Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday's Travel InsideOut

Months after pitched allegations surfaced that it manipulated reviews on TripAdvisor's Cruise Critic by wooing frequent cruisers, Royal Caribbean has chucked its Royal Champions program in favor of blogs, Facebook and Twitter.

Travel Weekly: Royal Caribbean disbands Royal Champions: Royal Caribbean International ended its Royal Champions program, saying that it has supplanted the program with new social networking outlets. Read more


When Google bobs, the travel industry weaves. The betting here is that Google is not about to launch another Expedia any time soon, but Steve Hafner of Kayak believes that Google is poised to build out its content to cache-in on hotel pricing.

Dennis Schaal Blog: Kayak's Hafner Awaits Google Hotels: Kayak CEO Steve Hafner thinks "it's only a question of time" before Google begins displaying hotel pricing, a move that could change the online-travel ecosystem. Read more


Online travel companies, from Travelzoo and Expedia to Priceline and Orbitz Worldwide, are the darlings of the stock market...this week. In down economic times, goes the thinking, these babies can find travelers deals and get some revenue and profits going.

Seeking Alpha: Online Travel Companies: Good Places to Book Some Profits: Online travel booking companies have been taking off lately especially in the wake of Travelzoo (TZOO) and Expedia (EXPE) both posting solid revenues last week. Wall Street analysts yesterday decided to hop aboard the online travel express by upgrading both Orbitz Worldwide (OWW) and Priceline.com (PCLN) probably so they don’t look like idiots when those companies beat their upcoming earnings estimates. Read more


Expedia’s affiliate network replaced metasearch company travelsupermarket.com in powering travel offerings for The Guardian. The travel pages on the newspaper’s website attract a few eyeballs….around 2 million or, conventionally speaking, some 1 million unique visitors. Score one for the OTCs over the metas.

Travolution: Expedia to expand white label scheme as meta sites pull out: Expedia Affiliate Network president Henrik Kjellberg says there is “no technical limit” to how many websites the business can work with, and that cannibalization of customers from the core Expedia Inc. brands is not an issue. Read more


HRG is downsizing with a twist. Through its Options for Change program, the travel management company is giving employees a measure of customization in the concessions and cutbacks they accept. No reports yet about whether the staff is, well, hog-wild about the idea.

e-tid.com: HRG seeks concessions from staff: Hogg Robinson Group chief executive David Radcliffe has agreed a 5% pay cut as part of a move to protect the business in the current economic climate. The rest of the HRG board will take the same pay cut, which is effective from 1 September. Read more


Hawaiian Airlines arrived with the top on-time performance in June while American Airlines, JetBlue and regional carrier Comair were unfashionably late, according to the Dept. of Transportation. Overall,on-time performance improved from a year ago, but slid compared with May.

Dow Jones Newswires: US Airlines' On-Time Performance Improves In June From Year Ago: U.S. airlines' on-time and baggage-handling performance improved from a year earlier in June but worsened from May, the U.S. Department of Transportation said Tuesday.

Air traffic has been easing in recent months as carriers continue to cut back capacity amid slack demand. 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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