This is the regular Tnooz roundup of product newsÂ from around the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, all with a technology, online and digital twist – Monday 6 June 2011.
- Aviation blogger Steven Frischling is slated to appear in a New London, Conn., courtroom June 15 on larceny and forgery charges in connection with a dispute over his writing services for a KLM blog. Authorities allege that Frischling forged an invoice in January 2010 from the Innovation Analysis Group to KLM for blog writing services and pocketed $22,000. Authorities maintain that IAG had a blog contract with KLM and Frischling, who did the actual writing, was a subcontractor who wasn’t entitled to the full $22,000. IAG declined to comment on the matter, and Frischling, who currently pens the Flying With Fish blog, says he will plead not guilty to both counts.
- Airfare metasearch site Hipmunk now gives users the choice of navigating toÂ FrontierAirlines.com for flight bookings and the duo is so excited about the feature that Hipmunk and Frontier will be awarding one traveler a $500 Fly Bucks gift card to be used for travel on the airline. Hipmunk will tweet a question this week and the two partners will select a winning answer from among respondents who answer within 24 hours.
- City-Discovery.com introduced an iPhone app, enabling users to book tours, activities, and airport transfers, and then submit photos and reviews about their experiences. Users of the app can also redeem certain tours and activities when they save an electronic mobile boarding pass or booking confirmation on their iPhones. Through agreements with local partners, users merely need to present the electronic mobile boarding pass or booking confirmation to the local operator for redemption, CityDiscovery says.
- Hotel sales and marketing agency Cendyn of Boca Raton, Fla., acquired RoundTableHQ, which offers solutions for the meetings and events industry. RoundTableHQ, with offices in the U.S. and UK, will continue to operate as a separate company, Cendyn says. RoundTableHQ’s signature product is called getplanning, a portal which enables meetings planners to review and update orders, contracts and rooming lists. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- Carsolize [TLabs Showcase here] has unveiled an XML API Mapping tool, which it says maps the content of more than 10 hotel wholesalers and enables advanced comparison shopping. Since its creation in 2010 by Gimmonix Technologies Ltd., Carsolize says it has signed on six clients.
- The June 1 court order in the Travelport v. American Airlines lawsuit that mandated that the airline restore its flights to Orbitz Worldwide’s websites means that the Orbitz-American Supplier Link and Charter Associate agreements, terminated last year, went back into effect. The flights were restored using a combination of Supplier Link and Travelport GDS connections, both companies say. Ryan Mikolasik, an American Airlines spokesman, says the airline is concerned that Orbitz, “as it did previously, will drive more transactions through the higher-cost GDS path.”