This is the regular Tnooz roundup of product news from around the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, all with a technology, online and digital twist - Wednesday 20 July 2011.
- Travelocity signed a new multi-year full-content agreement with United Continental Holdings, covering subsidiaries United and Continental airlines. The companies say the agreement enables Travelocity customers "to continue to purchase tickets through Travelocity's online booking sites, including Travelocity.com, Travelocity Business, Travelocity Partner Network and Travelocity.ca." This means Travelocity has wrapped up distribution agreements with US Airways, Delta Air Lines, United and Continental, with an American Airlines renewal yet to be negotiated.
- Gerard Arpey, the chairman and CEO of American Airlines parent AMR Corp, says its unclear which side will prevail in the current American Airlines-global distribution system standoff over direct-connect and distribution economics. Arpey, speaking during the airlines second quarter earnings call July 20, said there is "enormous" revenue and risk at stake for the airline in the outcome. He added that American Airlines went to court against the GDSs (Sabre and Travelport). "What we are trying to do is break some of these monopolistic practices," Arpey said. The airline recorded a net loss of $286 million in the quarter on a 7.8% revenue increase to $6.1 billion. Fuel price hikes did much of the damage.
- Social travel recommedation site Gogobot tweaked the layout of users' passports (basically an account profile), enabling them to patch together professional Gogobot destination photos, users' own pics, check-in activities and reviews to create scrapbook-like Travel Collections. Here's an example from Gogobot CEO Travis Katz.
- Metasearch site Travelfusion is rejoicing after securing a deal with China Eastern Airlines. The company reckons ("for perhaps the first time ever") consumers around the world will be able to book through its site through a so-called direct-connect deal with the airline.
- Yahoo's loss is Travelzoo's gain, with its UK director of travel Tracey Cheffey jumping to the deals publisher as its executive producer. Before joining Yahoo, Cheffey was head of travel at Sky Text, a division of News Corp-owned BSkyB.