In our years of travelling things have changed dramatically. Inspiration for our early trips came from glossy pamphlets at the travel agent or more often posters of the latest special deals in their high street windows. Of course back then what we ended up booking was a blind choice based on one photo and a few features read from the brochure or quote from the agent’s screen.
Inevitably we were up-sold to something other than the featured deal and at a price that always turned out to be significantly more than the package price. Early in our travelling adventures that was how you booked, you didn’t have much choice or control.
Today things are totally different. Not only do we have a massive wish list of travel destinations and a wealth of research at our fingertips but selection and booking is 100% in our control. I also get my online inspiration wherever I happen to be, whether that’s at the beach, that cute little cafe I just found or in the dentists waiting room.
I don’t even need to be at my computer to book our hotel, flights or rental car anymore. With Webjets latest app on my phone and tablet, it’s even easier and faster to make the selection and complete the booking. With all the choices laid out on my screen, I can easily compare prices and make sure I’m getting a great deal.
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Webjet App Functionality
When you open the Webjet App and you’re presented with 3 choices; hotels, flights and rental cars. You can use it for any size booking, from finding a last-minute hotel bed for tonight to your next dream multi-stop adventure.
I really appreciate the effort the designers made to make the App suitable for users on the go rather than just making a standard website fit the screen. Things like immediately offering your current location when searching for a hotel wouldn’t be much help on my computer at home but when I’m in a new city and looking for a good deal for a night or two it’s brilliant.
Are you planning further ahead? That’s no problem for the Webjet App, drop the location you want in the search field, add your dates and number of people and you have your choices. Too many options to choose from? No problem either, use the sort function to choose an order for the list using criteria like price or special offers. Or you can use the filter options to be more specific, do you only want to see 4-star properties, under $200 with a Trip Adviser rating between 4 and 5? You can do that too.
Searching for flights requires you to input your departure and destination airport, dates, number of travellers and travel class preference. You can also select options for one way travel and multi-city which is a great option to have. At the bottom of the screen, it will save your recent searches so you can go back to them. I find this feature super useful when trying different combinations to get a good price especially as we have two convenient departure airports locally which can open up some good deals.
The Webjet app returns a wide selection of options covering all the mainstream and discount carriers. The initial sort is by departure time but again you can use the sort or filter functions at the bottom of the screen to drill down into the options that suit you. The results returned are all-inclusive prices for the lowest available fare, click through and you can select fares in different seat classes and with different baggage limits. You can also view fare rules from this screen to make sure you choose the one that meets your needs.
If I had a request for the developers of the app it would be to make one of the upfront selection criteria be for either ‘checked baggage’ or ‘carry on only’ then use that to populate the prices in the search results returned. While I might admire those that can pack for 3 weeks in the snow in their carry-on I’m not one of them and anything more than a weekend requires checked luggage. Let’s be honest, at times my camera kit and technology can challenge the cabin baggage weight limits.
We don’t regularly use rental cars so I’ve not booked using this part of the App but it was easy to search. Webjet App offers free cancellation and competitive prices on all the major providers as well as a good number of smaller and budget alternatives.
Webjet User Experience
The app itself is well designed. The screens are uncluttered presenting only the details you need meaning you get the information you want with the minimum key taps. You’re also not overloaded with a whole lot of clutter you don’t need. Of course, if you want to know more it’s all there, click through to the hotels own information or skim through what thousands of independent Trip Advisor reviewers had to say about it.
Response time is good. The design doesn’t display unnecessary adverts or flashy gimmicks that are often present in free apps. Those extras not only take up screen real estate on your smartphone and cause distraction but they can slow down the app speed meaning you’ll most likely find Webjet faster than others you use. That’s especially helpful when you’re travelling and reliant on 3G or shared wifi that’s a bit slower than you’re used to at home.
The inbuilt filter used for hotel and flights search results makes it easy to drill down into your destination using a combination of selection criteria that matter most to you. Whether that’s specifics like the hotel chain to collect those member points or variables like the price range, star rating or trip adviser reviews from other travellers. Those hotels that meet your search criteria and have special deals for your travel dates are clearly marked and will show at the top of the list making it easy to pick the best value from the results.
Webjet is an Australian and New Zealand travel agency and has an excellent selection of local hotel options including the often hard to find regional areas in addition to the international content. This gives a better chance of finding the perfect place to stay at a price to suit your requirements.
The only other negative we’ve noticed using the app is that the display works in portrait mode only and doesn’t allow for pinch and pull functionality which means you can’t expand the text. Many users might not even notice but my eyes had a bit of trouble with the smaller text in a couple of places, we hope it’s something that might consider changing in a future release.
Give it a try for yourself
You can download the Webjet App for free for your iPhone & iPad or Android device. It’s a handy app for making quick comparisons on the go and presents a comprehensive and well-priced selection of inventory. And of course, when you find that unmissable deal you can quickly progress through the booking process with very little extra effort.
Disclosure: We were asked by Webjet Australia to review their latest Webjet App. As always we only review products that we personally use and all opinions are our own.