Do you use travel apps on your smartphone to book or track any elements of your travel? If so, you’re actually in the minority, according to a new survey by the Global Business Travel Association Foundation (GBTA) and Carlson Wagonlit Travel.
They polled more than 500 U.S. and Canadian road warriors, and found that only four in 10 have used a smartphone to book a hotel in the past six months — and hotel apps are the most frequently downloaded onto those devices. You can’t book if you don’t have apps, and the study found that “less than half of the business travelers surveyed have downloaded airline, hotel, travel reservation or general travel apps” onto their phones.
While just 39 percent booked a hotel on a smartphone app, 58 percent did so on a laptop and 43 percent used a desktop. Just 25 percent booked with a tablet.
To no one’s surprise, use of smartphone apps for travel purposes — like so many other things — declines with age. Travelers 55 and over were much less likely to have travel apps on their phones than their younger colleagues.
Another surprise (to us, at least, here in San Francisco) is that only about a third of business travelers have downloaded ground transport apps like Uber, Lyft, etc. Is that you? Then sign up here today and get your first ride for free!
“When it comes to how the apps are used, Millennials are more likely than Baby Boomers to use apps for booking hotels, hotel check-in, booking car rentals, checking reviews and online translation,” GBTA said. “Gen-X travelers are more likely than Baby Boomers to use travel apps for navigation, hotel check-in, tracking expenses, booking car rentals and online translation.”
Hotel apps dominated the types of travel apps downloaded, followed by general travel booking apps like online travel agencies, followed by ground transport apps and then review apps.
Looking at online hotel reservations that were not made through a company’s own online booking tool, 54 percent of the travelers said they booked directly with a hotel, while 41 percent used a third-party website and 5 percent used an event registration site.
“Interestingly, 42 percent who used an alternative channel said they are not required to share their travel information with their company,” GBTA noted. “This hampers a travel buyer’s ability to monitor and enforce policy compliance and also means they may not be able to locate their traveler in an emergency.”
What apps are on your smart phone? Which ones do you use the most?
NOTE: Be sure to click here to see all recent TravelSkills posts about: TSA PreCheck: No more free rides + Plight of the tall traveler + Photos: New United first class seat + Save money on calls from other countries + 6 secrets for snagging low fares