Travel Technology News - 1/4/10
Accorhotels.com has launched a new application to allow iPhone users to book rooms in Accor hotels directly through their phone
Accorhotels.com has launched a new application to allow iPhone users to book rooms in Accor hotels directly through their phone. The application also allows users search for their nearest hotels and has a personalised service that memorizes current reservations and favourite hotels.The application can be downloaded at www.itunes.com/app/accorhotelswww.accorhotels.com
Air India expects to join Star Alliance by June 2010, and is in the process of adjusting its computer systems to ensure compatibility with its future network partners.
Amadeus has partnered with Fourth Dimension Software (FDS), a software development and services company for the travel industry, on a leisure travel technology solution. The partnership combines Amadeus and FDS systems and technologies to tour operators and providers of packaged travel. FDS CONTOUR is a travel management solution for tour operators and providers of packaged travel that includes inventory management, packaging, reservations, multi-channel distribution and operational (mid-/back-office) business processes. It reduces manual processes, expands multi-channel distribution and adapts quickly to changing market conditions with a flexible rules engine. Once implemented, CONTOUR can be interfaced to Amadeus Web Services to source flights; to Amadeus Master Pricer, the low fare search tool; and to TravelTainment's multi-channel distribution front-ends. For more information, visit www.amadeus.com or www.4ds.com.
EasyJet has extended its online check-in facility to customers with hold luggage. Previously the low cost carrier had allowed only travellers with hand baggage to check-in online. But the facility has new been extended to include passengers with luggage for the hold. After checking in, such passengers will now be required to leave their luggage at a bag drop desk. The facility will be available at 94 of the airports at which the airline operates, including all major hubs. The remaining 18 airports will follow "over time", easyJet said. www.easyjet.com
GOL Linhas Aereas, Travelport Latin American carrier GOL Linhas Aereas said it is adopting Travelport's Interline E-ticket Interchange, a technological platform which facilitates the control and operational functioning of its airline agreements. In addition, the airline extended its agreements with the main global distribution systems (GDS): Sabre, Amadeus and Travelport. The technology used by Travelport's Interline E-ticket Interchange, allows GOL to issue tickets globally, even if the partner airline employs the traditional e-ticket model. Another product from this technology provider, ETDBase, allows GOL to build a latest-generation e-ticket database, allowing it to store and control e-tickets issued by its partners. Sales of itineraries comprising GOL flights only retain the current ticketless model, one of the Company's low-cost management pillars. The airline has also expanded the reach and connectivity of its distribution network by joining or geographically expanding the main global distribution systems (Sabre, Amadeus and Travelport) with products and distribution systems that keep sales expenses down and improve connectivity with the Company's reservation system. For more information, visit www.voegol.com.br/ir or www.travelport.com.
Kayak has released its analysis of travel search data for this past Thanksgiving holiday and trends for the upcoming 2010 winter break. A review of Kayak travel search data showed that most people searched for their Thanksgiving flights well in advance. Seventy-seven percent of people on Kayak sites searched for flights at least 30 days before Thanksgiving, and less than 3 percent of people waited until the last week before the holiday. While we received a number of inquiries before Thanksgiving regarding last minute travel, only a small percentage of people waited until the last minute, said Giorgos Zacharia, Kayak's chief scientist. Since most people seem to book far in advance, we began looking at trends for travel this winter, and there seem to be some good deals. Among popular beach destinations, airfare is down 2 percent and hotels are down 19 percent in Hawaii. In Cancun, fares are down 31 percent and hotels are down 13 percent. In ski destinations, fares are down 21 percent to Aspen and hotels are down 35 percent. Fares to London are down 3 percent and hotels are down 28 percent. Fares to Paris are up 1 percent and hotels are down 26 percent. For more information, visit www.kayak.com/trends.
Passport Online Inc., which designs marketing solutions company for leisure travel agents and suppliers, has introduced a social media toolkit for its customers. Passport engaged the services of a local Portland-based social media and advertising company to manage a research project with existing customers and help design a how-to for travel agents to follow. A pilot project with a core group of travel agencies was created, outlining the opportunities for travel agents to leverage the social media space to grow their business. The project resulted in the development of a step-by-step guide, with more than 50 pages of directions and information that will help travel agencies establish a solid social media foundation from which to work. Agents should have a website, a blog, a Facebook fan page and a Twitter account and tie them to their website, said Greg Kott, president and CEO of Passport Online Inc. The toolkit provides not only step-by-step instructions on establishing a social media presence, but also provides advice on how to develop content, how to get into a content-development routine and how to assure that you maintain your presence effectively on all platforms. The toolkit will also outline real-world examples from the pilot project, showing how agents used their social media presence to extend their reach and generate new business. Customers can opt to have Passport Online's social media consultation service help them get started for an additional fee. The toolkit can be found on AgentPort, the customer portal for NexCite and VacationPort users. For more information, visit www.passportonlineinc.com.
Spirit Airlines Although some may argue that the media hype surrounding Tiger Woods traffic crash will tarnish his image, one advertiser is already taking advantage of the story. Spirit Airlines, based in South Florida, is showing an ad on its Web site featuring an SUV pulling out of a large house and crashing into a red fire hydrant. A tiger wearing a black cap is in the driver's seat.
The ad, which has generated nearly 2,000 hits on YouTube, is titled Eye of the Tiger Sale and promotes flights starting at USD9 for a limited time.
Chinese television has created its own version of the Woods soap opera.
In a YouTube reenactment that has gotten more than 46,000 hits, computer-animated versions of Woods and his wife, Elin, are seen arguing. Elin Nordegren Woods slaps her husband while thinking about one of the women he is alleged to have had an affair with.
Afterward, she chases him with a golf club as he drives away, then crashes into a fire hydrant and a tree. The one minute, 36-second video includes excerpts from a news conference conducted by Windermere police Chief Daniel Saylor after the Nov. 30 crash outside the Woods Isleworth mansion. It also features a shot of Health Central Hospital in Ocoee.
Thai Airways, Boeing
Thai Airways International has set financial targets for next year and is hoping that improvements to its Boeing 747s will help it capture market share. The airline board has approved a plan to refurbish 12 of the Star Alliance carrier's Boeing 747s and this involves refurbishing the seats and providing inflight entertainment systems, says Thai. These aircraft are mostly used on routes to Europe.Thai wants to be one of the top three carriers in Asia, it says.The national carrier has posted losses in recent times but is now embarking on a financial turnaround plan led by its new president Piyasvasti Amranand. For 2010, the goal is to achieve 21 percent increase in revenues to 193 billion baht (USD5.8 billion), a 10.7 percent rise in ASKs and a 13.2 percent increase in RPKs, it says.
Have you ever booked an idyllic beachfront vacation, only to wind up trapped in an undiscovered quicksand pit? Wrecked your rental car after a rogue pelican leaves a sudden "deposit" on the windshield? Had a rickshaw excursion halted abruptly after the driver suddenly contracts athlete's foot? Travel Guard, a leading provider of travel insurance and assistance service plans, wants to hear your story. Throughout 2010, Travel Guard will span the U.S. and Canada in search of the World's Unluckiest Traveler -- the vacationer who has survived a true-life tale of unintentional travel adventure and has the scars to prove it. If you have ever experienced a one-of-a-kind travel travail, been the victim of a startling vacation mishap, or simply been an unwilling participant in a downright strange occurrence during your travels, Travel Guard wants to hear your story. Consumers who share their travel tales in this special promotion will be automatically entered into a year-long contest and drawing for great prizes, including a USD10,000 dream vacation and a Flip MinoHD camcorder. The winner will be determined by popular vote, and in addition, one randomly selected person who votes for the winning entry will also win a dream vacation prize. For more information, www.travelguardworldwide.com.
Travelport has renewed an agreement with online travel company BookIt.com. Through the four-year agreement, Travelport's Worldspan platform will provide access to rich content of over 400 airlines including low-cost carriers, 87,000 hotels, 30,000 car rental locations and all major rail networks. The Travelport deal also provides BookIt.com with three strategic solutions including industry leading e-Pricing, to ensure travelers have the most advanced tools for shopping low fares; Travelport Rapid Reprice, an automated ticket repricing product; and XML Pro, a Web Services solution enabling fast and efficient interface with Worldspan and the exchange of structured data. BookIt.com presents travelers with the option to use its exclusive, patent-pending FROM technology for advice on where to go based on the kind of vacation they want. By simply indicating the type of vacation they want, such as skiing, honeymoon, someplace warm, along with the approximate travel timeframe, BookIt.com quickly delivers the 20 best package deals from the travelers origin city or nearest airport(s). For more information, visit www.BookIt.com or www.travelport.com .
Travelport reached a deal with Gol to provide its Interline E-ticket Interchange technology, including the ETDBase e-ticket database. The LCC codeshares with Air France KLM, American Airlines, Iberia, AeroMexico and Copa Airlines and has interline agreements with 60 carriers.
TravelTrac has released TravelTrac Pro for iPhone, a travel app designed to easily share your travel adventures online offering Facebook and Twitter integration. Now every traveler has the ability to create entertaining multimedia travelogues of their journey from any worldwide destination and post them online. TravelTrac Pro provides a touch simple process for creating, updating, and sharing travel photos and videos as you take them.More robust than any travel blog, TravelTrac Pro geotags every destination, photo, and video from your iPhone and generates a custom travel micro site integrating personal Google Maps with photo slideshow and video features. Add content from any worldwide destination and update notifications can post to your Facebook or Twitter account with a link back to your custom TravelTrac micro site. Use the free TravelTrac Lite App or the upgraded TravelTrac Pro App with unlimited photo and video storage to post and share adventures from any of TravelTrac's multimedia travel sharing domains.The company offers MotoTrac (www.mototrac.com) for vehicular car/truck/motorcycle/RV and off road trips and travel adventures; TrekTrac (www.trektrac.com) for land-based exploration, tours, trips, and travel sharing; and SailTrac (www.sailtrac.com) for on the water sailing, boating, racing voyages and onboard adventures. For more information, visit www.traveltrac.com.
Tripology said Mayflower Tours is the newest addition to its Travel Industry Supporter Program. As part of the program, Mayflower will reimburse Tripologists for each lead they purchase from Tripology that results in a booking with the tour operator. Tripology's Travel Industry Supplier Program gives travel specialists the opportunity to garner free lead credits for bookings made with participating industry supporters. Industry supporters gain exposure to new clients via Tripology's 13,500 registered travel specialists. For more information, visit www.tripology.com.
ZZ AirGuide 091216
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