Staff strikes on the London Underground caused a 261.9% rise in hotel searches around the capital as non-residents scrambled for places to say, according to data from LateRooms.com.
The figure is a direct comparison of the volume of searches between Wednesday (August 5) and a normal weekday (July 29), with the results showing just how reliant consumers are on services like LateRooms to find things any time, any place.
Data from the company shows the biggest spike – of 261.9% – arriving between 9-11pm on the day of the strike.
This dwarfed the enormous 187.5% rise from between 7-9am when panic over a lack of transport set in, suggesting that people are becoming increasingly confident when using sites like LateRooms to get themselves out of trouble.
The same last-minute booking habits were seen in comparing data from LateRooms’ mobile app.
On Wednesday, 68% of all searches for accommodation using the app were conducted between 2-11pm. Andrea Tarpey, a spokesman for LateRooms, touched on the changing attitudes of people using the service.
“We know that people are increasingly comfortable in using mobile apps to make late or spontaneous bookings, and in fact 40% of bookings made on our app are for stays the same day.
“But the London searches we saw through the app during this week’s tube strike show that significantly more people were searching for a late stay in the city.”
There were noticeable increases in LateRooms usage over last month’s tube strike (July 8) as action from Union workers left many stranded in the capital.
Oddly, despite BBC reporting a far greater amount of congestion around the city last month, the 47% increase in searches between 9-11pm compared to July 29 fell way below the levels seen this week.
Tarpey said that people appeared much keener to stay in London this week, while experience of LateRooms use following July may also have played a part.