TripIt.com is a personal travel organizer aimed primarily at business users – and, I might add, one which many loved from the beginning. TripIt may not be the most feature filled travel platform you’ll ever see, but it has been an effective one. If Quantcast metrics reveal anything, they show a consistent user base of about 300 thousand visitors per month. This just goes to show, you don’t have to re-invent the whole car, just the wheel.
The methodology of TripIt is for users to basically forward their electronic travel confirmations (from: airline, car company, hotel, etc.) to the service, TripIt then takes all of the electronic confirmations from your trip and organize them in one place. By parsing information (ridding your plans of the fluff involved in the electronic confirmations), as well as adding related information of interest (maps, weather, events from Eventful, and photos from Flickr)…
TripIts goal is to become the centralized point of reference, a printable online page that has your trip details centrally organized.
TripIt also makes a play on your desire to integrate your social graph – even if only a passive one. With it’s ‘Itinerator’ users are able to set up and link travel friends that are involved in the same trip. TripIt collects all of the data, again centralizing it in one place — and from that point the service allows the sharing of travel calendars if you so desire.
TripIt is partnered with Hotwire (from whence a lot of users logically migrate) to help users organize and share their travel plans through the popular booking website. A user that books a trip through Hotwire, has the option to click the “Add to TripIt” button. The plans are then added to the TripIt itinerary with the same functionality and ease of use as expected.
The bad news for TripIt (or perhaps Hotwire) is that the Hotwire Quantcast numbers reflect another kind of migration – from that service to somewhere else. At least a bit of a loss in popularity seems evident. But on to TripIt’s other revelations.
Getting in front of business travelers and tech savvy users has been a focal point of TripIts integration attempts. One of the biggest differentiators being TripIt Pro. Recently, TripIt upgraded this premium service to be even more useful. Now it will track any pro member’s flight itinerary so they are notified of a price drop that could trigger a potential airline refund.
TripIt Pro members will now be alerted by email and/or text message when they may be available for an airline credit or voucher. It’s pretty simple: any eligible flight within TripIt Pro is automatically monitored for post-purchase price drops — if anything moves that would give them a airline credit or voucher, a simple call to the airline will net the consumer their credit or voucher, armed with the information TripIt provided them in the alert. A nice bonus premium kickback, but perhaps one for those who are j-u-s-t a bit too budget conscious.
But, where TripIt surpasses many other travel related startups is the mobile app they have lead with. TripIt – Travel Organizer is a free app available on the iPhone, Android, and Blackberry.
- Mobile apps
- Alerts of savings
- Partnership with Hotwire
- TripIt keeps up with trends
- Not as slick with Android
- Tedious for some users to register online
- Customer service not all it could be
As Aaron Booker of Inc. so recently suggests, TripIt is and ongoing favorite for business savvy travelers. For people jumping on an off planes it is still maybe the premier tool to ease the sometimes pain of air travel. By comparison (and a puzzlement for this writer) is just how Sabre managed to create something as good or better than TripIt (Maybe it was the cheezy copycat name Tripcase?), and let it basically be invisible to consumers?
My only complaint (fear actually) for TripIt is that a larger service with deeper value will create the widget and steamroll the development. As for Tripcase, Tnooz’s reviews reflect a bit of their problem, aside the fact their marketing is about non-existent. But so far Tripcase only seems to pay lip service to actually competing with the likes of TripIt. Why the “big boys” have not hammered TripIt into the dust of online travel is a mystery? (not really, big corporate mentality is the answer)