A new iOS app aims to take travelers from hello to goodbye even faster with streamlined travel planning. HelloGbye — launched on the app store today, March 21 — is a travel booking app and virtual assistant designed to help frequent travelers save time.
On HelloGbye, users can verbally ask or type in their travel wishes and the app will display a number of itinerary options including airfare and hotels. Tapping brings up different itinerary options. The platform also makes it possible to invite others to join in the same itinerary for group travel.
Besides just the speed of the voice-activated search, the app aims to shave time off the planning process by allowing users to create profiles with different preferences, like how important traveling first class is or whether having a layover-free flight is more or less important than the price of the ticket. The app also uses advanced hotel search analytics, powered by American Express. Users can also create more than one profile to, for example, create one set of preferences for business trips and another for family vacations.
The startup says the app eliminates all the forms and fields of current online travel booking options for a more user-friendly and streamlined process. The idea arose after founder Jonathan Miller was on a road trip in the middle of a storm — he tried searching for a hotel but said it wasn’t easy figuring out which ones had available rooms. HelloGbye instead offers a 30-second search by just asking the phone for what you want and getting results tailored to your profile.
“HelloGbye’s new groundbreaking search and scheduling technology dramatically simplifies the booking experience for travelers who do not have hours to waste with complicated online travel services. Unlike the traditional, time-consuming methods largely available online today, HelloGbye’s users can book intricate travel itineraries best suited to them, faster than ever before. With HelloGbye, users can spend less time planning and more time traveling,” Miller said.
Besides just the simpler booking process, users can also ask the digital assistant to make changes to those plans without sitting on hold with a call center.
HelloGbye is available on iOS as well as any web browser. The app is free to try, but there’s a $19 monthly subscription for fee-free itinerary changes, preferred hotel rates, and up to two-percent cash back on hotels.