Survey: Most Smartphone Flight Bookings Made Late

Well more than one-half of meeting professionals and other business travelers who use mobile devices to arrange flights book them one day to one week prior to departure, according to research conducted by a leading business-to-business-for-employees management platform.

Some 62 percent of mobile bookings—compared with 28 percent of computer bookings—are made within the week prior to departure, according to CWT, which has been at the forefront of studying flight booking patterns. This recent survey included 594 business travelers who work at large companies with a travel policy and specific booking tools. Respondents were from Australia, Canada, France, the United Kingdom and the United States, and had to have traveled for business at least once in the previous 12 months.

The survey also found that mobile bookings are made in higher-priced categories than computer bookings. Those made on a smartphone are 15.8 percent more likely to be business class, 15 percent more likely to be premium economy and 8.4 percent more likely to be first class.

Also, travelers who make more than five trips per year are 13 percent more likely to book on a cellphone, and those who are revisiting a location are 11 percent more likely to do so.

“The findings are clear: The more you travel, the more you use your smartphone, and that includes booking your flights directly through an app,” said Amit Wurgaft, CWT’s digital chief experience officer. “Booking on your mobile device requires a level of confidence, born from experience. This is why travelers are more likely to book on mobile when they have visited the destination in the past.”

CWT’s survey also found that:

  • Some 73.5 percent of travelers book their flights at the office, regardless of the channel.
  • Travelers are 12 percent more likely to book on a mobile device it they arrange their flights at home.
  • Eighty percent of self-serviced business trips are booked on a desktop computer, compared with 15 percent on a cellphone and 5 percent on a tablet.