United Airlines, Ryanair, FlightStats, Kayak, Superfly, Vayama, Oktogo.ru, Onefinestay, Cheap Tickets, Los Angeles Tourism, Jetpac, Facebook, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, all get mentioned in our roundup of the short news items driving opinion on 15 November.
United Airlines has another large computer systems failure. For two hours this morning, thousands of United Airlines passengers were delayed due to another computer outage at the world's largest carrier. It's one of a few such outtages this year.
In less than one year, US metasearch site Kayak has processed more than 1 billion queries (meaning, user requests for flight, hotel, car rental and other travel information on its sites and mobile apps). For context, it took the company over four years to achieve its first billion queries.
Danish metasearch site Momondo has offers vacation rentals on its site, powered by Scandinavia's SunnyRentals, which has more than 100,000 apartments available for rent in 61 countries.
Ryanair scores another victory against screen scrapers. Yesterday, a Hamburg Higher Regional Court issued a "landmark" ruling against the screenscraper CheapTickets.de, ordering Cheaptickets to refrain from using Ryanair’s site with its booking tool for the purpose of reselling Ryanair flights or from acting as an agent regarding the booking of Ryanair flights.
The key issue for Ryanair: Cheaptickets failed to provide it with the correct email addresses and credit card details of passengers who had made bookings. In June, Ryanair won a similar victory in a Frankfurt court. Ryanair does allow "price comparison only" websites to access its timetable and pricing information," notes Travel Mole.
Onefinestay added the 100th home to its portfolio in New York, where it launched coverage in May 2012. It joins the joining the more than 700 homes already in the booking site's London portfolio.
Superfly, the metasearch site for "elite" travelers, says it will begin to offer international airfares from consolidator Vayama. This is another big partnership for Vayama, which recently relaunched its own website in a major reboot.
Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) has recently launched online hotel reviews. In a twist, its website only posts reviews of members who have stayed with SLH at least twice.
Russian experts talk online travel. Chief executives of fast-growing Russian online travel firms Oktogo.ru and Aviasales.ru, spoke to Eye for Travel Russia in an interesting Q&A. One insight: Offline marketing works well in Russia, as in India, with a deferred payment model in Russia that allows customers making a hotel reservation to guarantee the price but pay later, for example, at a cash terminal.
FlightStats has revamped its APIs to deliver translated flight status, flight schedule, and airport information in Simplified Chinese. It will soon offer German and Japanese.
Silicon Valley-startup Jetpac, which makes an iPad app for exploring Facebook friends' travel photos, has released a new version of its app. Users can now see which of their friends have been to a particular place and ask for travel tips and see their friends’ most recent travel photos each time he or she logs in.
Reaching a social media milestone, the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board has become the first US city tourism board to reach one million Facebook fans on its Facebook page. That surpasses Las Vegas, San Francisco, Orlando and New York City, according to a commissioned study conducted by Sparkloft Media.
An inspiration site for travel-and-meetings planners, Meeting the World has relaunched with a fresh look, destination video reviews, and insight on meeting planning. They're the MICE that roared.
HomeAway, the online marketplace of vacation rentals, has made two hires. Stephen Feltner is now Vice President of Sales and Taleeb Noormohamed is now Director of Business Development.
Feel free to e-mail us your tips and ideas, such as how United's systems can stop crashing.
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