Travel Companies Gearing Up for Launch of Apple Watch
Photo courtesy of Expedia, Inc.
On Monday, Apple announced Apple Watch will be available in nine destinations on April 24: The United States, Canada, China, the UK, Hong Kong, Japan, Germany, France and Australia.
This is particularly noteworthy for travelers, who need efficient, mobile-friendly and user-friendly apps to seamlessly get from Point A to Point B these days.
A number of travel-related companies have jumped on the bandwagon and announced their apps will integrate with Apple Watch. This includes: Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Marriott International, Accor, Expedia, American Airlines, Easyjet, TripAdvisor, Uber and Instagram.
Marriott and Starwood now allow guests to check in and check out via their smartphones. Starwood allows guests to not only check in via their smartphone, but also open their room door with their mobile device. With the introduction of Apple Watch, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty program members will be able to now check in and access their room with the Apple device (rolling out to W Hotels in the spring). Marriott guests will be able to check in, receive an alert and check out with the Apple Watch on April 24. In the summer, Marriott guests will be able to pay with their Apple Watch, starting with 11 hotels, including The Ritz-Carlton Washington D.C., the EDITION Miami and The Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel.
The Accorhotels app for Apple Watch will allow Accor guests to receive alerts when check-in service is open, access information about bookings (itinerary, date of arrival, nights booked, number of guests), get information about their hotel’s services (free Wi-Fi, parking, facilities and venues), access an interactive map, view the local weather forecast and access their Le Club loyalty program membership details.
When the Apple Watch is released, Expedia customers will also be accommodated. Expedia travelers will be able to receive notifications on their wrist for flight status, gate changes, hotel check-in and checkout and more. They’ll also be able to check vital information like reservation updates, hotel check-in time and whether their room is ready or not by simply swiping or scrolling on the watch. On top of that, customers will be able to check their itineraries, access detailed flight and hotel information, view maps, get directions and access handy phone numbers, among other things.
“This is just the beginning in how Apple Watch will enable Expedia to innovate the way people travel,” an email to TravelPulse noted.
American Airlines will provide similar benefits with its Apple Watch-enabled app. Customers will be able to check in to their flight, check flight status, view how far away their gate is and more.
Low-cost British airline EasyJet has also partnered with Apple for the Apple Watch launch. The EasyJet app will provide important information through the Apple Watch on April 24, such as a Passbook boarding pass, real-time flight information, local currency exchange rates, weather updates and more. EasyJet passengers will also be able to tweet and post Facebook updates through the app on their watch.
Instagram, a photo-based social media platform that has become extremely popular among travelers, will also be available on Apple Watch come April 24. So will Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and WeChat, a cross-platform messaging and photo sharing service.
Major travel website TripAdvisor will also be available on Apple Watch (now James Bond can not only power up awesome technology through his watch, but he can also pause for a brief second and rate the hotel he just stayed in).
And for those of you who are frequent users of Uber, you’ll be happy to know the transportation service has also joined the Apple Watch party, allowing travelers to hail a quick ride and check out the model of their car by glancing down at their wrist.
Other travel-related apps include the BMW iRemote (check the status of your car), Citymapper (a guide to public transit), OpenTable (for finding delicious food during your travels), Dark Sky (for weather), Sky Guide (for those outdoor adventurers who like to look up at the sky), PayByPhone Parking (pay meters, receive time alerts), Nike+Running and Runtastic, just to name a few.
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