Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday's Travel InsideOut

Talk about blaming the victim .... The Stamford Hotel Marriott, according to published reports, alleged that a woman raped in her minivan in front of her children as she was leaving the hotel "failed to exercise due care for her own safety and the safety of her children and proper use of her senses and facilities." Well, there’s nothing like standing up for your guests, who always are the top priority, right?

Connecticut Post: Stamford Marriott claims woman was negligent in her own rape: STAMFORD -- A downtown hotel being sued by a woman raped at gunpoint in its parking garage is claiming she was careless, negligent and "failed to exercise due care for her own safety and the safety of her children and proper use of her senses and facilities," according to court documents. Read more


With pilots' unions at Southwest Airlines and Frontier Airlines squabbling over the seniority issues inherent in a merged airline, Republic Airways swooped in and stole the Frontier prize from Southwest. Republic, which had been a regional airline, now spreads its wings and becomes larger than AirTran Airways. Unbowed, Southwest said it remains committed to service in Denver, Frontier’s base.

Travel Weekly: Republic takes Frontier after pilot impasse kills SWA deal: The inability of Southwest and Frontier pilots to work out seniority differences killed Southwest's $170 million bid to buy the Denver-based airline and lead it out of bankruptcy. Instead, Republic Airways Holdings won the right to buy Frontier for $108.8 million at Thursday's bankruptcy auction. Read more

-----, Hotwire and offer divergent value propositions for different sorts of online -- and in one case -– over-the-phone bookers. And, as the competition for discount-hungry consumers picks up, one of the entrants is becoming more vocal about its advantages. Hotel discount ups and downs at Priceline, Hotwire and With travel discounting in peak season, there are tons of ways to find hotel discounts, from deals newsletters to Web specials and last-minute offerings.

And three travel-discounting businesses -- two established players and one newbie -- offer varying booking modes that probably fit the temperaments of a lot of travelers. Read more

And, for more of a travel industry angle on the emergence of, put down the phone and read on.

Dennis Schaal Blog: Nothing Opaque About Priceline's Take on
So what are's and Hotwire's opinions about and its model?

I was unsuccessful in reaching Hotwire Group President Clem Bason yesterday about, the start-up launched by the founders of, because Bason was said to be -- of all things -- traveling. I would still love to hear from Hotwire on this issue. Read more


Calling all cars, calling all cars… High prices and rental-car firms not being very fleet of foot in meeting larger-than expected demand in various European countries have led to consumers walking up to rental-car counters and finding out that all available cars have taken to the highways without them. Car rental firms get no mileage out of these sorts of supply and demand foibles. Incidentally, in Euro-speak, when they talk about car-hire firms, they mean car-rental companies:)

BBC: Tourists face car hire shortage: Holidaymakers across the UK and Europe are facing bigger bills for hire cars - or risk not getting one at all - due to a shortage of vehicles. Read more


It appears that new FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz wants to crack down on companies pushing behavioral advertising -- the practice of serving ads to consumers across a variety of advertising networks and websites based on the Web pages they visited elsewhere. Leibowitz is floating the idea of requiring companies to give consumers the choice of opting-in before becoming subjected to these services rather than only the current opt-out practice. In the travel industry, Expedia has been a leader in behavioral advertising as it sells consumers' cookie data to third-party advertisers.

Seeking Alpha: Government Could Make Monetization Harder for Online Ad Networks, Publishers: In the last few years, behavioral targeting has gone from being an interesting experiment to the core success of many ad networks. Many networks are using data collected from one site to improve the targeting of advertising on other sites. But in the past two months, both the FTC and some members of the House have discussed limiting the ability for online advertisers to do behavioral targeting. Read more


Dylan Hotel in Dublin produced a video to show off the property. This kind of, well, show-biz will become much more popular among hotels in the future. Popcorn anyone?

Hotel Website Marketing: Dylan Hotel launch cool website video: Congratulations to the Dylan Hotel in Dublin for taking the plunge and adding a cool hotel video to their website. More Irish hotels need to embrace online video not only to improve their own website but also to get coverage on Youtube, Vimeo etc. 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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