Smart Travel: Majority of Smartphone Owners Now Access Travel Information on their Devices

Nearly 1 in 5 U.S. Smartphone Owners Booked Travel on their Device in Past Three Months

comScore Mobile Travel Advisor Reveals Latest Insights on Mobile Travelers

RESTON, VA, April 18, 2012 – comScore, Inc., a leader in measuring the digital world, today released a U.S. study on mobile travel activities based on data from the new comScore Travel Advisor report. The results indicate that 51 percent of smartphone owners accessed travel content on their devices during the three month period ending February 2012, with nearly 1 in every 5 smartphone owners using their device to book air travel or hotel reservations.

“The on-the-go convenience of smartphones has facilitated their emergence as an essential companion for travelers,” said Mark Donovan, comScore SVP of mobile. “We all know how hectic a travel experience can be, but smartphones have really stepped in to meet a variety of needs for travelers, such as coordination of schedules, locations, trip itineraries and transactions. With more than half of all smartphone users now engaging with travel content, there has never been a better opportunity for suppliers and OTAs to invest in their mobile strategies to provide a great experience and win loyalty from their customers.”

Smartphones Become Pocket Travel Agents for Growing Number of Americans

During the three month period ending in February 2012, 51 percent of the smartphone audience accessed air and/or hotel content on their device, with 4 in every 5 mobile travelers accessing both air and hotel content. The most popular air travel-related mobile activity was checking airfare prices, in which 26 percent of all smartphone users engaged. Smartphone users were nearly as likely to look up an airline phone number, flight schedules, and check a flight’s status, each of which was conducted by 25 percent of the audience.

While many of the most popular behaviors were consumers seeking information, they also engaged in transactional behavior. 21 percent of smartphone consumers checked in for a flight on their device, while 18 percent booked a flight on their smartphone and 10 percent cancelled a flight.

Top Mobile Air Activities while Planning a Trip or Traveling During Previous Three Months
February 2012
Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Ages 18+
Source: Custom Mobile Travel Advisor Survey
% of Smartphone Owners
Checked airfare prices 26%
Looked up a phone number (i.e. airline) 25%
Looked at flight schedules 25%
Checked a flight status (arrival/delays) 25%
Looked up airport information 24%
Checked in for a flight 21%
Received price alerts for flights 19%
Booked a flight 18%
Received SMS alerts for a flight status 17%
Tracked the status of a checked bag 13%
Cancelled a flight 10%

Among hotel-related mobile activities, looking up hotel address/directions was the most popular (conducted by 29 percent of smartphone owners), followed by researching attractions or things to do near hotel (23 percent). Reading hotel reviews and comparing hotel prices and availability were performed by more than 1 in 5 smartphone owners in the past three months, while 18 percent used their device to book a hotel room.

Top Mobile Hotel Activities while Planning a Trip or Traveling During Previous Three Months
February 2012
Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Ages 18+
Source: Custom Mobile Travel Advisor Survey
% of Smartphone Owners
Looked up hotel address/directions 29%
Looked up/ researched attractions/ things to do at my destination/near my hotel 23%
Looked up/researched places to eat at my destination/near my hotel 22%
Read a hotel review 22%
Compared hotel prices & availability 21%
Booked a hotel room 18%
Received price alerts for hotels 18%
Looked up/researched ground transportation at my destination/near my hotel 17%
Cancelled a hotel reservation 10%

Males and Younger Audience Segments More Likely to Consume Travel Content

Compared to the average smartphone owner the mobile traveler was more likely to be younger and male, a fairly typical profile for early technology adopters. 62 percent of smartphone owners that accessed travel information were male, compared to 52 percent of the entire smartphone audience, while 78 percent of smartphone travelers were between the ages of 18-44, compared to 63 percent of the total smartphone audience. Mobile travelers tended to have similar income levels compared to the average smartphone owner with approximately half of each audiences residing in households earning at least $75,000 annually.

Donovan continued, “Both OTAs and suppliers need to understand the demographic and behavioral characteristics of these mobile travelers in order to build effective mobile strategies that complement their online presence. Failure to develop a strong mobile presence could result in unsatisfied customers and lost opportunities to convert new audiences, leaving brands vulnerable to competitors who adapt more quickly to addressing consumers’ shifting consumption habits.”

Demographic Profile of Smartphone Travel User
February 2012
Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Ages 18+
Source: Custom Mobile Travel Advisor Survey
% of Mobile Travel Smartphone Audience % of Total Smartphone Audience
Male 62% 52%
Female 38% 48%
18-24 21% 17%
25-34 33% 25%
35-44 24% 21%
45-54 11% 16%
55-64 8% 9%
65+ 4% 6%
Household Income:
<$25k 7% 11%
$25k to <$50k 23% 20%
$50k to <$75k 22% 19%
$75k to <$100k 23% 16%
$100k+ 26% 34%

The new comScore Mobile Travel Advisor is a twice-per-year report that focuses on the evolving mobile travel environment, with insights from comScore syndicated products as well as a custom survey. For more information on the comScore Mobile Travel Advisor, please email

*Souce: comScore

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