787 Woes • FTC Google Decision Criticized • 101 Travel Briefs • 8 Travel Aspirations

787 Woes: Systematic Problems or Teething Pains?

A rash of 787 incidents has been reported in the last few days. As was the case with some earlier issues, some of them are related to the new aircraft’s electrical systems. It’s not clear whether there are systematic design or manufacturing issues or whether the press is acting on an availability heuristic and reporting on more issues because previous issues have attracted so much attention. In any case, it’s clear that Boeing, airline and government aviation officials need to investigate further and be alert to new incidents.

  • Safety of Boeing 787 Dreamliner Called Into Question – NYTimes.com. New York Times
  • United 787 Dreamliner diverted, but doesn’t the public need to know more? Skift
  • Boeing 787 at Boston Airport Returns to Gate After Fuel Leak. New York Times
  • Severe fire damage in 787 electrical bay at Boston Airport, NTSB says. Seattle Times

Critics Respond to FTC’s Anti-trust Finding that Google Caused no Harm

Some critics of the FTC inquiry in possible Google anti-trust violations say the Federal Trade Commission should have considered harm to Google’s advertisers, not just searchers.

…By pushing links to competing sites lower, Google might be making things easier for people who come to it for free search. But it also is having a negative effect on competitors, shutting off traffic for those sites.

Drawing fewer customers as a result of Google’s free links, those competitors are forced to advertise more to draw traffic. And advertisers who aren’t competitors have fewer places to go to reach consumers, meaning Google can use its market power to raise advertising prices. [Emphasis mine.]

Analyzing hotel searches, I made exactly this point in a blog post a few weeks ago that drew a fair amount of attention.

Read more at New York Times

Travel Briefs

Internet Travel Industry

  1. Airbnb Gets More International And Interactive: Adds 18 Languages, Reviews And Calendar Access In New App Update. TechCrunch
  2. Apple’s Passbook Is a Surprise Success for Developers. Wired
  3. American Airlines serves 20,000 passes a day through Passbook, and more news. Tnooz
  4. Exclusive: Booking.com is HomeAway’s new vacation rental competitor. Skift
  5. CheapAir is first OTA to add American Airline fare bundles, and more news. Tnooz
  6. Dcovery wants to be the Evernote for travel by organising destination research. Tnooz
  7. Expedia’s stake in Trivago brings its travel brand portfolio up to a dozen. Skift
  8. Expedia, with Trivago, won’t get caught flat-footed this time around. Skift
  9. Liberty Interactive chairman rejoins Expedia board less than a month after his resignation. Skift
  10. Expedia and Concur team up for $30 million funding round for Room 77. Skift
  11. Room 77 takes $30M injection, Expedia involved, as meta arms race heats up. Tnooz
  12. Expedia starts testing natural language travel search Big Data-style. Tnooz
  13. Skift picks Expedia UK as early winner for best print ad campaign of 2013. Skift
  14. Google reckons 2013 will be the year everyone loves what it is doing in travel. Tnooz
  15. Understanding mobile search: Differences in ‘Local Intent’ Google SERPs. Tnooz
  16. Google reaches a truce with US regulators on antitrust probe, dealing FairSearch a blow. Tnooz
  17. How real are challenges to dethrone Google as king of hotel distribution? Tnooz
  18. Google Plus tries another angle to attract reviews: free goodies. Skift
  19. Google rebuff to TripIt, WorldMate and TripCase with new reservations search tool. Skift
  20. Google is testing hotel reservation tracking in its search results, using your booking e-mails. Tnooz
  21. The new mileage tracker that reads your email so airlines can’t cut it off. Skift
  22. Managing travel itineraries: Easier said then done even with digital tools. Tnooz
  23. Hipmunk improvements. TechCrunch
  24. Priceline launches new venture to invest in startups beyond travel. Skift
  25. Anthony Bourdain’s Travel Channel Layover Guide iPad app picked as 2012 “Hidden Gem”. Skift
  26. Notes from travel’s chief innovator. Terry Jones founded Travelocity in the mid-1990s and is the founding chairman of Kayak. Travel Weekly
  27. TripAdvisor rates Top 10 airport hotels, but Google thinks some are middling. Skift
  28. TripLingo rolls out version 2.0 with free content and on-call human translators. Skift
  29. Woohoo: Whawhee brings together those with similar passions in the real world. Tnooz
  30. SkiftSeedlings: Five early-stage startups dive into sharing, planning, and airports. Skift
  31. All you need to know about travel technology in Asia in 2013. Tnooz
  32. Tnooz Predictions 2013 – The biggest and best list in travel technology. Tnooz
  33. If deal sites offer the best travel deals, why do travel agencies bury them in search? ExpertFlyer Blog
  34. Data shows the Series A crunch is real, but many consumer travel tech startups may still survive. Tnooz
  35. Big data – where it’s coming from, where it’s headed [INFOGRAPHIC]. Tnooz
  36. The real-time market: fun, efficient and the future. Tnooz
  37. Small businesses slower to adopt new travel apps. Financial Post
  38. The tricky balance between legality and innovation in the sharing economy (e.g., Airbnb, TaskRabbit, Uber, Sidecar). Skift


  1. The coolest and coldest hotel in the world…Sweden’s ICEHotel. Bring a parka. ETurboNews.com
  2. A New Hotel That’s A Technicolor Dreamscape. Co.DESIGN
  3. Hotels put two brands for two very different groups of guests under one roof. Skift
  4. Can hotels chill out when it comes to multi-device websites? Tnooz
  5. Guestroom TVs evolve as video on demand loses steam as guests turn to alternatives such as Netflix. Hotel Management
  6. Lock Firm Onity Starts To Shell Out For Security Fixes To Hotels’ Hackable Locks. Forbes


  1. Paging Samuel L. Jackson! There are **@#&! * snakes on that plane! ETurboNews.com
  2. Missed opportunities to identify high value Customers – Virgin Atlantic case study. LinkedIn
  3. California attorney general sues Delta Air Lines over smartphone app privacy policy. San Jose Mercury News
  4. Boeing crushed it in 2012 with airplane orders and deliveries hitting a record high. Skift
  5. Aviation Week Evaluates Boeing 787—this is a really cool article that is reminiscent of a Motor Trend test drive of a new automobile—except in this case, it’s Aviation Week’s chief pilot trying out a big new airliner. AvGeeks will love this one. Aviation Week
  6. American Airlines is the rudest U.S. airline, survey says. Skift
  7. Delta Air Lines CEO: 2013 is the year to advance its global position | Airline Biz Blog. The Dallas Morning News
  8. Delta Air Lines gives ancillary revenue a Lift by bundling extras. Skift
  9. Virgin Finally Hooks Up: Why Richard Branson Made a Deal With Delta. Time Business & Money
  10. Airlines press for tax and regulatory relief. Skift
  11. Airline Travel Made Less Painful By Using A Travel Agent. Gadling Travel Blog
  12. The TSA as we know it is dead – here’s why. LinkedIn
  13. Airline Industry Study Projects a Changed Model for Distribution by 2017. International Air Transport Association
  14. New IATA distribution project hits European legal stumbling block. Tnooz
  15. Fliers can expect higher airfares, fewer airlines, more fees, experts say. NBCNews
  16. Low-cost carriers expected to capture the majority market share in Asia. Skift
  17. Why is there no HotelTonight for airline tickets? Tnooz
  18. Ancillary offers continue to complicate booking on airline sites. Travel Weekly
  19. Experts say it’s harder than ever to compare the true cost of airline tickets. Skift
  20. Data crunching to find the cheapest airline in the world. Tnooz
  21. Social media is dead – airline marketing in 2013 all about connected travellers and the real world. Tnooz
  22. Unruly passenger taped to seat on Iceland Air flight: must-see photo. NBCNews
  23. Like many regional airports, Utah’s Ogden-Hinkley airport undergoes growing pains when Allegiant comes to town. Skift
  24. U.S. airports finally getting religion with high-end shopping, dining. Skift
  25. Why airline stocks are getting another look. MarketWatch.com
  26. Flying Is Safest Since Dawn of Jet Age. Wall Street Journal
  27. Airline insurance is a shrinking market as air travel heads to its safest year on record. Skift
  28. Aerotropolises: cities built around airports. The Washington Post

General Travel Industry

  1. The international events and trends of 2012 that defined travel. IBTimes.com
  2. The 1 BILLIONTH traveler was counted in December. Where did all these travelers go to? Skift.com
  3. Skift Report: 13 Global Trends That Will Define Travel in 2013. Skift
  4. Avis buys car sharing network Zipcar for $500 million. Tnooz

Consumer Travel News and Advice

  1. Wealth doesn’t equal happiness, finds global study on daily joy. Skift
  2. Arthur’s Blog: Major Travel Trends in 2012 on Arthur Frommer Online. Frommer’s
  3. Not to be outdone, the list of the LAMEST travel trends of 2012. Skift.com
  4. What happened to the consumer travel industry in the U.S. this year. Skift
  5. Theme park pricing. Time Business & Money
  6. Budget Travel: The World’s 21 Cheapest Countries. Gadling Travel Blog
  7. Skift global trend for 2013: Blurring of business and leisure travel. Skift
  8. What stresses travelers most? New industry survey points to security and luggage. Skift
  9. Just the thing for light-weight travel packing: dissolving paper shampoo. Apartment Therapy
  10. Electric Cars: More Models, Cheaper Prices Coming in 2013. Time Business & Money

Destinations and Experiences

  1. Get up close and personal with Mount Everest with new zoom photograph. Skift
  2. Arthur Frommer’s suggestions for where to go in 2013…I’m [Denise] hitting Peru in February, how about you? Frommers.com
  3. Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek. Extremely Well Done Multimedia Feature on the 2011 Tragedy at Washington state’s Stevens Pass Ski Area. New York Times
  4. Travel Humor: 2013 Top Ten Places Not to Look For Free Rocks. Bob Carries On
  5. Why doesn’t James Bond go to Really dangerous places? Foreign Policy
  6. Death Valley is officially the hottest place on earth, now that meteorologists have invalidated a 136.4-degree reading claimed since 1922 by a city in Libya. New York Times
  7. Tourism in Iceland increases in 2012. IceNews
  8. Glow-in-the-dark highways: Netherlands roads light up with snowflakes when cold. Slate
  9. Bullet trains traveling 300 kilometers an hour, or 186 miles an hour, have begun regular service between Beijing and Guangzhou, shortening the trip from 21 hours to eight. New York Times
  10. Get ready to drool: The Daily Meal compiles a list of Europe’s 101 best restaurants. Skift
  11. Hawaii’s tourism generates additional $2B in spending for 2012. KHON2
  12. New Zealand’s massive Hobbit-themed marketing scheme is working out splendidly. Skift
  13. Middle Earth theme park planned? Yahoo Movies
  14. Citizens of 22 more countries to get visas on arrival in Burma/Myanmar. Mizzima
  15. Life is short!! Make some travel resolutions for 2013! CNN.com

Travel Aspirations: Incredible Beaches, Castles, the Moon and More

  1. Awe-inspiring photos! 22 Beaches to Take Your Mind Off Winter. Traveling Canucks
  2. Sandy Beaches Sell Postcards and Plane Tickets. twoOregonians
  3. Who says only Europe has castles? A list of America’s most awe-inspiring castles…and a local castle made the cut! BudgetTravel.com
  4. How to answer friends and family when your latest travel bug is met with “ANOTHER trip? ALREADY?” Vagabondish.com
  5. If you love to travel and eat, you should know some international dining etiquette… BudgetTravel.com
  6. A list of the world’s most endangered places…how many have you seen? BudgetTravel.com
  7. Ever wanted to chuck it all and live like a real-life castaway on a tropical island? This guy did. And 25 years later, he’s getting evicted by the government. SydneyMorningHerald
  8. In case you didn’t get what you wanted for the holidays…for just $1.5 billion, you can buy a ticket to the moon! Vagabondish.com


Thanks to TCTReview collaborator Denise Jones for her help in curating links for this post.

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