Same-day apps cater to last-minute travelers
Procrastinating travelers who find it difficult to plan trips in advance could find some spontaneity and even bargains with last-minute travel apps to book flights and hotel rooms.
Whether it's finding a flight or a same-day hotel room, apps are catering to consumers seeking more flexibility.
“Most people think that it's crazy to book a flight at the last minute because it's expensive and complicated,” says Patrick Surrey, chief data scientist at Massachusetts-based travel company Hopper.
Hopper's new app, Flight Tonight for iPhones, helps consumers find flights leaving within 24 hours.
After entering the airport of departure, the app displays every destination with flights that day sorted by cheapest price. The company, which analyzes millions of flight purchases each day, said a small number of flights booked on the same day of travel have the same price as those booked 30 to 50 days in advance.
The app is free and available in the United States and Canada.
For last-minute hotel bookings, consumers can turn to popular apps such as Hotel Tonight and HotelQuickly, which show rooms available at a discount for the same night. The travel website LastMinute Travel also has a same-day reservation app.
Last month, the Chicago-based Groupon launched a new app feature called Getaway Tonight for finding same-day hotel deals in the United States.
“Already, 15 percent of hotel bookings are done at the last minute, and it's growing as more tools emerge that allow consumers to be more spontaneous in their planning,” says Simon Goodall, vice president and general manager of Groupon Getaways.
But Chris McGinnis, editor of the website TravelSkills, says it is unlikely travelers will embrace a same-day flight-booking app. “To drop everything and run out to the airport, that's not the way people operate,” he said.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.