A new version the company announced is a combination of self-service travel-booking tools and an on-demand “concierge” service, which enables users to chat with a travel agent when needed.
Some observers of mobile technologies wonder if they’re killing people’s “do-it-yourself” mentality, as a multitude of apps enable users to hire others to tackle tasks for them on demand, from grocery shopping and delivery to assembling their furniture.
One area where smartphone owners apparently don’t want to completely hand off a task to someone else? Travel booking.
That’s what Lola discovered in testing early versions of its product. Boston-based Lola, a two-year-old travel technology startup led by Kayak co-founder Paul English, was betting that frequent travelers would gravitate toward a 21st century take on the travel-booking process: texting with a human travel agent who would research flights and hotels, make recommendations, help book the trip, and be on call to handle any questions or problems that arise.
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