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Mobile Minute: Users Spend 6.5 Billion Hours In Travel Apps — Marking Busiest Travel Season for Mobile

Lexi Sydow

With travelers on-the-go during summer months (May - July), travel apps reached new heights with a 45% worldwide growth in time-spent compared to two summers prior.

What’s Happening:

The summer months are commonly known for many western markets as the most popular months for travel with warmer weather and people looking to capitalize on school and work vacations. During summer, mobile plays an important role in reaching the on-the-go user across their various travel touch points including airlines apps, travel planning apps, discovery apps, ride-sharing or taxi apps and hotels and accommodation apps, among others. Mobile’s centrality across virtually every part of the travel process — from research and consideration to booking and management to sharing memories and photos — drove a significant increase in time spent in travel apps.

Why It Matters:

Globally, travel apps saw a spike in time spent during the summer months (May - August) over the past 3 years. Each year from 2017 this summer spike has increased and in July 2019 reached its highest month — signaling that while engagement for travel companies has always been high during the summer, those prioritizing a mobile strategy are seeing even more of an uptick from consumer demand. Globally, hours spent in travel apps on Android phones grew over 45% for the May - July time period over the course of the past two years, amounting to a staggering 6.5 billion hours in May - July 2019.

Looking at the top travel apps by average smartphone monthly active users (MAU) during this time period, we see some clear commonalities and diversions across the markets analyzed, which included the US, UK, France, Germany and Worldwide. Ride-sharing apps top the charts globally and in the US, with Uber claiming the #1 rank worldwide. Airbnb is the only hotel or accommodation app that ranked in the top 10 for each of the 5 markets, landing at #5 in the US and #6 globally. The US had the highest amount of airlines apps in its top 10 with Southwest Airlines, Fly Delta, United Airlines and American Airlines rounding out the top 7-10 ranks respectively. Travelers leverage their airlines apps for booking, check-in, mobile tickets, seating charts, loyalty programs, flight updates, in-flight entertainment and customer service. Every user interaction with the app is a vital touchpoint for the overall brand and can move the needle between a delighted and disappointed traveler, ultimately impacting their loyalty and the company’s top line. 

Go Deeper:

This seasonal rise in travel app usage demonstrates how travelers are increasingly reliant on mobile as their go-to touchpoint throughout their travel journey. The implications for companies are large: harness the power of mobile to reach and delight your customers where they are or lose footing to those that do. 

For a deeper dive on the state of mobile for travel in 2019, download our latest report: 

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This post is the latest in a Mobile Minute series that features App Annie’s perspective on how mobile is impacting current events and consumer trends. Check in weekly for our take on the latest news cycles and how mobile transformation is shaping industries around the world.

August 15, 2019

Mobile Minute

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