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Groupon and Expedia Join for Groupon Getaways Groupon and Expedia Join for Groupon Getaways

Daily deals site Groupon has just announced a partnership with online travel company Expedia to bring deals to travel. The service will be called “Groupon Getaways” and will start in the U.S. and Canada with plans to expand to other …

Ashton Kutcher Invests in Airbnb Ashton Kutcher Invests in Airbnb
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Ashton Kutcher continues his expansion into all things internet, as it has just been announced that he has made a significant investment in travel startup Airbnb. Airbnb is an online company that provides travelers the opportunity to ditch the hotel …

Google ITA Software Acquisition A Done Deal Google ITA Software Acquisition A Done Deal

Last week, Google’s ITA Software acquisition got the greenlight from the Department of Justice, provided certain requirements were honored. Google has now quietly updated its blog post from when that happened with a simple sentence: “Our acquisition of ITA has …

Google ITA Deal – FairSearch Coalition’s Response Google ITA Deal – FairSearch Coalition’s Response
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When the announcement came out regarding the Department of Justice’s approval of Google’s acquisition of ITA Software (with certain stipulations), we included a brief statement from FairSearch on the subject. FairSearch is an organization made up mainly of travel sites, …

Google ITA Software Acquisition Gets DoJ Approval Google ITA Software Acquisition Gets DoJ Approval
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The U.S. Department of Justice has approved Google’s acquisition of ITA Software, which provides a solution for flight information used by numerous travel sites, and has been the subject of a great deal of controversy related to competition. There are …

Expedia and TripAdvisor to Break Up Expedia and TripAdvisor to Break Up

Expedia announced that it’s separating from TripAdvisor to form two seaprate companies. This has already been approved by the Board of Directors. Both companies will be publicly traded. TripAdvisor will include domestic and international operations associated with the TripAdvisor Media …

Bing Attractions Pages Launched for Travel Planning

In keeping with its expansion of travel-related features, Bing has launched new Attractions Pages, and an Attractions Tab as a search option. The feature is designed to be a way to find out more information related to specific tourist attractions …

Bing Teams with KAYAK For Flight Search
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Bing said today it is partnering with online travel site KAYAK for flight search results. Bing said the partnership with KAYAK will allow it to provide a more comprehensive travel search experience. In the coming weeks KAYAK will provide Bing …

Bing Puts Flight Prices Right in the Search Box
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Bing has introduced flight prices in auto-suggestions. You can simply enter your query, and it will bring up a prediction for what Bing Travel deems the best flight price deal within the next 90 days. 

American Antitrust Institute Discusses Google ITA Deal
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The American Antitrust Institute (AAI) has stated the proposed acquisition of ITA Software by Google may be "straining the boundaries of antitrust analysis, but serious consideration of a challenge is warranted."

The organization has issued a White Paper discussing this.  

JetBlue Launches Facebook Deal App

JetBlue Airways has introduced a new app on Facebook called “Go Places” that rewards people with TrueBlue points and discounts so they can earn free trips.

Users will be able to collect points and deals starting today through March1, 2011. Jet Blue says this is the first of a series of promotions it has planned for 2011 on Facebook Places.

 

JetBlue-Facebook

 

Travelocity Making Its Website More Accessible To Blind Users

The National Federation of the Blind, an advocate for Internet access for blind Americans, announced an agreement with Travelocity to make its website more accessible to the blind.

Under the agreement, Travelocity Under today’s agreement, Travelocity will make accessible by July 1, 2011, its home page and each initial Web page used for searching flights, hotels,  and vacation packages .

European Flight Search Site Skyscanner Buys Travel Startup Zoombu

European flight search provider Skyscanner has acquired UK travel startup Zoombu, which only launched its own travel search site last year (the company started in 2008).

Zoombu was founded by Rachel Armitage and Dr. Alistair Hann, who have moved into key roles at Skyscanner. With Zoombu, their goal was to provide multiple transport options in a single search. 

TripAdvisor Introduces Airline Ratings To Flight Search

TripAdvisor said today it has introduced airline ratings to its flight search engine.

The new feature allows users to view feedback on airline experiences from other fliers and offer their own airline ratings.

 

Airline-Ratings

 

Google and FairSearch Argue ITA Acquisition on TV

As you may know, Google is trying to acquire ITA Software, but it has faced various hurdles, mainly led by a coalition called FairSearch, made up of travel sites. Now, the Department of Justice is looking at the deal. 

Facebook Gets New Instant Personalization Partner in TripAdvisor

Facebook announced today that it has partnered with TripAdvisor to bring "Instant Personalization" to the travel site. The integration will allow TripAdvisor users to tap into their friends’ travel experiences while planning their own trips. 

If a user is logged into Facebook, they can see friends’ reviews and access a map showing places where friends have visited, as well as a list of their most popular destinations. 

Bing Launches Destination Pages for Cities

Bing has launched “Destination Pages” for city searches. If you go to a city’s page, you will find information about events, weather, flights, news, etc. related to that city.  You can find them by simply searching on Bing for a city and clicking the "Destinations" tab. 

Another Video Paints Google and Eric Schmidt as Creepy
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If you have a beef with Google’s actions, the trendy thing to do these days appears to be making a video about it, and using Eric Schmidt quotes and likenesses, making them as creepy as possible. 

The latest such video comes from FairSearch.org. This is an organization that refers to itself as, "a group of businesses united in support of a healthy Internet future, where greater consumer choice and economic growth are driven by competition, transparency and innovation in online search."

Rand McNally Relaunches Its Travel Site

Rand McNally has relaunched its travel website, offering new travel and destination content, video travel guides, and travel services.

RandMcNally.com now features upgraded maps and directions, information on more than 15 million points of interest, more than 2,000 destinations, and offers more than 8,000 video travel guides.

YouTube Launches Travel Channel With Norwegian Cruise Line
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Norwegian Cruise Line said today it is working with YouTube to launch “YouTube Vacationer,” a travel specific channel.

YouTube Vacationer features travel advice and ideas from Lonely Planet, National Geographic and the Travel Channel.

"From a marketing perspective, this opportunity is compelling because it provides a truly organic user experience and represents another great way for brands to work with YouTube,” said Maria Miller, Norwegian Cruise Line’s senior vice president of marketing. 

 

Gowalla Gives Users New Trip Planning Tools
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Gowalla announced that it has some new trip tools and options today. 

"The Trips feature is one of our favorites on Gowalla, and it’s also a favorite of users, universities, businesses, non-profit organizations, you name it," the company says. "Something we’ve been meaning to knock out for a while and have finally gotten around to is making Trip creation an easier and smoother process, and we’re rolling it out today."