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Orbitz expands mobile booking presence with native iPad app

The Orbitz Flights, Hotels, Cars app iPad app is part of the company’s growing mobile repertoire. The app as designed specifically for the iPad and features mobile-only discounts to incentivize consumers.

“The growth and adoption of mobile is incredible,” said Chris Brown, vice president of mobile at Orbitz, Chicago. “In 2013, we’ll see more growth and bookings for flights, cars and vacation packages.

“Smartphones are more for the last-minute bookings, while tablets are sometimes a replacement for PCs,” he said. “It’s a device that’s portable when you want it to be.”

Key features
The company decided to roll out the app after seeing a high penetration of adults owning a tablet device.

Furthermore, more users are turning to their mobile devices to make purchases and booking upcoming travels.

Through the app, consumers can search and book flights, hotels and rental cars through a dual list or map view of hotels.

Customers also have the ability to compare details of multiple flights, rental cars or hotels from a single screen, as well as sort and filter capabilities.

The app also features exclusive, mobile-only deals where users can save up to 50 percent off hotels in a variety of popular destinations via the Orbitz Mobile Steals section.

In addition, consumers can view travel itineraries 24/7 – even without an Internet connection.

Customers can add a trip itinerary to their iPad calendar and get one-tap access to information on flight delays and gate changes.

Getting the word out
To help promote the new app, Orbitz is giving away a trip for two to Chicago that includes first-class round-trip airfare and a two-night stay in a suite at the five-star Peninsula Chicago.

The company is no stranger to mobile.

In 2011, Orbitz rolled out a mobile-exclusive daily deals program and an optimized mobile site that target travelers looking for last-minute bargains (see story).

Most recently, the company gave hotel reservations a boost with a campaign that used online video to persuade consumers to book from their handsets (see story).

“Orbitz wants to be everywhere consumers are,” Mr. Brown said. “We really embrace the way that people want to shop and we want to be at the forefront of that.

“We want to make the booking experience as easy as possible, as well as pleasant,” he said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York