Previously I tried BlackBerry Travel several times. This is one of the applications made by Research in Motion and it is arguably the most widely-managed travelling data, not just simply email or messaging. This complex data is managed with Expedia – which is one of global travel service providers. BlackBerry Travel is already fully operated in Indonesia and able to do hotel reservation service, purchase airline tickets and car rentals.
BlackBerry Travel can also detect My Trips (travel series) that we do automatically. Any journey confirmation enters into inbox and it will also update the Trips series that we have. This is a nice feature for those of you who like to make itinerary. In addition to those already mentioned above, the BlackBerry Travel also allows consumers to perform currency conversions and find out the weather forecast in your local town.
BlackBerry Travel also can be accessed via web http://travel.blackberry.com. To use it, user must sign in using BlackBerry Travel ID first. I could say that this is the best app made by RIM I’ve ever tried. Any transactions made via this application will be processed and be continued using the gateway owned by Expedia. However, I think that the new application can be accessed comfortably using BlackBerry handset with minimum 512MB of RAM.
Trial-access with 256 MB RAM handsets doesn’t provide an optimal experience because it’s heavy enough. Even though on paper, Blackberry Travel only requires (minimal) OS 5 to operate. BlackBerry Travel is available for all BlackBerry segments including Bold series, Curve, Torch and Storm.
In my opinion, travel segment (on the BlackBerry platform) still has a potential especially if we look at the user’s handset that is mostly business customers including frequent travellers. Unfortunately for some reason, the enthusiasm for using an application like this such as to book flight ticket and hotel room is less. Perhaps it’s because most things related to business travel is already taken care of by their own company.
Kayak, one of the great service in this segment, has closed the support for BlackBerry platform since users are less compared to Android platform or iOS.
Data provided in BlackBerry Travel is pretty good although it’s limited. For example: if we check in Jakarta alone, many hotels are listed including cheap hotels like Amaris or three-star hotel (down) and the other. Indonesia air service listed here is only Garuda Indonesia even for the local route. For car rental service, the data is still very limited. It’s only having record that serve in international airport car rental like Avis.
With the travel booming segment in Indonesia this year, I think RIM should be more serious to complete BlackBerry Travel data in order to compete with local service like Tiket.com and other travel online services.