Business travelers have been showing a growing interest for mobile travel services according to the Sabre
Global Trends Survey released last November. A high majority of
corporate travelers interviewed (69%) possess a smart phone, both
young and older passengers, and want their phones to give them flight
notifications, e-check-in, hotel locations or city guides.
The air transport IT provider SITA also
points out that 78% of airlines intend to adapt their websites to work
on mobile phones by 2010. They also created a mobile workforce
innovation focus group to define industry requirements for a common-use
context-aware platform at airports. Virgin Atlantic began the trend by
launching master classes to maximise the use of Blackberries. More
recently, the airline proposed the unusual Flying without Fear course
on IPhone that should help people to overcome their fears, anxious of
travelling by plane.
Hotel chains are also part of the process: Hilton, Best Western, Choice
Hotels, Accor, Four Seasons have strongly been developing dedicated
applications for smartphones. The German Sixt Ag was the first rental
company to provide its clients with a free of charge application on
IPhone, to meet the new mobility demands.