Industry's firsts are always tricky to gauge (it's just PR, after all, a lot of the time), but here's one that many travellers - if true - could find extremely helpful.
USRentACar, a UK-based online car rental service targeting US-bound traveller, is claiming a new service which works by using data collected from its mobile app users is indeed a first for its particular part of the industry.
The idea is pretty simple.
Customers using the site's mobile application (iPhone and android) to manage their bookings are asked when they have collected their vehicle at the pick-up point to quickly press a button on the service to send a message back to the company notifying them how long they had wait.
The data is then fed directly back into the main website so that users get an average waiting time indicator served against all search results for a particular location.
The notification is also posted on the app itself.
Managing director Gavin Boswell says:
"So you've just landed after a ten hour flight and the wife is already giving you ear ache about how long she's been sat in the same spot (like its all your fault?) and now the kids are screaming because they're tired and someone has just elbowed you in the ear while scrambling to get their bags and all you really want to know is HOW LONG IS THIS ALL GOING TO TAKE DAMNIT!"
Flippancy aside, this is a decent example of using on-the-ground mobile technology to support and help customer decision making elsewhere.
This isn't the first time that a company in the car hire sector has tried to use technology to focus on the inevitable waiting times passengers often experience at airports, for example.
In 2009, EuropCarinstalled Microsoft Surface tables at a number of airports as part of a trial to give passengers something to do when waiting to pick up their vehicles.
The tables featured route planners, a booking service and information about the vehicles on offer.