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76pc of mobile flight bookings made for domestic travels: CheapOair

CheapOair’s iPhone app

Online travel agency CheapOair claims that 76 percent of reservations made from its iPhone application are for domestic travel, showing how mobile bookings continue to be used primarily for last-minute trips.

In conjunction with revamping its iPhone app, CheapOair recently revealed some stats on how its iPhone users compare to desktop users. CheapOair also has apps for the Android and Windows Phone 7, as well as a mobile site.

“Our iPhone app has become a major part of CheapOair’s business-growth strategy,” said Ankur Gupta, senior director of mobile solutions at CheapOair, New York.

“With traffic from mobile devices more than doubling over the past year, we aim to leverage the convenience and usability of the app to generate even more bookings with CheapOair,” he said.

CheapOair is an online travel agency that offers more than 100 million airfares on 400 airlines as well as vacation packages, hotel reservations and car rentals.

Mobile travelers
To compare to the number of domestic reservations from mobile, 68 percent of desktop consumers use the company’s Web site to book domestic flights.

The high number of online reservations made for domestic flights might be because CheapOair primarily focuses on lower prices. However, it also points to how consumers are increasingly using mobile and online mediums because they expect to find deals and price reductions on trips.

The average iPhone user is 31-years-old compared to the average desktop consumer, who is 44-years-old, per the company

IPhone users also tend to be skewed towards male, representing 53 percent of users.

The average advanced booking time for a CheapOair iPhone user is 28 days. To compare, desktop users on the site book an average of 41 days ahead.

Each app download averages 2.5 searches a month, representing 600,000 monthly flight searches, per CheapOair.

To keep up with competitors such as Travelocity, Orbitz and Hotels Tonight, CheapOair has also built up its social media presence with a revamp of its Facebook page, including sweepstakes as well as an increased Twitter presence. CheapOair has also launched a television campaign.

The CheapOair iPhone app

Time-sensitive travel
The CheapOair data is proof that not only are consumers looking up travel-related information on their devices, they are also buying from their handsets.

Mobile booking have been a hot topic lately with both online travel agencies and brands looking to drive reservations.

In particular, online travel agencies have been quick to embrace mobile because it feeds on the roots of the Web-based companies.

Similarly to CheapOair, recently ran a survey that found that 82 percent of its Hotel & Rental Car Negotiator app users booked reservations within 24 hours of traveling (see story).

“Travel is about being on the go, and the travel industry more than any other is suited to catering to the needs of their customers through mobile solutions,” Mr. Gupta said.

“With nearly half of all mobile users having Internet access on their devices, travelers going mobile will be expecting faster and easier options for booking flights and hotels, and we have made it a priority to excel and be at the forefront of that transition,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York