Orbitz Offers Vacation Packages by App


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Customers can now book vacation packages on the Orbitz Android app.

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Orbitz.com

Reflecting a major shift in travel planning, Orbitz.com, the web-based travel company, now offers vacation packages in its mobile application. With a few taps, users can purchase combined flight and hotel packages on the app and view their total savings before they complete any sale.

Vacation packages are available now on the Orbitz Android app, while the package option on the Apple iOS app will be ready in late August.

According to a report by the Pew Research Center, 64 percent of American adults owned a smartphone in 2015, up from 35 percent in early 2011. The widespread availability of the phones has led to an increase in consumers conducting online purchases away from a traditional desktop or laptop.

Chris Brown, chief product officer for Orbitz Worldwide, has focused heavily on the technological aspects of the app, while also analyzing the user experience of online products.

“Launching the app took eight months to a year in trying to get all the pieces together,” Mr. Brown said. “There has been so much growth in larger smartphones—and apps dominate the time that people spend on smartphones. Increasingly, consumers are making bigger purchases on smaller screens, and people are looking for the kind of deals that we are offering.”

Orbitz.com users previously identified the ability to book vacation packages on the app as their leading request, based on company research.

This year, the average price for vacation packages booked on smartphones has been $1,658, according to Mr. Brown, with customers generally reserving top-rated hotels roughly two months in advance, similar to purchasing patterns on desktop computers and tablets.

The smartphone app builds from what Orbitz calls “dynamic packaging,” where any combination of flights, rental cars or hotels are booked, with deals and other special promotions being offered.

Ryan Kowalczyk, senior director of mobile products for Orbitz, said that a goal of the company was to allow customers to make vacation plans from any platform easily.

“In the first quarter, 34 percent of our overall hotel bookings were from mobile devices,” Mr. Kowalczyk said. “Our customers have saved $20 million on the Orbitz site this year, and booking vacation packages will only become an increasing aspect of the app.”



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