As smartphone owners become increasingly accustomed to accessing information quickly, easily and on-the-go, it’s no wonder they are packing this convenience and bringing their mobile device with them on vacations. According to a new Expedia.ca  survey of smartphone owners, 88 per cent said it would be very or somewhat useful to be able to use their mobile device to stay updated on hotel and flight information when on holiday. For those travellers who want to remain ‘in-the-know’, recent updates to the Expedia app  allows Canadians to do just that.
Expedia.ca, Canada’s largest online travel provider, recently announced the addition of a set of robust, visual-rich mobile itineraries capabilities to its award-winning(i) Expedia mobile app. Now, regardless of whether travellers book a trip with Expedia.ca on their smartphone or their desktop, their itinerary will be easily accessible – and sharable – in just a few easy steps via their mobile device. Using location awareness and time zone updates, the app also surfaces the most relevant part of the itinerary and related information like airport maps, flight status, confirmation codes and addresses at the moment the traveller is most likely to need that piece of information. The addition of mobile itineraries complements the features that have made the free Expedia app one of the top apps in travel: flight booking from more than 130 airlines, selection of more than 140,000 hotel properties and mobile-exclusive hotel deals.
“Ultimately what sets our app apart is its ability to create a consumer-friendly experience that is intuitive to the needs of the on-the-go traveller,” says Sean Shannon, Vice President and Managing Director for Expedia Canada. “Whether a traveller needs a flight update, help navigating a busy terminal or their hotel’s address our app will be there to help them when they need it most.”
Features of New Mobile Itineraries
This newest itineraries feature now delivers the following benefits for Canadians who booked travel with Expedia.ca, including:
- Real-time data as the app updates information, including flight status, automatically.
- Itinerary sharing via email and SMS.
- Login-free itinerary access using email and itinerary number.
- One-touch access to Expedia.ca customer service.
- Detailed itinerary information for all bookings made on desktop or mobile, including:
- Flights: Displays confirmation code, airline, flight number, travel dates and times, gate information and flight status. Additionally, it provides a flights map showing pins for departure and arrival, as well as potential layover airports and paths between them. The app also shows airport terminal maps for over 200 major airports worldwide.
- Hotels: The Hotel Page shows hotel address, contact information and a map of where hotel is located.
- Car Rentals: Provides confirmation code, car rental company, phone number for national 800 number, local phone number and the pickup and drop-off date and time.
- Cruise: See the day your cruise starts, then tap your cruise to open up your full cruise itinerary on the web.
- Destination Services: Shows the valid start date for each activity, the date the activity expires, the number and name(s) of guest(s) and a link to redeem vouchers, which provides barcodes for the activity.
The app, which has been downloaded nearly 12 million times worldwide, is free and available for download .
Behaviours of Vacationing Smartphone Owners
While booking and accessing itineraries have brought travel into the mobile world, there are also other ways Canadians are interacting with their smartphone while on vacation. According to the Expedia.ca survey, the most popular ways Canadians use their devices while vacationing are to check the weather (56 per cent), use GPS maps to navigate a new city (49 per cent), and access social media apps to stay in touch with their social networks (46 per cent).
And while smartphone owners surveyed are taking advantage of the convenience mobile apps offer, they are still spending most of their time actually enjoying their holiday. Of the Canadians who use their smartphone on vacation to post photos on Facebook, Instagram or other similar sites, most (16 per cent) are only posting once a day. Of this group, it’s most likely a woman rather than a man sharing images (20 per cent versus 13 per cent). Though the majority (59 per cent) of Canadians surveyed send personal emails while on holiday, they aren’t doing so very often: most of those who email (20 per cent) said that on average they only correspond with friends and family once a day while travelling.
Where respondents travel to also has an impact on whether they use their smartphones while vacationing. Of those surveyed, 79 per cent said they always use their smartphones when travelling within Canada, compared to 22 per cent for those who travelled in the U.S. and 13 per cent of those that travelled outside of Canada or the U.S.
“Whether it’s staying in touch with loved ones at home, looking for a great deal on a hotel or flight, or sharing their itinerary, Canadians clearly see their smartphones as an important part of the travel experience,” says Shannon. “We expect that for many Canadians, researching, booking and accessing their travel plans on their smartphones will soon be as natural as doing so from their desktop or laptop.”
From April 5th to April 8th, 2013, an online survey was conducted among a sample of 502 Canadian adults who own a smartphone and have travelled by air for leisure in the past 12 months, and who are also Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin of error – which measures sampling variability – is +/-4.4%, 19 times out of 20. The sample was balanced by age, gender, and region to ensure a representative sample. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.