TripCase: Pro versus #ShouldBEaThing


Sabre is an innovative American company focusing on technological solutions for the airline industry. In the past, it was mainly focused on a reservation system, but it has been branching out into other solutions, such as their travel itinerary app TripCase. TripCase allows users to save their travel itineraries in the app by either forwarding the tickets or looking up the information by reservation numbers. The app then displays relevant information to the trip, such as gate or time changes, local weather reports, opportunities to gain extra miles by using particular car rental companies or hotels, alternative flight options, social media sharing buttons and so on. The app is often praised for its speedy updates and smooth, intuitive interface without obnoxious advertisements.

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Although the original TripCase app was primarily meant for B2C connections, Sabre launched a B2B pro version in late 2013. In this version, it provides customers that frequently travel for business the option of labeling flights as business or leisure related and options for booking hotels and flights for their jobs, within a particular allotted budget set by the company. This created a huge new market opportunity for TripCase, and an opportunity to centralize and facilitate business travel for companies providing the app to their employees.

Despite these innovations, the app suffers due to fierce competition from other travel apps, such as TripIt and FlightTrack. In August 2013, TripCase started a campaign on facebook called #ShouldBEaThing, which Sabre promoted by promising to donate $1 for every contribution to a good cause. The basic premise of the campaign is that it invites people to create memes out of ideas that “should be a thing,” and if the TripCase team likes it, the top ideas can win prizes or even be made reality. For example, someone suggested airport security socks, and though to be honest the purpose remains unclear to me, TripCase made them into a thing.

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TripCase divides submissions in “travel” and “everyday” categories. The campaign has not been hugely participated in and from both the trailer and the submissions it is obvious that TripCase is aware that the campaign leads to more funny than actually practical submissions. However, the campaign could just lead to some out-of-the-box suggestions for further improvements to the app. After all, you can only add so many embellishments to an app that simply outlines your travel itinerary – it is also important to avoid making the app too complicated. Perhaps the campaign could still lead to an interesting new functionality for TripCase that will give the company a competitive advantage. However, my money between the two developments is on TripCase Pro – opening up a new market provides huge new opportunities!

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