The Scan: Frontier Airlines redesigns its site, and more travel tech news
Today’s roundup of travel trade news briefs includes Frontier Airlines, Priceline, Foursquare, Karma, Digital Spring, Mr & Mrs Smith, Visit Finland, Navigate Media Group, Travel Supermarket, Sunshine, Booking.com, Go Pro Travelling, Drive.sg, Target Rooms, Waymate, Wego, Webjet, Onyx, RateGain, LocalUncle, mTrip, Babbel, Lufthansa Systems, and Interhome.
US regional airline Frontier has upgraded its website. It facilitates the sale of higher-margin upgrades to “Stretch and Select” seating. The site also promises that its fares are the lowest anywhere, or it will refund the difference. [Release]
Digital agency Digital Spring is behind a microsite hosted on curated hotel site Mr & Mrs Smith and partnering with content from Tourism Australia and Emirates in the UK. The campaign aims to personalize “the experiences of premium travel in Australia through the voices of a cast of well-known and highly respected tastemakers.” [Microsite]
New travel blogging consortium Navigate Media Group will be helping Visit Finland run promotional Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram campaigns, including the provision of license-free, non-watermarked media (photos and video) and the sharing and promotion of Finnish content for amplification. [Release]
UK travel comparison website, TravelSupermarket, launched its first broadcast campaign in two years, during ITV1 program Emmerdale yesterday and on national UK radio throughout the month. The campaign spotlights fresh visual branding for the site. [Release]
UK travel agency Sunshine has launched £1 deposits on hotels and holiday packages, with the balance of payment due 4 weeks before travel with hotel only and slightly earlier for packages.
Go Pro Travelling, a site that hopes to help travelers plan their trip on a map (from booking hotels to finding attractions), has added a clever “Kick It” feature. When users click on a hotel, they have the option to check availability or “kick it,” which means remove it from the search tool. Booking.com provides Go Pro with their accommodation listings and it also introduced similar functionality on some parts of its website a couple of months ago.
Timothy Armstrong has been named to Priceline.com’sboard of directors. Armstrong had been with AOL, which he joined in 2009 from Google, where he served as President of The Americas Operations, overseeing North American and Latin American advertising sales, marketing and operations teams. [Release]
For the past year, solo developer John Patterson has been working on Target Rooms, which aims to fill the gap in room-specific booking left by the now-pivoting-to-metasearch Room 77. It’s built with open source tools. Please email him with your advice.
New York City startup Karmais offering a service that lets travelers pay for data as they go, via a 4G mobile hotspot. The more you share your connection, the more free data you earn. Karma calls this: “Social Bandwidth.” Every Karma hotspot has an open Wi-Fi signal on it that anyone around can connect to. When they do, they get 100MB of free data. The owner of the hotspot also gets 100MB of data. [Karma]
German rail-search site Waymate is now available in Spanish! ¡Feliz viaje!
Wego, a metasearch site for Asia/Pacific and the Middle East, has integrated the rates of more than 150,000 properties offered by the largest Australian OTA, Webjet, into its Australian comparison site, which happens to power the portal ninemsn Travelin Australia. It was only last month that Webjet bought Asia-Pacific agency Zuji for $25 million.
Babbel has released a subscription-based language learning program iPad app, which brings the full functionality of its online language learning system for most of its 11 languages to the tablet from its former home as a desktop web program (Mac/PC) and mobile apps (iOS/Android). It’s charging $12.95 (1 month) / $26.85 (3 months) / $44.70 (6 months), while app + web access costs $16.45 / $32.85 / $53.70. [Engadget]
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