Orbitz Customer EngagementOrbitz.com prides itself on listening to its customers. As a result, company officials heard that customers want vacation packages available via an app.

This week, Orbitz became the first online travel company to offer vacation packages from an app. First available on the Orbitz Android app and coming to the Orbitz iOS app later in the month, the new feature addresses the fact that vacation packages are the most requested feature by existing Orbitz app users.

Travelers using Orbitz.com can save up to $675 when booking flights and hotels together as a package. The latest addition to the award-winning Orbitz mobile app will allow even easier access to these savings, as well as the added convenience of searching and booking full packages from a mobile phone.

Loyalty360 caught up with Ryan Kowalczyk, Sr. Director of Product Strategy, Orbitz Worldwide to discuss the new addition to the app.

What prompted Orbitz to become the first online travel company to offer packages from an app, and what are your goals from a customer engagement/customer experience perspective?Orbitz Vacation app

We listened to our customer feedback:  Vacation packages are the No. 1 most requested feature by existing Orbitz app users and deliver the greatest value to consumers looking to save on travel. Our goal is for our customers to be able to more easily search and plan advance vacations anytime and anywhere – a must-have in today’s mobile-first society. In addition, the new vacation package offering allows consumers to easily select and customize packages–changing hotel, room type and flight according to their preferences. Before they book, the app will show how much they’ve saved by booking hotel and flight together. We hope this seamless user experience will take the complexity out of booking and ensure our customers are satisfied with the booking process.

What role did customer feedback play in this?

A big role! Vacation packages are the No. 1 most requested feature by our existing users. Our customers saved over $20 million on packages through Orbitz.com this year. It made sense to bring these savings to our app users, as well.

How do you think this will impact customer loyalty/customer engagement in general at Orbitz?

This latest offering is the next step in providing the value we always try to give our customers. To save them even more, the Orbitz Mobile Steals program is being expanded beyond hotels and car rentals to include vacation packages. When travelers book a package through the Orbitz mobile app, they can save up to 50% off thousands of vacation packages available worldwide. Additionally, through Sept. 21, Orbitz Rewards members can also earn double Orbucks (2%) on flight-plus-hotel packages when booked through the app. We think consumers will be excited to be a part of our award-winning rewards program, not only for the travel savings and the Orbucks they can earn, but also for other member benefits such as complimentary TSA PreCheck.

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