So the new pony has been around for awhile and I can safely say after using it quite a number of times this year that you can find some pretty good deals on it. After reviewing TravelPony earlier this year I was able to snag an airport hotel in Frankfurt for my parents for only $98.60 USD which was way better than I could find anywhere else in that area.
What has really made the deals even better has been all of their promo codes that they’ve been treating their customers with. I’m subscribed to their newsletter so I always find out when there’s a new code.
This month, TravelPony came out with a new trick up its sleeve and it’s their daily flash sale mobile app available on both iOS and Android.
Introducing the TravePony App
The new TravelPony app was just launched a few weeks ago with the goal of providing flash sales to their customers in a mobile format. The concept is that every day, TravelPony releases one hotel per major city they have inventory for at a discounted price. The sale only lasts for those 24 hours and after that it’s gone. The next day, the same cities will be there but it will be an entirely different hotel. It’s the kind of thing where if you see a good hotel pop up, you’ll want to jump on it.
How to book a flash sale room on the app
With 6 easy steps, you can book a hotel room just like that.
Note that I’m an iPhone user so the screenshots you see below will all be through my iPhone 5S.
Step 1: Find a city you’re interested in
In this example, we’ll pick Barcelona. Notice how the app tells you how many rooms are left at this flash sale price.
Step 2: Log in
Since you need to have a membership to book with TravelPony, its going to ask for your credentials in this step. If you don’t have an account, you can sign up on the spot.
Step 3: Review the hotel details
Here you’ll see the details of the hotel that is on the flash sale for the day for that city. Notice that you can check out different details by tapping on the tabs at the top. You can also change the date. The app assumed Oct 25-26 but you can easily change it to something else.
Step 4: Select the room type
Scroll down and you’ll see all the different types of rooms available. Pick the one that suits you.
Step 5: See price and enter promo code
In this payment page, it summarizes the details of the final price. Here, you’ll also be able to enter in any available promo codes. From personal tests, I found that some codes work and some don’t. For example, 4STAR was a code that worked but TPSAVINGS did not.
Note that TravelPony is smart enough to recognize that I have credits in my accounts and so it applies it automatically. You can get credits like these too if you sign up for TravelPony using my special referral link.
Step 6: Payment details and complete booking
Didn’t take a screenshot here but essentially if you scroll down, there are all the fields you’d expect to complete the booking including Guest Details, Room Details and Billing Details.
Once you’re done entering all those details, all you need to do is tap “Complete Booking” and you’re all set.
Partnership with Lyft
Another thing that is unique to the app is that TravelPony has partnered with Lyft to combine certain flash sale hotels with a $5 Lyft credit. You know a hotel comes with Lyft credit when you see this icon.
This is pretty awesome especially if you don’t rent a car and were planning on taking a cab anyways. Consider this as pretty much free credit for a cab ride to your hotel or anywhere in the city.
I got a chance to play around with the app quite a bit these past few days and here are a few things I learned.
- Flash sales on the app are not just limited to the app. The web version of TravelPony will also the flash sale as a “Deal of the Day”
- That being said though, in this one example for a hotel in Paris, I noticed that the app was actually cheaper by $10. Not sure if this is a glitch but I’ll take it! This is even with the TPSAVINGS coupon applied.
- When comparing hotel prices during a flash sale and the day after, I definitely noticed big savings off the bat. In this Miami example. The day before, I quoted $127 USD on the app during the flash sale but now checking the day after on the web version, I was quoted $132.35 USD. That’s still a $5.35 in savings which could turn into even more if the TPSAVINGS code wasn’t active.
Having spent a lot of time in the startup world, I can appreciate that TravelPony operated in a very lean way to get this out into the real world as possible without making it incredibly polished. The bottom line is that its core functionality is there, it works and there are savings to be had.
That being said, I’ll honestly say that it’s a little rough around the edges. Using the app feels a bit like I’m still using a Safari browser. It’s hard to explain but it’s a very web-browser-like experience. My guess is that the app was built around web application with a mobile wrapper around it if you want to get technical here.
Room for improvement:
- There are certain pages that seem to have a width wider than your screen and so you’ll find can scroll left and right for no apparent reason.
- It was also a bit annoying that it couldn’t remember my account information. It seemed like every time I used the app I had to log in again.
For a first iteration, it’s not that bad. I think over the next couple of months, the mobile team at TravelPony will be able to polish it up and enhance the user experience and interface to really make this a solid app.
TravelPony has quickly been able to innovate again after growing incredibly fast with their web platform. With these daily deals, the already amazing hotel prices get even cheaper.
For me, if I know I’m headed to a specific city, I can see myself checking the daily deals every day to see what hotel is available and then jumping on one that I like.
This review was sponsored by TravelPony, however the opinions expressed in this post are my own and 100% from my own experiences because I love these guys!