Twitter is one of those love or hate type applications. Some users find it to be extremely useful, a way to send promotional or other updates that can help business. Others find it just a silly message system where users can vent frustration, update on frivolous matters or just send 140 characters about… anything. So is it useful or not depends on what you are saying essentially.
Now users can at least keep contacts informed about travel status – not that this couldn’t have been done simply by typing a Twitter message with the update manually of course. But TripChill Mobile Travel Assistant allows users update their Twitter status as well, letting those following you know about flight departures and arrivals, as well as changes and even cancellations. This app can offer monitoring in the background for users, and update travel status automatically through Twitter.
We could even see how followers on Twitter could know about some delays before you do, such as if you’re in flight and plans change while you’re in route! The best part here is that Twitter can be updated automatically, even if you don’t have Web access, making for a reasonable use of those 140 characters.
Mobile Travel Sites Launch
This time of year is considered “award season,” which generally runs from just around the holidays through the end of March. Among those award events is the World Travel Awards, which includes regional award ceremonies around the world to recognize the travel and tourism industry.
Thus, it is fitting that the World Travel Awards (WTA) has created a mobile Web site (worldtravelawards.mobi), which was developed with the assistance of mobile Web development company World Mobi. This site provides information on the WTA, including two event pages, a winners’ page, and even a link to the WTA’s YouTube Channel, where users can watch WTA videos.
Online travel agent ebookers.com also announced that it has launched a mobile Web site to tap into the growing mobile phone market. The site will provide access to hotels, flights and car deals, yet for now, customers will not be able to actually book these directly. Instead, the users will be redirected with ebookers.com providing the actually booking.
While it seems odd that ebookers.com wouldn’t let customers book directly from a handset, the truth is that many users might not want to do so. According to the annual Cybersource UK Online Fraud Report, those users asked online bookings from mobile Web sites found that 78 percent of consumers would never make a booking this way.
Fraud is obviously a big part of it, but so is the fact that the mobile Web still is fairly concise. The rule for many users when booking travel is to check once, twice, thrice to ensure that you are in fact flying out on the 5th at 8am and not flying out at 5pm on the 8th. Yet, many users still book the wrong times and mobile makes it even harder because so much less data can be viewed at a time.