The iPad is an ideal device for travelers to use when they want to sit back on the couch, or take an elliptical through its paces, and muse about where they'd like to travel to. Priceline's new Explore feature in its updated iPad app isn't going to kick the stock up to $1,500 per share, but it is a nice touch to round out its offerings.
Priceline and its Booking.com subsidiary are known for getting right down to business, and trying to get bookings as fast as possible before fickle travelers wander off somewhere and book with a rival. But, in a change of pace, Priceline has updated its iPad app, and introduced an Explore feature that enables travelers to muse about where they want to fly, and search by interests.
You can still use the iPad app to search for flights in a traditional way, but travelers also have the option to search for flights based on their interests, including “beach,” “family friendly” and “romantic.”
Users will then see appropriate destinations and fares on a map, which can be viewed in standard, hybrid or satellite mode, and they can view additional destinations when they zoom in.
If travelers have an idea which region they want to travel to they can circle an area on the map in Priceline’s iPad app. If they tap “more airports,” then they will see all area airports with flights available and the lowest airfares to those destinations.
Airlines and other travel providers have tried these sorts of searches before. It’s always a subset of travelers who find them useful, and not the dominant way to search for flights.
Still, offering a little travel inspiration is idea for the iPad, especially as iPad users tend to be in the very initial stages of research, and Priceline will experiment with it to see how things go.