|By Gregory Karp, Chicago
TribuneMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Dec. 09, 2011--Online travel-booking company Orbitz of Chicago will beef up its mobile offerings Monday, anticipating that more travelers will be making flight, hotel and car-rental arrangements on their phones and other mobile devices.
"Mobile is growing over 100 percent per year," said Chris Brown, Orbitz vice president of products. "Consumers are really moving toward mobile devices for all aspects of their lives, including travel."
The upgraded site, at m.orbitz.com, will be faster and easier to use from web-enabled phones, the company said. The site will also allow users to book vacation packages from their phone. "If want to go from Chicago to Scottsdale (for example) you can now look at an air-plus-hotel package and see how you can combine them to save hundreds of dollars on your trip," Brown said.
Orbitz will also offer Mobile Steals, which are mobile-only discounts on hotels, often for last-minute bookings, that aren't available through the regular website. Of the hotels booked on Orbitz's mobile site, 65 percent are same-day bookings -- by travelers who are already in the area and searching for nearby hotels, Brown said. The Mobile Steals feature will be available on mobile browsers and the Orbitz apps for iPad, iPhone and Android devices. Users must upgrade their apps to the latest versions.
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