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HotelsByMe launches location-based app to help travelers

There will not be any more nights spent on the airport bench, thanks to a new iPhone and Android application called HotelsByMe.

HotelsByMe uses the mobile device's geolocation services to help travelers find nearby hotels. The application sorts the list by distance from the user's current location and plots the hotel location on an integrated Google map.

?Our strategy is to offer mobile users powerful hotel search tools along with a great user experience while they are on the go or do not have access to a personal computer, said Meeta Oberoi, managing partner at HotelsByMe, Dallas. ?Through the app, users can access more than 44,000 hotel properties worldwide, search by city or landmark, view hotel locations on an integrated Google map and also view photos of the hotel.

?Users can also look up existing reservations, browse promotions and save specific hotels or destinations to their list of favorites,? Ms. Oberoi said. ?HotelsByMe offers mobile users more tools and features than they might have over a conventional browser on their personal computer.?

HotelsByMe uses the Expedia and's affiliate network and displays real-time hotel room rates and availability. The application is backed by's customer service.

Currently the application is only available on iPhone and Android devices but a PalmPre release is planned for the end of the year.

HotelsByMe was designed to appeal to a broad range of mobile users, from frequent flyers to occasional road trippers.

The application is free and is not ad-supported. As part of being an affiliate network of and Expedia, HotelsByMe is incentivized on a per-booking basis.

Hotel booking on a mobile device is nothing new.

Hilton Hotels launched a new mobile Web application giving iPhone users accessibility to the hotel chain's Internet features.

The mobile services for German and British users, included the ability to book from the iPhone. Users can access and change bookings and view hotel images and information (see story).

HotelsByMe plans to address several challenges for travelers such as user experience, unbiased listings and customer service.

?We spent a lot of time on user interface design to offer our users the best mobile experience in their preferred language,? Ms. Oberoi said.

Users can pay in one of 17 major currencies and view the application in one of five languages: English, Spanish, German, French and Portuguese.

?Compared to some of the other mobile apps, our listings are not limited to a specific chain of hotels or geography,? Ms. Oberoi said. ?Finally, the biggest differentiator for HotelsByMe is that it is a full service hotel booking app.

?Users can book a hotel right from their mobile device, get an instant confirmation along with driving directions to their hotel and in case they need any assistance customer service is available over the phone toll free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,? she said.