TripIt introduced a free Android app, which enables travelers to view their itineraries; link to airlines, hotels and restaurants; and make calls directly from their itineraries in their Android devices.
TripIt already had, and recently upgraded, its iPhone app, and is testing a Blackberry app, which TripIt hopes to release before the end of 2009.
Mobile apps are a high priority, but which devices/platforms to publish apps to probably isn’t the most pressing issue. After awhile, travel companies will get their apps out there to all of the key platforms.
However, one of the key issues for the TripIts and Traxos remains how travelers get their air and hotel booking details to the itinerary-management solution.
With Traxo, travelers must provide their user names and passwords for booking sites.
TripIt makes the traveler e-mail their booking confirmations. (Hey, it is better than having to fax them.)
TripCase, because it is tied to Sabre, enables the traveler to key in a record locator if the booking was made through Travelocity, lastminute.com or another Sabre-connected travel agency.
An easier solution is the distribution agreement that TripIt recently made with Expedia Inc.’s Hotwire, although it hasn’t been implemented yet. Hotwire bookers will be able to click a button on Hotwire.com to automatically send their itineraries to TripIt.
I met with Hugh Jones of Travelocity last week, and he hinted that Travelocity and TripCase would enter into a similar arrangement.
One of the issues here is that the booking site would have to use some resources to make the button happen, and there isn’t much advantage to doing so for the supplier website unless there is an attractive component to the commercial relationship between the two companies.
But, as a consumer, I would much prefer clicking a button to send my itinerary to one of the itinerary-management solutions than to furnish all of my supplier-website passwords to Traxo.
Then again, as much as I like social media, I have no great desire to share my flight numbers and schedules with the world.
If I want to let you know when and where I’m traveling, I’ll just tell you.