FlyBuy Wednesday has the deal for air travelers: free access

FlyBuy WednesdayBlack Friday or Cyber Monday has nothing on “FlyBuy Wednesday” when Gogo, a leading provider of in-flight connectivity has a special deal for passengers traveling onboard the more than 1,200 Gogo-equipped aircraft this holiday season: Free In-flight Internet access.

If 30 minutes of free access is not enough, try special discounts and in-air only exclusives at more than a dozen top online retailers including Macy’s, BestBuy.com, and Barnes & Noble.

It’s all aimed to give passengers traveling for the holidays the opportunity to shop high above the holiday crowds of Black Friday and get a jump on Cyber Monday.

“The holiday season can be a hectic time of year, so we’re thrilled to help travelers get ahead on their holiday shopping while they’re in the air starting on what is traditionally one of the busiest air travel days of the year: the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, or FlyBuy Wednesday,” said Ash ElDifrawi, Gogo’s chief marketing officer.

Gogo’s in-air holiday store will be available from Wednesday, November 23, 2011 through the New Year. The online store features special holiday discounts and in-air only exclusives from retailers including Barnes & Noble, BestBuy.com, FTD.com, Harry & David, hayneedle.com, jcpenney, Lobster Gram, Macy’s, Omaha Steaks, Wine.comand more (retailers and offers may vary based on airline).

“The exclusive Gogo Fly & Buy Holiday Store is another example of the value we can deliver to passengers who have made it clear that they want to stay connected in-flight. Now they can get their holiday shopping done from 30,000 feet and use their time on the ground to celebrate the season with friends and family.”

Connect with GoGoAir on Facebook and Twitter.

Consumers spending again, travel included … but what’s next?

consumer spending on the rise, travel as wellWe know that people around the world are traveling again. U.S. travel exports are up, and the airlines are having a solid year (relative to 2009, at least). Meanwhile, two years after the financial crisis erupted only a few miles from where I sit now, people are spending money again. Consumer credit is once again the culprit, as Black Friday deals touted financing with long periods of interest-free money use.

Favorable deals are enticing consumers who don’t really have the money to spend, but they’re lured in by offers that are “too good to be true.” As Newsweek reports, “Old habits die hard.”

Consumer debt by household is down, and savings habits are on the rise, but the increase in spending from a consumer base so recently battered does make me wonder what comes next. Is borrowed money going to fuel growth in retail, consumer product and travel sectors, as it did through 2007? Is this a house of cards that’s waiting to collapse (yet again) when easy money dries up and the consumers find themselves as squeezed as they did in 2009?

Leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts!

[Thanks, @jasoncoletta, photo by TheTruthAbout via Flickr]

Hotels.com Black Friday and Cyber Monday hotel deals

hotel dealsStill thinking about ways to get away this holiday season? One of the best things about the Thanksgiving holiday is what comes after – Black Friday and Cyber Monday. To help buyers celebrate, Hotels.com will launch one of their biggest sales of the year during the busiest shopping weekend of the year.

In addition to 50 percent off nightly room rates, the first 500 hotels.com customers who book the Hotels.com® 4-Day Sale and use code “4DAY” will receive a Flip™ Ultra camcorder.

The Hotels.com 4-Day Sale goes live at midnight on November 26 and ends at 11:59 p.m. CST on November 29. Some Black Friday and Cyber Monday hotel deals include:

The Hard Rock Hotel Chicago: The hotel is located in the center of Chicago Loop and close to the shopping district on Michigan Avenue. This four-star property has rates as low as $134 a night and is just one block from the Chicago Theatre and Grant Park.

Hotel Erwin, Venice, California:

Some of the best one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants can be found in Venice, California. With rates starting at $239 a night, the property is within two miles of fantastic shopping in Santa Monica and Marina del Rey. The hotel’s open-air rooftop lounge, High, provides panoramic views of the beach and Los Angeles

Le Meridian, Dallas:

The four-star Le Meridian in Dallas has weekend room rates starting at just $79 a night. Conveniently located across from Galleria Dallas, where signature stores, dining venues and an ice-skating rink are sure to bide your time, the Le Meridian is a perfect spot to stay while you shop for cowboy boots, bling and 10-gallon hats for the entire family.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay to hold Black Friday camp

If you’ll be in Florida for Thankgiving, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is offering to watch your kids while you shop on Black Friday.

The theme park is holding a Black Friday Kid’s Camp for children ages 5 to 11. The camp is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 26, which should allow you at least 10-11 hours of shopping once you factor in travel time to and from the park.

The cost for a full day is $55, or, if you’re not as serious a shopper, you can choose a morning or afternoon half-day camp for $30.

Programs during the Black Friday Kid’s Camp will include interactions with some of the animals that live at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

Meals and snacks for the kids will be provided, and the park is even promising to greet you with a hot cup of coffee when you drop them off at dark-thirty.

Reservations for the Black Friday camp are required in advance. Make them by calling (813) 987-5087.

Top Black Friday travel gear deals

Black Friday

With just over a week until Black Friday, now is the perfect time to start planning your shopping adventure. We sat down with the founder of one of the largest Black Friday deal sites to talk about the deals this year, and how stores deal with the inevitable leak of their top secret ads.

Brad Olson runs Blackfriday @ Gottadeal.com, and he’s been dealing with the shopping event since the first ads started leaking out back in August. Since then, it has been a never ending task to keep readers updated with the latest bargains, and add them to his handy deal database.

After the jump, you’ll find our interview with him, and the top twenty travel themed bargains from the currently leaked or published Black Friday deal listings.


gottadeal Black Friday

Gadling: Have you noticed any stores taking a more liberal approach to their ads being “leaked”? I know some (like Home Depot) are very strict, but do others actually encourage the ads to go out in public as soon as possible?

Gottadeal: Overall stores have been more liberal with their Black Friday ads in the last couple of years. The peak of the legal threat nastiness was more in 2006-2008, but since then I think stores have realized that having their ad leaked early isn’t the end of the world and can actually benefit them.

Gadling: Any big trends this year for shoppers? It seems like there is no real “hot” gadget this season in electronics or toys?

Gottadeal: As for trends this year, it’s probably electronics again. People want deals on HDTVs and Blu-ray players. iPods are always popular, especially with a deal like Walmart’s with a free $50 gift card.

Gadling: Will you be out shopping on Black Friday, and what will you be looking for?

Gottadeal: I will likely be home again. I’m usually up all night Thursday night updating the site with what BF ad items people can buy online at the sale prices, and I usually do that non-stop until around 7 in the morning, and then while everyone is out shopping I get some much-needed sleep, lol.

And here are twenty of the best Black Friday travel gear deals. Some of these deals link directly to the store product page – and you will not see the low Black Friday price until Black Friday!

  1. Best Buy – $159.99 JVC Everio GZ-MS230 Dual Flash Camcorder
  2. Best Buy – $149.99 Compaq 10″ Netbook 1GB / 160GB
  3. Office Depot – $279.99 15.6″ Lenovo Celeron laptop 2GB/250GB
  4. Best Buy- $129.99 Garmin Nuvi 1300LMT 4.3″ GPS with lifetime free traffic and maps
  5. Gander Mountain – $99.99 Garmin Nuvi 1300 4.3″ GPS
  6. Kmart – $79.99 7″ Dual screen car portable DVD player
  7. Kohl’s – $37.99 Prodigy Hudson 5-piece luggage set (early bird)
  8. Office Max – $74.99 TomTom Portable One 130 3.5″ GPS
  9. Pep Boys $49.98 Magellan Roadmate 1440 GPS
  10. Radio Shack – $4.99 Targus travel 4 port USB hub
  11. Sears – $9.99 music travel pack FM transmitter, mount, charger (early bird)
  12. Sears – $99.99 Samsung C20 Camcorder (early bird)
  13. Sears – $109.99 Sony Bloggie HD camcorder
  14. Sears – $9.99 Capri 21″ Carryon upright luggage (early bird)
  15. Target – $19 30″ Embarq rolling duffel bag
  16. Target – $49 RCA 7″ portable DVD player (4 colors)
  17. Walmart – $99 Flip UltraHD Camcorder (early bird)
  18. Walmart – $29 Philips 4GB MP3 player (early bird)
  19. Walmart – $49 Philips 7″ portable DVD player (early bird)
  20. Walmart – $198 eMachines 15.6″ Celeron Notebook 2GB/250GB (early bird)

These are obviously just a very small selection of some of the bargains you’ll find on Black Friday. For an overview of all the deals that have been published so far, head on over to Black Friday @ Gottadeal.com.