Technology provider Handy Group has launched a site enabling users to access mobile-friendly booking services including car rentals, flights, hotels and airport parking.
The company has partnered with the likes of Hertz and Holiday Extras to provide booking engines specifically tailored for mobile use. Michael Lacy, CEO for Handy Group explains: “With users already able to access the internet on their phones, one of the objections we faced [from potential customers] was ‘Why do we need a mobile site?’
“But accessing normal websites on your mobile can be a frustrating experience – our application is purely designed for mobile use, and enables users to see the entire site without the need to zoom in or scroll.”
Users can log on to the Handy Group portal via a URL provided in a text message. On the homepage they are presented with a list of booking options ranging from “Hertz Car Rental”, to “Airport Hotels”, “Airport Parking” and “Low-cost airlines”, the last of which provides a comparison booking engine for 37 low-cost carriers.
From here, users are presented with a real-time feed from the relevant website (in the case of Hertz, for example, they will be able to see the same availability of cars as they would on the actual Hertz website), and can make secure transactions directly through the Handy Group portal.
Lacy says the service has been designed around the “four Cs” – connectivity, capability, cost and content. “Connectivity is no longer an issue now that phones have 3G and HDPSA, and these phones also have the capability to provide a good user experience. With all-inclusive packages customers are also less worried than before about cost, so that just leaves content, which we take care of – making sure the content is displayed on the mobile device in the right way.”
One advantage of the Handy Group service is that it is not device or network-specific, so the booking engines can be used on all types of mobile phone, PDA or Blackberry. The company says it is talking to “major airlines”, hotels, resorts, corporate travel companies and car rental firms to further roll out its service.
To receive an SMS with the URL for the Handy Group service, text “Handy” to 61177, or visit handytraveller.com.
Report by Mark Caswell