New Airline Ratings Resource: It’s All About You, Eventually

airline ratings
Chris Owen

Pretend you had never been a passenger on one of today’s commercial airlines, but had the need to choose one. How would you do that? Look for airlines with a good safety record? One that is rated highly on service, a low cost leader or some other criteria that is important to you? A new, free airline rating service promises to cover all that and more.

Launched this week, AirlineRatings is poised to offer an in-depth, educated look at airlines from a number of perspectives. Developed by Australian Geoffrey Thomas and staffed by aviation editors, AirlineRatings has a comprehensive list of over 400 airlines, rated several ways.

In addition to forensic safety ratings based on the last two years of incidents, AirlineRatings sources actual passenger experience in a TripAdvisor sort of way, gathering reviews from its members. Like top-ten lists? AirlineRatings has top-ten lists for Travel Apps and Airports that are not really anything to get excited about. But they also have interesting top tens for long-haul economy-class cabins, premium economy, long-haul business-class cabins and first-class cabins, noting the best of each. Those alone are worth a click or two.

One really usable feature is AirlineRatings’ Aircraft reference, offering photos, history, manufacturing and construction details, passenger features and safety ratings. A “Future of the aircraft” feature taps the opinions of AirlineRatings’ experienced editors (AvGeeks), like this:

“To remain competitive with a new generation of jetliners, Airbus is developing the A320NEO (New Engine Option). Using latest-technology engines in the 30,000-lb.-thrust class, the NEO promises an estimated 15 per cent reduction in fuel consumption, with 20 per cent lower maintenance costs, significant numbers in today’s highly competitive airline market.”

One hot feature that could bring some interesting reads is their Make A Difference page, that is collecting our suggestions, recommendations and/or comments on how to improve the global airline industry.Coming up, AirlineRatings will have a source for airline food reviews, which could be interesting as time goes on. Like other crowd sourced info sites and apps, right off the starting line AirlineRatings is in need of the crowd. Good things are possible here though; we’ll check in with them again in a few months to see how this promising site is working out.

Here’s more:


TripAdvisor Dealt Another Blow: Hotel PR Exec Admits To Posting 100 Fake Reviews Online

trip advisor
TripAdvisor

Hotel and travel review site TripAdvisor.com has come under fire in recent years for the abundance of fake reviews on its website, but many travelers still see the platform as the industry’s leading place for “real” information about a hotel or destination.

But the site was dealt another blow this week when Peter Hook, a general manager of communications with Accor hotels in Sydney, Australia, admitted that he has posted 100+ anonymous reviews online in recent years, Travel Mole reported. Most of Hook’s reviews were positive reviews about Accor hotels or critical reviews of the brand’s competitors.

The company Kwikchex, which specializes in online reputation management, identified Hook, who wrote reviews under the name Tavare. Hook admits to writing the reviews, but claims that each “resulted from personally experiencing the product.”

A spokesman for TripAdvisor told the Telegraph: “It would clearly be inappropriate for a senior executive of a hotel company to review hotels within their own company. All hotel reviews posted by this member are being removed pending investigation.”

Jetsetter Purchased By TripAdvisor, What Does This Mean For Flash Sales And Travel?

jetsetterFlash sale site Gilt Groupe has unloaded its lagging travel brand Jetsetter, which was quickly snapped up by TripAdvisor, news outlets reported this week.

Despite offering a well-respected reputation in the industry for decent flash sale deals for consumers interested in luxury travel experiences and recent advancements in its mobile application with tonight-only deals, Jetsetter has not been a strong revenue driver for the company, with some estimates putting the site as low as 10% of the Gilt Groupe’s overall revenue. In recent months, the site was losing as much as $2 million annually, Skift estimated.

This isn’t a shock – the founder and CEO of Jetsetter, Drew Patterson, was fired stepped down last year. He is now running another travel start up, Room 77.

This isn’t, of course, indicative that Gilt Groupe, which primarily deals with fashion, had a lack of experience in the travel space. The company CEO, Michelle Peluso, was the former CEO at Travelocity.

TripAdvisor announced on Tuesday that it was purchasing the site for an undisclosed amount, although rumor has it that the site was on the market for somewhere between $30 and $50 million.

“Jetsetter is an outstanding brand and I am absolutely delighted to welcome the Jetsetter team to the TripAdvisor family,” said Steve Kaufer, co-founder and CEO TripAdvisor, Inc. in a release. “We are excited by the opportunities this provides to continually help drive amazing value for our travelers staying at some of the world’s most highly-rated hotels.”

What will this mean for travelers? We’re not sure. TripAdvisor also owns SniqueAway, another high-end flash sale site that some would consider a competitor. The merging of the two sites could mean a stronger product, or less market competition overall. We’ll be eager to see which of the two brands remains after a few months, and if this signals the beginning of the end for the flash sale boom for travel, particularly as companies like Living Social and Groupon have reported struggles over recent months.

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a note in the comments below.

[Image Credit: Jetsetter]

Get Personalized Guides For Food And Drink With Eight Spots

personalized guides for food and drink - EightSpots.comIf you are traveling in a big city and want restaurant recommendations, it can be overwhelming to turn to online review sites like Trip Advisor or Yelp that list hundreds of places, many of which are irrelevant to your tastes and preferences. A new website launches today, giving you personalized guides of where to eat and drink, focused on spots you’ll like. Eight Spots gives you just that: a list with recommended spots for breakfast, coffee, lunch, dinner and drinks. Take the fun 10-question “taste survey” (think: night owl or early bird), and tell them a few of your favorite spots, and it will generate a personalized guide for any of the featured cities. The more spots you review or add to your go-to lists, the more tailored your recommendations become. You can also integrate Facebook to further filter your guides based on friends’ recommendations. The current range of cities include Berlin, London, New York, Paris, Perth and Sydney, with plans to expand to 90 cities worldwide.

Get your picks at EightSpots.com

[Photo credit: Eight Spots]

Facebook Timeline For Travel Industry

Facebook timeline of the travel industryThe World Travel and Tourism Council has introduced a fun element to their Facebook page: rather than a timeline of their own milestones, they’ve designed a timeline highlighting all of the events in the travel industry. Starting in 1400 with the first passport, and ending with the 1,000,000,000 international tourist arrival in December 2012, it puts the whole development of tourism in context. The first airport dates to 1909 in College Park, Maryland, and there are now over 44,000 airfields and airports all over the world. Hilton pioneered the hotel chain concept in 1943, and now has properties in 78 countries on six continents. Expedia has been around for 17 years, and TripAdvisor just celebrated their 13th anniversary.

Check out all the travel industry milestones on WTTC’s Timeline, and be sure to click through all the years.

[Photo credit: WTTC Facebook]