Several of these apps blend online and offline, and most are leveraging membership fees as a way to prosper. You know how this goes: One or two may prosper and the rest will be a footnote.
Will artificially intelligent flight search tools finally put an end to the ceaseless "what's best time to buy a plane ticket?" questions? We can only hope.
We haven't always been enthusiastic about travel apps. These five, though, have something that most others can learn from.
There's obvious safety and privacy reasons to limit widespread use of drones at popular tourist sites. But perhaps there's a way these robotic flying machines, if used responsibly, can still inspire and excite travelers' imaginations.
In a world with so many travel apps of suspect value and necessity, these three platforms deliver real improvements for users in each of the three travel categories.
Lola wants to use mobile messaging, and an artificial intelligence system that learns traveler preferences, to reinvent how consumers book travel using a travel agent. Everyone else wants to cut travel agents out. Lola wants to deal them in.
Will Boingo continue to be an integral service between consumers and public places, or will it get pushed aside as connectivity becomes less complex?
Fliers consistently rave about the perks and convenience of airlines like Porter. But the sad truth is that more powerful industry competitors and government regulators can make or break the success of upstarts, simply by denying access to key airports or limiting their growth.
As with anything Google does, you can expect Google Trips to be very much a work in progress that goes through numerous iterations before it becomes available to the public. But its beta release expands Google's footprint in the travel ecosystem especially since so many consumers begin their trip planning in the search engine and explore destinations with the Maps app.
Traveler demand for, and use of, Internet connection services is soaring, creating a dilemma for travel brands that must walk a precarious tightrope between charging for access and risking customer anger over unreliable free service.