Google’s Early Holiday Gig, Free WiFi, Photo Contest and a Fund Drive

Screen shot 2009 11 10 at 9.30.56 PM 490x67 Googles Early Holiday Gig, Free WiFi, Photo Contest and a Fund Drive

To continue our early Holiday news beat which started with the “elf yourself” holiday card promo, it’s now Google’s turn to show some love to the gazillions of users who made them the number one search engine. As an early holiday gift Google is giving out free WiFi access to 49 airports in the U.S. [Read more...]

Priceline.com releases list of top New Year’s party spots

Priceline.com has released its 5th annual list of top destinations (or can be places to avoid for people who do not like the crowd) for ringing in the New Year.

For the 4th consecutive year, Las Vegas is once again the #1 destination for New Year’s revelers.

To compile its list, priceline.com looked at a sampling of more than 30,000 Name Your Own Price hotel room booking requests made by Priceline.com customers for the New Year’s holiday. Because the survey is based on actual booking requests, and not on consumer preference polls or votes, Priceline.com believes its annual survey is one of the more accurate predictors of New Year’s travel trends. Also, by focusing on hotels instead of airline tickets, the Priceline.com survey is able to include the travel intentions of consumers who will drive to their destination.

Priceline.com’s Top 50 New Year’s Eve Destinations

#1 Las Vegas, Strip Vicinity South
#2 New York City, Chelsea Area
#3 New York City, Times Square/Theater District
#4 New Orleans, Downtown/Convention Center
#5 Chicago, Millennium Park/Loop/Grant Park Area
#6 New York City, Empire State Building Area
#7 Orange County, Disneyland Area
#8 Orlando, Universal Studios/Sea World
#9 San Francisco, Union Square West/Nob Hill
#10 New Orleans, French Quarter [Read more...]

Travelocity launches online travel site for consumers in Latin America

Travelocity has launched a Spanish-language site designed to give travelers in Latin America a secure way to make travel reservations any day at any time through a trusted brand. The site is targeted at travelers throughout Spanish-speaking Latin America with a focus on consumers in Chile, Columbia and Peru. The new site offers a wide range of options including 70,000 hotels, in addition to flights, car rentals and more, for destinations worldwide.

Kayak.com launches tools to help consumers calculate total cost of travel

Record-high gas prices mean the cost of travel has risen dramatically, and increasingly higher prices are buried in fees and charges. Travelers only discover these higher costs when they arrive at the airline check-in desk and are charged an unexpected baggage fee or when they receive the credit card bill highlighting the total cost of gas for a rental car. To help travelers avoid these unpleasant surprises, Kayak.com has launched tools that educate travelers on the hidden costs of travel, enabling consumers to make a more informed decision about flights and rental car purchases.

In response to the rising cost of renting a car, Kayak.com launched a Miles Per Gallon (MPG) filter and Fuel Cost Calculator on the results page of its rental car search in an effort to provide the relevant information travelers need to make smart decisions.

The Fuel Cost Calculator estimates the total cost of gas for a trip and instantly adds this figure to the daily rate of each car option. The Fuel Cost Calculator takes into consideration four factors: miles per gallon for each vehicle; average price of gas; number of estimated miles traveled during trip; and the type of driving including highway, city, and combination. While other gas calculators exist on the web, Kayak.com is the only site that instantly updates the total price per day so users can compare the final price across rental car agencies and car class.

Meanwhile, in response to an increase in existing airline fees and the emergence of new fees, the total cost of a flight doesn’t always end with the purchase. To help consumers calculate the total cost of their flight, Kayak.com has launched an Airline Fee Chart allowing travelers to easily view and compare an airline’s policy for five of the most popular fees without having to visit each carrier’s site. Available on the flight results page, this easy-to-navigate chart outlines the fee policies for baggage, meals, transporting pets, unaccompanied minor service and seat assignments with added legroom for 25 of the most popular carriers searched on Kayak.com. The chart also includes links to the fee sections of the carrier’s own website and urges users to confirm policies with the carrier.

If travelers are going to pay more for their flight, Kayak.com wants to make sure users get the most for their money. Hence, the site launched several “Flight Quality” features to expose factors that may make a flight undesirable.

TripSay online travel service and social network moves into public beta

tripsay TripSay online travel service and social network moves into public betaTripSay, a new travel service for sharing and discovering new places, tips, and activities with friends and like-minded enthusiasts, announced the official release of its public beta.
 
Putting the emphasis on quality rather than quantity, TripSay cuts through the clutter to offer highly targeted information that matches a traveler’s unique preferences on destinations, experiences, and activities. Unlike generic travel sites, TripSay lets travelers share and discover only the information that matters to them – with the help of their friends and others with shared interests.
 
The site also serves as a connected and personalized social community for documenting one’s travels, sharing travel secrets and cool discoveries, and actively seeking out the next big adventure.
 
To get started on TripSay, simply describe your vacation preferences and mark previous travels and dream destinations. TripSay then automatically uses a unique recommendation engine to proactively match destinations, places, sights, content, and activities for people from their friends as well as from those with similar tastes.

Travelocity and Lastminute.com extend booking window for last second deals

Travelocity and Lastminute.com have extended the booking window for last second deals, allowing travelers to book three weeks in advance. Last second deals can save travelers up to 70 percent and are good options for those who want a spontaneous getaway. Until now, consumers could only purchase last second deals up to two weeks in advance.
For example, based on today’s date, travelers can now shop a variety of weekend getaways for the weekends of Aug. 1, Aug. 8 and Aug. 15. There are many options less than $200, to destinations all across the country.

Travelocity and Lastminute.com offer last second weekend getaway packages to hundreds of domestic and international destinations. They can be purchased from three weeks to three hours before departure (five hours for international travel).

Mobissimo launches travel search in Germany

mobissimo Mobissimo launches travel search in GermanyTravel search engine Mobissimo has added Germany to its network of local travel search sites, with local content for German users.

Mobissimo now covers the top eight online markets in Europe, including France, Italy, Poland, Spain, and the UK, as well as India and North America.

Mobissimo’s new German site includes fares and offers from local travel agencies, consolidators, hotels and all the major and low-cost airlines relating to German users. The Germany launch matches the strong demand in Eastern and Western Europe for online travel options: European countries account for more than 50 per cent of all worldwide travel.

GeoBeats partners with NextTrip.com for travel video content

geobeats GeoBeats partners with NextTrip.com for travel video contentOnline video production and distribution solutions GeoBeats, Inc. has signed an agreement with NextTrip.com for licensed travel videos that will be featured on NextTrip.com, a video and social community travel site.

As a part of this private label agreement, NextTrip.com will receive 30 two- to three-minute videos per month. The videos will provide the site’s travel audience with insightful glimpses of unique attractions and helpful tips to aid in their travel-planning decisions.

The first videos to be featured on NextTrip.com’s site include a vignette on the famous lookout point in Florence, Italy, Piazzale Michelangelo, and a look at Berlin’s nightlife.

Orbitz.com, ebookers.com to become MSN’s travel provider in U.S. and UK

orbitz Orbitz.com, ebookers.com to become MSNs travel provider in U.S. and UKOrbitz.com and its affiliated online travel brand ebookers.com in the United Kingdom have signed a multi-year deal with Microsoft to serve as the online travel agency for MSN.com’s travel portal in the U.S. and United Kingdom,
respectively.

Orbitz.com and ebookers.com will power all of MSN Travel’s offerings, including air, hotel, vacation package, cruise and car rental bookings.

Microsoft also plans to integrate more content from its newly-acquired Live Search Farecast travel search engine within the MSN Travel site as well.

Mobissimo opens Recommendation Box in France, Italy, and Spain

Following its release of Recommendation Box (RecBox) in the U.S., travel search engine Mobissimo has made the new travel planning feature available on its local web sites in France, Italy, and Spain.

With RecBox, Mobissimo can suggest even cheaper ticket options for the leisure traveller willing to switch dates or consider alternate destinations. For business travellers, Mobissimo’s RecBox shows the cheapest non-stop and business class fares. Mobissimo’s RecBox also displays train fares such as Eurostar and Rail Europe for many European destinations—and updates dynamically according to the user’s query, making travel search quick, easy and comprehensive.

With a single click, Mobissimo searches and compares over 200 travel sites in real time. Mobissimo’s search capabilities, seven foreign language sites, unmatched coverage of low-cost airlines, widest choice of hotels in every star category have made it the uncontested leader in online travel search.

This is what we need at this time with soaring gas prices.