to think of. In order to make the world of travel a bit safer, we developed a crisis management and real time traveller tracking tool. The instrument is integrated into our meta mobility platform travelload. Intelligent filter mechanisms enable target-orientated distribution of information, since travel managers can see who is in the concerned region. In case of emergency a SMS via message centre is sent to all affected persons. The persons can send back their real location information through SMS. Travel Managers see the real time traveller position immediately.

RIM (BlackBerry) to become an OTA?

Well, I guess it is yet too early to say, but on Monday this week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona RIM announced its own travel product the BlackBerry Travel App. And this is an interesting move by RIM. Why? Let me ask the question who in the travel value chain is closer to the end user? An OTA (e.g. Expedia) or a Smartphone Device Manufacturer? The smartphone is used every day, every hour or sometimes a lots of minutes per hour, right? To get to Expedia, which I may use a few times a year, I need a desktop computer and I need to know the URL.

Source: BlackBerry App World

So the right strategy is to come far closer to the end user by cooperating with SDM. So did Expedia Affiliate Network who is providing the Hotel content for the Travel App. There are also other players within the value chain of travel, who could be closer to the end user than any OTA or travel supplier, the Mobile Network Operators (like Vodafone or Telekom). Those guys are losing voice revenues and are keen to find new transaction based business models.

At the end the user will decide whether they trust those new players or not. My personal opion: it’s worth a try…

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