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The Hotels, Flights & Rental Cars mobile app was updated to meet the needs of the mobile-equipped traveler. The app is available for free download in Apple’s App Store.

“The strategy was to build out a full-service travel app that would cover hotel rooms, rental cars and airline tickets – the key stuff a mobile traveler on the go needs,” said Brian Ek, a spokesman for Priceline.con.

“We began by building the hotel component, since hotel is our biggest business,” he said. “Then rental car, then air.

“And we’ll do a Android version of this in the future.”

Enhanced features
The Hotels, Flights & Rental Cars mobile app has been optimized to take advantage of the iPhone 5’s larger screen size.

Through the app, consumers can choose from thousands of published-price domestic and international itineraries, including round-trip, one-way, non-stop routes and itineraries with connections.

Additionally, consumers can sort flights by price, departure time, arrival time or flight duration.

The app also features an airport locator that lists the departure airports closest to the mobile user’s current location.

The app stores and retrieves airports based on recent searches.

There is also a date selection calendar that lets travelers choose departure and returning dates in one comprehensive view.

Furthermore, Priceline has enhanced the app to remember a traveler’s most recently searched itinerary and airports, which helps simplify future searches.

“Our latest TV ads are with William Shatner, but they all focus on our mobile capabilities,” Mr. Ek said. “We’ll also be doing social media, email outreach and signage on our Web site.

“Air is the new feature,” he said. “However, the app has also been optimized with the iPhone 5’s larger screen in mind, so that’s pretty significant, too.”
Mobile efforts
Priceline has been ramping up its mobile efforts over the past few years.

Earlier this year, the company’s rolled out an application for iPhone and iPod touch devices to let travelers find quick savings at nearby hotels (see story).

Most recently, Priceline aimed to boost its mobile revenue with two tools that help users book travel plans via their handsets.

Priceline rolled out its Express Deals feature to some of its apps and its mobile site to speed up the booking process.

Additionally, the company’s Tonight-Only feature was expanded to new markets (see story).

“We’re finding that a growing percentage of customers are booking via mobile devices, so this is a logical extension of our strategy to present our services in the ways that customers want to use them,” Mr. Ek said.

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