Over the Easter break I wrote another long piece on mobile for Tnooz and it is now up on the site.

Who will make money from mobile in travel and how will they do it?

The article was getting so long, that I’ve promised Tnooz a third piece to close out my thoughts on where the really interesting innovation in mobile travel apps may come from in the medium term. The story above actually covers more than just mobile apps, as it looks at other business opportunities related to mobile. One that I am totally convinced of is the sale and/or better use within the airline of passenger data. Apart from my own thoughts on the importance and value of data, I also saw this earlier this week:

Google, Yahoo and other major Internet advertising companies are developing new ways to tailor ads by tracking users’ online history — and can even auction off individual customers to advertisers in the few milliseconds between a person clicking a link and the page appearing on their screen.

With OS4 for the iPhone being launched today, rumour is that Apple will also be coming out with some big news on making better use of data to serve highly segmented mobile advertising. But when will large airlines harness the power of the data already within the PNR to augment GPS data for advertising purposes and thereby unlock some of the hidden value? 

If you have no interest in mobile, then maybe take a look at this; earlier this week Spirit airlines in the US announced they will be charging for carry on bags! Hat tip to Henry Harteveldt for picking up on this one first, and plently of other sites have also reported on this news in the last few days. Or if that doesn’t inspire you, maybe you’ll be more interested in a UK study on how expensive in-flight sandwiches sold by airlines really are!

Back to my next (yet to be written) piece on mobile for Tnooz. I really want to focus on bringing together better use of customer data, location based services (mapping, overlays, GPS and more), destination content, social networking and limited gaming aspects (think Foursquare) into one consistent view on enhancing the traveller experience when they are away from home, with the mobile app at its core. Primary focus of this will be the leisure traveller, but I’m also interested to see what parts of this can generate additional revenue for airlines from the business traveller (probably not the game part!). If you are working on anything interesting that you think could be mentioned within this upcoming story, please get in touch with me. Most important angle is that you should be able to explain how it can generate additional ancillary revenue for an airline, assuming it is the airline that licences the app and markets it to passengers.

Thanks for reading.

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