In a media gathering today, Expedia has showcased its mobile app which lets you book hotels and flights seamlessly from your mobile device. Expedia which is an Online Travel Agency (OTA), recognises the dramatic shift from desktop to mobile usage. Developing a successful mobile app to offer a similar or better user experience can be a challenging task. To ensure the best mobile experience, Experia had acquired app developer Mobiata which has developed successful travel apps such as FlightTrack.
With Expedia expanding its presence in South East Asia, the availability of the mobile app makes hotel and flight bookings rather seamless. The app uses a very pictorial interface which makes discovery of hotels and destinations rather easy.
At the moment, most of the popular hotels in Malaysia are already listed and they are looking to expand their listings further through more partnerships. To make it more enticing for users to switch to mobile, Experia is also offering Mobile only exclusive deals which isn’t available anywhere else. To aid booking consideration, each hotel listing comes with reviews, maps and photos as well.
Unlike other hotel booking sites, the reviews are actual raw feedback without moderation for greater transparency. By default, the app will recommend hotels around your vicinity using the current location, just in case you need a room immediately.
From their observation, last minute bookings is quite a significant trend on their booking system. During Valentine’s day, they had set a new record with the most bookings made after 10PM with most hotel bookings were made for hotels with 2-3 star rating.
The flight booking engine is rather comprehensive and it searches across all available airlines including our local Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia. For international routes that requires stop overs, the search result page is pretty well designed with icons and indications of total travel duration and time spent for each stopover.
After a booking has been made, the Expedia app also acts as a travel companion as it informs you of possible flight delays and confirmed departing gate numbers before you head to the airport. Upon arrival, it also informs of you which luggage claim carousel to pick up your checked in luggage.
The Expedia Mobile App has gotten over 200,000 downloads in Malaysia and it is available for both Android and iOS devices. They are still working on other mobile platforms and have briefly shared that a new tablet version is in the works.