Southwest Airlines announced improvements to its hotel pages, adding TripAdvisor ratings and reviews, and stealthily carried out a soft launch of the Southwest Getaway Finder, a themed search for destinations, hotels and flights.
When you view hotel options on Southwest.com, you can now see that the MCM Elegante Dallas gets a 4 out of 5 TripAdvisor rating and you currently can read about 10 user reviews of the hotel, including one headlined, "Average hotel, cheap room. You get what you pay for."
Unlike some TripAdvisor integrations, you can read the entire user review on Southwest.com without having to navigate over to TripAdvisor.
Among other improvements to Southwest's hotel pages, consumers can book two rooms at one time and search by neighborhood, Southwest says.
Meanwhile, although it still under the radar [until now], Southwest entered the travel inspiration arena as it conducted a soft launch of the Southwest Getaway Finder.
Using the new tool, travelers can enter their preferred budgets and search for destinations, hotels and Southwest flights by specifying vacation themes of beach, golf, ski, nightlife, family or "any."
After entering your dates and vacation themes, Southwest provides map displays of flight choices to various destinations, enables you to choose hotel star ratings and amenities, presents hotel options and then eventually gives you the total price for the trip.
Along the way in the booking path, there is plenty of information about Southwest Rapid Rewards and booking rewards travel.
Southwest also tries to upsell you by offering you the chance to purchase EarlyBird check-in.
The airline's improvements to its hotel pages and the addition of themed search represent a push to improve the search experience on Southwest .com and improve sales of ancillary services, including EarlyBird Check-in and hotel stays.
These developments take place as new travel inspiration websites sites or sites with travel inspiration components seem to be popping up with regularity.
In addition to Southwest, CheapFlights recently added a Be Inspired tab.
On the other hand, TravelMuse, which had begun to emphasize trip-planning tools over "inspiration," changed ownership as the Travel Ad Network purchased its assets, and Gliider recently ceased operations.