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The Ever-Expanding Footprint of Airbnb and What It Means

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 03/05/2018, 6:00 AM

With speed more head-spinning than Linda Blair's in The Exorcist, Airbnb has been growing and changing and growing once again. In just the past 18 months or so, it has added online guidebook-style material, a section for luxury rentals, another that filters for “unusual” digs, and, most surprisingly, actual hotels. In the latter category, Airbnb will be growing exponentially in the coming months: I...

Give to Charity, Get Discounted Hotel Rate

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/29/2016, 4:00 AM

A new hotel booking website aims to incentivize charitable donations by linking them to discounted rates for rooms.   It's called Kind Traveler and here's how it works: users who donate to a charity through the site get hotel prices that are 10-25% lower than published rates.  The site launched earlier this month with 21 hotels in 11 North American locations. Participating properties—w...

Booking.com Pulls Plug on Last-Minute App

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/15/2016, 8:00 AM

After only a year and half on the market, Booking.com is euthanizing Booking Now, its app specifically designed for last-minute hotel deals.   When it was released in January 2015, Booking Now was hailed by publications such as Wired as a probable silver bullet to slay reigning last-minute hotel deals app Hotel Tonight. It even expanded development to include iOS, Android, and the Appl...

An End in Sight for Hidden Resort Fees?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/17/2016, 12:45 PM

You know when you see a hotel rate online and then later during the booking process you find out you're going to have to pay a mandatory "resort fee" not included in the advertised rate? Makes you feel kind of cheated, doesn't it? Well, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) could be coming to the rescue. Sources tell the Washington Post that the consumer protection agency is looking for ways ...

Consumer Choice Shrinks: Expedia, Having Just Gobbled up Travelocity, Is About Buy Orbitz, Too

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 02/13/2015, 7:30 PM

As it is above, so it is below. Just as the airlines have been scooping each other up, swiftly reducing a field of 12 companies competing for American patronage to a field of only four, so have the online airfare bookers reduced themselves from a wealth of competition to a trio of giants.  Last month, unnoticed by many, Expedia purchased Travelocity. For years, passengers looking for ...

New App Finds Last-Minute Airfare Price Drops

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 07/30/2014, 3:30 PM

Inspired by (actually very inspired by) the last-minute hotel booking app Hotel Tonight, a newcomer called Flight Tonight hopes to help travelers find those instances in which airlines suddenly slash fares at the very last minute. Humane last-minute fares are not easy to find, as anyone who has ever had to attend a faraway funeral or an unexpected meeting has discovered. But the app makers...

Book a Resort Room, Get a Sofabed? How Third-Party Bookings Can Go Wrong And How to Fix Them

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 06/07/2014, 10:15 PM

      Last week, I used a discount hotel app to book a room in Orlando. The property I chose, the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek, is a major resort on Walt Disney World property, a few years old, with 400 high-quality rooms to fill each and every night. Which is why it turns to the discount hotel apps, which shore up occupancy rates and reduce the load of unsold ro...

When's the Best Time to Book Airfares? A Major Search Engine Comes Out With Some Very Specific, And Helpful, Advice

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 02/20/2014, 2:45 PM

It's one of the most asked questions in travel: When should I book my airline ticket? According to the mega-airline search site Kayak there's no one simple answer. Or perhaps I should say, there are dozens of simple answers. Kayak looked back at a year's worth of transactions, and found that the following booking windows yielded to lowest airfares: Travel from the US to Europe: 8-10 we...

Introducing Wanderu, the Site that Streamlines the Search for the Cheap Shuttle Bus Services

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 11/21/2013, 7:00 PM

It had to happen: Kayak for cheapie shuttle buses. New website Wanderu stops budget travelers from having to hunt through multiple sites for cheap bus fares. It grabs search results from a multitude of other sites—the back-end technology is a lot more complicated than you'd think—to bring bus options, including Megabus, Bolt Bus, Go Bus, DC2NY, and other modern shuttles, to a single s...

A New Website Sells Off Non-Refundable Hotel Reservations at Deep Discounts

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 11/05/2013, 7:30 PM

Often, if you want the cheapest hotel room price, you have to consent to a non-refundable rate, and that makes it impossible to change plans without eating the cost. But a newly launched website, Roomer (found at RoomerTravel.com), was designed with one purpose in mind: It gets travelers out of non-refundable reservations. It functions as an intermediary between people who are stuck with h...

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