Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday's Travel InsideOut

San Francisco reportedly won an important round in the hotel-tax battle against Expedia and Hotwire.

Dennis Schaal Blog:, Hotwire Reportedly Pay $35M in Hotel Taxes to San Francisco: Andrew S. Ross broke the story today that Expedia and Hotwire wired some $35 million in hotel taxes to the City of San Francisco.

If true -- and I'm trying to confirm it -- the development is a shocker. Read more


Orbitz continues to apply pressure on Expedia's hotel business by extending Orbitz's policy to reduce its own hotel-booking fees. Press Release: Extends Hotel Booking Fee Cut: ( today announced the extension of its dramatic booking fee cut on all of its hotels around the world. This move follows a successful promotional trial that began in April. Read more


My colleague Nadine Godwin at Travel Weekly produced a trifecta in her unparalleled reporting on United's new credit card policy, slated to begin implementation July 20. Her three stories follow.

Travel Weekly: United informs more agents about credit card cutoff: United Airlines has sent out a second round of letters to agents, informing them that the carrier will cut off access to United's merchant accounts, effective Aug. 3. Read more

Travel Weekly: Alaska, JetBlue not matching United's new card policy: Alaska Airlines said it has no plans to cut off agencies from access to its merchant accounts when agencies book its air services. Read more

Travel Weekly: For United, credit card policy might have unintended effects: United is cutting off credit access for several travel agencies starting July 20, but if three affected agencies reached by Travel Weekly are any indication, the carrier won’t save much on merchant fees. Nor will it enjoy the consolation of eliminating GDS fees on targeted agencies' business. Read more


A hole in the fuselage of a Southwest Airlines 737 jet triggers inspections and safety concerns.

Wall Street Journal: Southwest Incident Renews Maintenance Worries: Federal aviation investigators are examining a Southwest Airlines Co. airplane that developed a one-foot-wide hole in its main body midflight, a setback for the discount airline just four months after it agreed to pay a $7.5 million civil fine for maintenance lapses. Read more

YouTube: Video: Southwest, Boeing Inspecting 737 Planes: View it


Expedia Inc. takes a step to integrate TripAdvisor's content with

EyeforTravel News: TripAdvisor destination content now available on Expedia: has launched a new interactive Drive Getaway ideas tool. The tool, developed in partnership with TripAdvisor, provides users with ideas for driving-distance trips accessible from their starting city on a single tank of gas or less. Read more


Travel InsideOut is a Dennis Schaal Blog daily feature. Get a thorough-going look at the day's travel industry top and tangentially interesting stories. Feel free to comment on them below.

Travel InsideOut is Copyright (c) 2009 by Dennis Schaal. All rights reserved.

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