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Expedia's been on a bit of a roll with sentimental travel advertising lately. Over the summer there was this one about how you can find your true love by vacationing abroad. The problem with that ad was the twist at the end. The first 90% of the video had the woman talking about how she went to Paris, found her true love, and lived a life filled with joy - and then she revealed none of that ever happened, because she never took that one big trip. Presumably her lack of travel caused her to wallow in loneliness until she died, unloved and unremembered. So while it undeniably emphasized the importance of traveling, it was also a bit of a downer.
This new Expedia ad runs exactly the opposite way. The first 90% of the video is about how awful travel can be and how it separates you from your family. You see the dad leaving over again, you see him video conferencing with his daughter from various hotel rooms, and then you see him coming back home with a stuffed animal. Every time, over and over again, a stuffed animal. Then the last very bit - when he uses his rewards points to do stuff - reverses everything in a good way.
Lonely Planet, famous for its encompassing guide books, recently launched its own flight search engine as part of a site redevelopment. The move comes in an attempt by the company to assist customers with every stage of the trip planning process. Obviously, it already had the travel advice down to a science, but this is the first time it has gotten serious with its search engine, partnering with Skyscanner to deliver the goods.
The new search engine, which can be found here, is just like any other that you've used. It's also just as fickle. When we tested it out with a few searches and compared the results to Expedia, it went back and forth between which returned the cheapest results. One thing we did notice was that Lonely Planet returned significantly more results from about the same amount of airlines - 141 as compared to Expedia's 40 for a search between Denver and Los Angeles. The reason for this is because Lonely Planet's results listed all the individual flight options separately, even if they were the same price. Expedia, by comparison, typically only shows one option under each price quote.
Videos / Travel Ads / Travel Advertising / Expedia / Google / Paris Travel / France Travel / → All Tags
A few years ago Google published an ad about finding love in Paris, which ended with a guy...well, finding love in Paris. The purpose of the spot was to highlight all of the different things you can find by using the search engine (information, flights, locations) and it was widely acknowledged as a successful bit of advertising that left everybody with a nice, pleasant feeling.
This new video that just came out from Expedia Mexico is the opposite of that. We're not saying that it doesn't workit definitely makes us want to travel to France, as France-themed travel advertising ought to dobut it's not exactly designed to generate warm fuzzies. Crushing regret is closer to what this commercial seems to be aiming for.
We love us a good advertising campaign, and that’s especially the case when it’s clever, creative, and involves plenty of travel tidbits. The latest print pieces from Expedia and their arm over in the UK utilize baggage tags from airports all over the globe to illustrate where you need to go and when you need to leave.
The marketing gurus over at Ogilvy cooked up the new advertisements, as they pieced together three letter airport codes to create a little bit of a story. This isn’t the first time that these IATA airport codes have been used to sell stuff, but we’ve got to say that this has got to be one of the more clever applications.
Creative Review has the backstory on how things were thought up. In total there were around nine ads that finally made the cut, but the firm promises that there were many more created that will never see the light of day—including some that might be less than appropriate for print.
Hurricane Sandy / Frankenstorm 2012 / Hurricanes / Delays / Weather / Airports / Airport News / Expedia / LGA / → All Tags
Photo source: shared by Jaunted tipster
Doubtless by now, you've seen every photo of major flooding in New York City that've gone from Instagram to Twitter, to the TV news networks. But we have another.
Above is a new photo of LaGuardia Airport, submitted by a Jaunted tipster. Taken by Blackberry this morning, the photo shows water levels nearly breaching the jetbridges of Terminal C (which used to be all US Airways and is now mostly Delta). There is flooding in the baggage rooms and other first-level areas. Though the water has receded, we're not sure how far; regardless the airports are going to have much larger problems than just worrying about how their employees will get to work without public transportation, some bridges and tunnels.
Hurricane Sandy / Frankenstorm 2012 / Hurricanes / Delays / Weather / Airports / Airport News / Expedia / Travel Booking Sites / → All Tags
Now that Hurricane Sandy is upon the East Coast and canceling flights in droves, we're dedicating today to using all our travel know-how (and some on-the-fly advice, as half the Jaunted team is stuck at airports as well) to help you ride out the storm despite delayed travel. Stay tuned and stay safe!
Now, a first-person account from one of our writers who's stuck in the rebooking mess:
When I heard that United was offering free schedule changes for proactive travelers willing to postpone their flights a few days due to Hurricane Sandy, it was an absolute no-brainer. For one, I'm currently in sunny Santa Barbara where the weather has been beautiful, so if I'm stuck, so be it. Why the hell would I want to go east when the storm's a-coming? You know what I mean?
Perhaps more relevant to my decision was the fact that there would no doubt be cancellations all across the board Monday and Tuesday. My first piece of advice to people, especially those who aren't thrilled about airline travel to begin with, is to take initiative when it comes to your itinerary.
Frontier / Airlines / Airline News / Orbitz / Expedia / Travel Booking Sites / → All Tags
It seems like each and every week things get a little sadder when it comes to Frontier. Sure they still have cute and cuddly animals on the tails of their planes, but the feeling you get after flying with them is getting less warm and less fuzzy. The freshly baked cookies are long gone as an in-flight snack, and now it looks like your frequent flyer miles might also be on the chopping block.
Frontier really wants you to book your flights with them and with their website. Sure you’re welcome to click and compare routes and options elsewhere, but when you bust out the credit card digits you better be on their turf.
Social Media / El Al / Israel Travel / Tel Aviv Travel / Airlines / Airline News / Facebook / Expedia / → All Tags
I am going to Tel Aviv. I've never been to Tel Aviv, nor to Israel as a whole. I am going for 10 days and flying around 27 hours without factoring in layovers. Total decision and booking time was about 15 minutes and the flights are only costing me $353.60.
Why? Because, in case you haven't already heard, El Al Airlines had an error in their online bookings earlier this week that left the fuel surcharge off of ticket prices, making a roundtrip from New York to Tel Aviv less than a roundtrip from New York to Las Vegas.
I scored this deal on Expedia as soon as news of it hit social media, as did thousands others. A friend who attempted to book after me had the deal pulled as soon as she clicked "purchase"; the trip price had rocketed up to $999. What compels me to discuss this now is not joy or bragging over grabbing the ultra-cheap flights, but to point out how El Al has handled the potential catastrophe and inadvertently turned it into what is quite possibly the best thing to happen to them in a while.
Travel Websites / Expedia / Orbitz / Travelocity / Fees / Car Rentals / Airlines / Airline News / Travel News / → All Tags
Expedia just announced they're waiving their $20 fee for the 7% of Americans who book their itineraries over the phone, establishing themselves in a niche and sticking a finger in the eyes of competitors. Airline centers mostly charge $5-$35 for telephone bookingsSouthwest is the only exceptionwhile Orbitz and Travelocity charge $25 per ticket. Priceline doesn't even offer that option.
This won't be much use to us, since our calls to booking agents are limited to rants about the impossibility of reserving rewards travel these days. But Expedia had already eliminated flight booking fees online, and it's nice to see anyone cutting any fee for any reason, no matter how marginal or symbolic the gesture:
There's been a bit of buzz going around about the new "partnership" between Expedia and SeatGuru. The agreement will allow Expedia, which is owned by Expedia Inc. which owns TripAdvisor which owns SeatGuru, to integrate SeatGuru's plane-by-plane, seat-by-seat reviews into Expedia's interface. Here's the lo-down:
The partnership, announced today, integrates SeatGuru flyer reviews of airplane seats into the seat maps for most flights sold on Expedia.com. This development marks the first time user-generated airline content is available on an online travel booking site.
First things first. The reviews are not "user-generated reviews from real flyers." They're the same carefully crafted reviews that SeatGuru has always had. This is not "the first time user-generated airline content is available on an online travel booking site." Southwest has had an online community going for a while now. And it's not really an "exclusive partnership" since SeatGuru data will still be available even if you don't use Expedia.
It's time again for the now-annual Expedia survey results on the world's best and worst tourists: and the French have done it again. Done it again on the wrong end of the scale, that is, because the survey says:
French travelers are the biggest skinflints, the worst tippers and the least able or inclined to speak foreign languages. They also finished next to last in terms of their politeness and behavior.
Ouch. At the top of the list were the oh-so-polite Japanese, again, followed by English, Canadian, German and Swiss tourists. In some interesting individual categories, the Japanese were named as the least likely to complain and the Italians won the best fashion sense gong, while Americans, Italians and Spanish scored the top three spots in the "loudest tourists" section.
Keep this info in mind when choosing your travel companions in the future and you might end up having a better trip.
· French Tourists Still the World's Worst [Time]
· World's Worst Tourists: The French Who Only Speak French [Jaunted]
· Japanese Tourists Are the Best [Jaunted]
Travel site Expedia has been stepping up its efforts in recent years to get travelers to think of it as an all-in-one stop, convincing users to book flights, hotels and car trips, or plain all-inclusives, via the site.
Usually, we're not convinced of the savings, since the package prices on these sites never seem like that much of a deal. But we're intrigued by the news that Expedia is teaming up with Payless Car Rental to offer more low-fare car rental deals. Payless has some pretty good last-minute deals through their website, with domestic rates as cheap as $23 a day. So along with Expedia's existing partnership with Thrifty, maybe this will make their three-in-one deals a little more enticing.
We've booked flight combined with hotel before, but have never gone for the car too to round out a vacation. What about you all? Do you ever look at Expedia's three-in-one options, and would cheaper car rental entice you to perhaps book one if you never considered it previously? Let us know in comments below.