Is the Sky the Limit for WAP Travel?
By Tim Bird, Mon Apr 30 00:00:00 GMT 2001

Although the day is drawing closer when everyone will be able to act as their own mobile travel agent by using their WAP-enabled phone, some obstacles remain to be overcome, for both service providers and users.

On the face of it, the mobile phone might have been invented as the ideal travel accessory. Of all items of modern technology, it lends itself most obviously as a tool with potential for travellers. It's mobile, for a start: it's fundamentally designed to be easily portable, adding minimal weight to your baggage.

In fact, mobiles have the potential to take over just about every function of travel administration and organisation, from flight or rail information through booking to check-in, then on to hotel reservation and car hire. This potential builds on the readiness demonstrated widely by travel service providers to make maximum use of the Internet. The airlines and other travel service providers who have the most sophisticated products are also the companies that were quick to get their presence felt on the Web.

British Airways, for example, has a well-established PC-based Internet Tim Bird has lived in Finland since 1982, and has watched the phenomenal spread of mobile technology through Finnish society with a mixture of alarm and fascination.