Continental and TripAdvisor partnered in a TripAdvisor Million Miles Sweepstakes so TripAdvisor could "celebrate our new flight-search service," according to an email announcing the promotion.
Talk about some marketing clout for metasearch.
The sweepstakes winner, according to the rules, will receive 1 million Continental OnePass miles plus $5,000, with the total value pegged at around $25,000.
To receive the prize, you have to enroll in Continental's OnePass loyalty program. I guess there will be a ton of new sign-ups.
So besides the eventual sweepstakes winner, the other winners here are TripAdvisor, Continental and the metasearch sector.
Meanwhile, searching for a Newark-Orlando flight using the TripAdvisor tool, I found a Continental flight bookable at Continental.com, Expedia.com, Hotwire.com and Travelocity.com -- all for $199.
They each had their own marketing messages within the grid, including Continental's "Low fare guarantee," but not much other differentiation.
Incidentally, I wonder how Expedia Inc. plans to differentiate Expedia.com ("Go with confidence") and sister company Hotwire ("Book here!) in metasearch now that neither charges consumer-booking fees.
Maybe some kind of sweepstakes would work:)