UX: I really like this airline ticket price graph. It’s just a simple price over time plot with hover-over flight details, but if price is important and your dates are flexible, you can see at a glance your best times to fly. It’s so simple and obvious that others have probably executed similar interfaces. Let me know of any others you’ve seen. Unlike Bing/Farecast and similar services, it’s not a fare predictor; it’s just the price you would pay today to book a travel date up to 4 months out.
Brazilians loving traveling to the U.S. An Expedia study, reported by HotelNewsNow (2nd item), expects Brazil to U.S. travel to increase 16% in 2012, 15% in 2013. Brazilians spend more than travelers from any other country: an average per traveler of $5,114.
Hotel industry editorial: That the airlines are making travelers miserable is an opportunity for hotels. Overall travel spending is up, so pamper the frazzled flyers and win their loyalty.
I’ve previously mentioned Room 77’s discount tool, which shows AAA and senior discount rates in search results. Here’s another article, relating how travelers used it to save money.
The United/Continental reservation system cutover will make a good case study for organizations making massive information systems changes. The switch was far more chaotic than United anticipated. United added extra agents and trained those who were new to the system, but it underestimated the impact of the change. United aggravated the impact by simultaneously making policy changes that probably could have been delayed until the change had stabilized.
Novel financing: UK hotel booking site Mr & Mrs Smith is crowdsourcing from its customers to raise funds. Offering to pay 7.5% cash or 9.5% in booking credits.
Travel tech developers should be aware of Opentravel.org. From the website: “The OpenTravel Alliance provides a community where companies in the electronic distribution supply chain work together to create an accepted structure for electronic messages, enabling suppliers and distributors to speak the same interoperability language, trading partner to trading partner. Expedia is, of course a member.”
There are lots of hotels out there that still don’t do electronic booking. Review and booking site EuroCheapo is kind enough to list them even though it doesn’t earn commissions from them.
This LA Times article ran in several papers including the Seattle Times, but in case you missed it, it’s an interesting story. Years ago, American Airlines sold unlimited lifetime first class travel passes at prices ranging from $250,000 up to $3 million when they were last offered. Fewer than 70 people purchased the passes, but they ended up costing American millions more than the customers paid.
What mobile business travelers want in services and apps.
You can be a world traveler and have a family. Take the kids with you. (I did, my sons were born in the U.S. but spent 8 years of their childhood in Australia. My daughters were born in Australia and have dual U.S./Australian citizenship.)
Delta crew doesn’t understand VOIP. Now that WiFi is common on airliners, there’s no technical reason passengers couldn’t use VOIP to safely make voice calls in between takeoff and landing. But don’t try to explain that to a flight crew or you’ll have to explain it to the police when you land.
Geeks kick sand in muscle-bound freaks’ faces. Google to turn the original Gold’s gym in Venice California into its new SoCal office. (Actually I work out at the Redmond Gold’s gym every week day and think it’s swell.)
Mobile users spend more time on Facebook than do computer users and they’re currently significantly less profitable. Look for more mobile ads and other monetization initiatives.
AT&T intends to offer a family data plan soon, as will Verizon.
Amazon tops ecommerce satisfaction survey for 2nd year in a row.
A cool iPad case cum Apple keyboard holder
Just One More: 3D printing company Objet prints out 1/200 scale, highly detailed, 105 pound model of Fenway Park baseball stadium based on photos and stadium blueprints.