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Orbitz for Business debuts mobile booking site targeting corporate travelersBy
Orbitz Worldwide Inc.’s corporate travel group Orbitz for Business has launched a mobile Web site that lets business travelers search and book travel from their smartphone.
Orbitz for Business customers can search and book flights, hotels and car rentals through the mobile Web site at http://m.orbitzforbusiness.net. The mobile site was built to support the policy, control and compliance requirements of corporate travel managers and their programs, per Orbitz.
“A major challenge in delivering a comprehensive mobile solution – and a big reason such an offering hasn’t been available in the corporate travel market until today – is the rapid pace of innovation and fragmentation in the mobile space, and the non-negotiable requirement that any solution adhere to corporate travel policies,” said Jay Pierce, spokesman for Orbitz Worldwide, Chicago.
“In order to build a scalable platform with a consistent user experience – and equally important, full travel policy application – Orbitz for Business focused its efforts on launching an optimized mobile Web site that only required a user to have a Web-enabled mobile device and browser,” he said.
“Rather than building, deploying and maintaining three or four native apps that would inevitably leave out a portion of corporate travelers, we decided to build a focused mobile experience that looks and feels like a native app but offers the flexibility, scale and accessibility of the mobile Web.”
Mobile site for corporate travel bookings
The new Orbitz for Business mobile Web site gives business travelers the flexibility, features and functionality to book a broad array of travel products and services from their mobile devices.
Users can make new reservations by searching for and booking flights, hotels and car rental options, including same-day and last-minute reservations.
The new mobile site lets travelers sort and filter across various criteria and preferences. Users can search for flights by price or schedule, or search for hotels and cars by city, airport, company location or address.
Business travelers can use the mobile site for trip tracking and itinerary management. All travel reservations and trip details are available through My Trips. Users can cancel existing reservations and share itineraries via the mobile Web site.
The mobile site also features flight status and traveler updates. Users can check their flight status on major airlines worldwide or view airport conditions in various U.S. cities.
App users will also receive patented Orbitz for Business Care alerts and traveler updates.
In addition, the Orbitz for Business mobile Web site applies all existing corporate travel policies, controls and compliance guidelines to new reservations such as full policy application for all reservations, company and global messaging, and customer service and support.
“You can’t just deliver the best user experience—you need to make sure the back-end integrates seamlessly with a company’s unique travel program requirements,” Mr. Pierce said.
Each enterprise’s travel and compliance policies are applied to new mobile reservations, including trip purpose, prioritized search results with preferred suppliers and other company-level travel policies and reference data.
Global messaging from Orbitz for Business and company-specific messages will appear on the mobile home page and within search results.
Travelers can get customer service via email and telephone-based offline support.
“Mobile gives us another avenue to engage our corporate travelers with the right product at the right time, and vice versa,” Mr. Pierce said. “Mobile Internet adoption is quickly outpacing the desktop, and a majority of business travelers already carry a smartphone or other Web-enabled device.
“Today, most travelers use their mobile device for flight status updates, airport conditions or to update an existing reservation,” he said. “As one of the first online travel companies to extend those initial capabilities into a transactional realm, we’re betting that people will increasingly become more comfortable with searching and booking an entire business trip from their mobile device.”
Mr. Pierce said that he thinks mobile offers a tremendous opportunity to target in-market travelers with last-minute promotions and deals.
“Mobile marketing is the next evolution in our ability, and the ability of our supply partners, to sell the right product at the right time to the right traveler,” Mr. Pierce said. “For this initial build, however, our number-one priority was to develop a rock-solid, agnostic platform that supported a broad array of devices, and for the first time, allowed travelers to both search and book the big three travel products on the go.
“That being said, the ability to use our mobile platform to merchandise last-minute promotions to in-market travelers is definitely on the radar,” he said.
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