Cleartrip Launches Passbook Support For Flights, Hotels and Trains
In June 2012, we wrote about the possible impacts that Apple’s Passbook could create in travel industry. As soon as Apple launched Passbook app in fall 2012, travel companies (mostly tier-1 players) made their offerings ‘passbook-friendly’. Today, India based leading online travel agency Cleartrip has emerged as India’s first portal to make its offerings passbook-friendly. Effective today, customers who reserve flights, hotels and trains in Cleartrip will be able to add their bookings to Apple’s Passbook.
We tested the Passbook integration feature (in iPhone) end-to-end and the experience was like slicing a cheese marble cake, its THAT smooth.
Once a reservation (flight / hotel / train) is confirmed, user receives a confirmation email with PDF of ticket attached. Now, to the same email, a Pass file with extension .pkpass is also attached. Open the email in your iOS enabled device, click on .pkpass file in attachment, the ticket automatically launches in Passbook app. Then, add the ticket to Passbook.
User will also have the option to goto their Account page in Cleartrip, open a future dated booking and email the Pass file manually.
In the Passbook version of ticket, details like origin, destination, traveler name, check-in and checkout (in case of hotel), train number, flight number and voucher number are displayed on the front side of the ticket card. On the flip side, more details like Trip ID, PNR, layover (in case of flight), departing and arriving times are shown.
Depending on the location of user and time, Passbook presents the corresponding ticket in mobile screen.
We had the opportunity to discuss (exclusively) with Cleartrip’s co-founder Hrush Bhatt on this launch,
Travopia: Passbook enablement is a welcome launch by Cleartrip. What do you think about the adoption / acceptance of Passbook tickets at various places (stations, hotels) in India? Given the fact that only on Jan 1, 2013 AAI declared the option of paperless entry into Indian airports.
Hrush: We believe it is best to stay two steps ahead of the curve. So, while we do believe it will take a few months for paperless tickets to become the norm across airports in India, we will have already equipped and educated our customers about it. When it comes to rail tickets and hotel vouchers, neither actually requires a hard copy today. Electronic documents are already accepted by all hotels and Indian Railways.
The ‘cleartrip-touch’ is maintained in this Passbook launch too. What we mean by ‘cleartrip-touch’ is the aesthetic design cap that Cleartrip wears every time they launch something.
Mr Sunith Singh (Chief Design Officer, Cleartrip) – If you are reading this, imagine that we are extending our hand above our head and giving you a strong high five!
Cleartrip looks at this Passbook launch in a different way -
“The travel industry is one of the largest contributors to worldwide environmental damage — a single Mumbai-London flight produces as much carbon dioxide as a year’s worth of driving. At Cleartrip, we’re very conscious of the environmental footprint of this industry and we’re always looking at little ways in which we can help reduce the impact. Today, we’re happy to be making a small, but meaningful contribution — paperless tickets for your smartphone. Save the planet, go paperless.”
Passes are designed to conform to Apple guidelines and are available for iPhone and iPod Touch devices running iOS 6 or higher and any Mac running OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2 or later).