Court Throws Out Online Price-Fixing Lawsuit Against Major Hotel Chains, Booking Sites

Court Throws Out Online Price-Fixing Lawsuit Against Major Hotel Chains, Booking Sites

For years, some have accused America’s largest hotel chains of colluding with travel booking sites like Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, and Priceline to make sure that the room rates offered to consumers on these sites are the same. This practice, claimed plaintiffs in various lawsuits, effectively allowed the hotel chains to determine their own prices and kept the booking sites from competing against each other; meaning consumers could be paying more than they should. But a U.S. District Court judge feels differently. [More]

No, You Did Not Randomly Win A Vacation From Travelocity

No, You Did Not Randomly Win A Vacation From Travelocity

Remember when we told you about the scammers out to trick people into thinking they’d won travel vouchers from the nonexistent (at least in the U.S.) United Airways? Since then we’ve heard of two apparently separate-but-similar scams using the Travelocity name to deceive unsuspecting consumers. [More]

If you have to pay for nice reviews, you don't deserve them.

Dallas Hotel Blatantly Offers To Pay Guests For Positive Online Reviews

UPDATE: A rep for the hotel confirms to Consumerist that the sign — since taken down — was posted by an employee who got overly creative in their attempt to boost the hotel’s social media profile.

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Here’s a tip to hotel managers around the world — Paying for reviews is bad enough. Advertising that you’re willing to pay for positive feedback is only going to communicate to your guests that you run a bad hotel and that you expect them to not have anything nice to say about your establishment. [More]

Holiday Inn Sends Me Wrong Receipt, Reveals How Much Of A Discount It Gives To Travelocity

Holiday Inn Sends Me Wrong Receipt, Reveals How Much Of A Discount It Gives To Travelocity

If you’ve ever booked a room through Travelocity or any other online travel site, you might have wondered how much that company is paying the hotel operator for the room. Without even trying to, one Consumerist reader managed to find out what Travelocity actually paid for a recent stay at a Holiday Inn. [More]

Lawsuit Alleges Price-Fixing By Major Hotel Chains And Online Booking Sites

Lawsuit Alleges Price-Fixing By Major Hotel Chains And Online Booking Sites

A class-action lawsuit filed yesterday in a U.S. District Court in California alleges that the biggest names in online travel — Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotels.com — and some of the world’s largest hotel chains — Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, Intercontinental, among others — conspired together so that the “best price guarantee” you often see when booking a room online is in actuality just a number set by the hotel operators. [More]

Travelocity's 'Confirmation' Doesn't Mean You Really Booked A Hotel Room, Silly

Travelocity's 'Confirmation' Doesn't Mean You Really Booked A Hotel Room, Silly

The idea behind booking a hotel room or other travel through a site like Travelocity is that they’re supposed to, um, actually book the travel that you pay for. They didn’t manage to do that for the hotel room Graham tried to book in Maine. He booked nine weeks ahead, then learned that the reservation was imaginary two weeks before the trip. [More]

American Airlines Yanks Fares From Orbitz

American Airlines Yanks Fares From Orbitz

In a contract tussle, American Airlines has removed all of its fares from Orbitz. [More]

Executive E-Mail Carpet Bomb Resolves Travelocity Error, Preserves Awesome Price

Executive E-Mail Carpet Bomb Resolves Travelocity Error, Preserves Awesome Price

Gail writes that when things went awry with her hotel and car package reservation on Travelocity, regular customer service wasn’t able to resolve the error. Representatives told her to give up and reserve them separately, or to leave Travelocity staff alone and use another service. As a Consumerist reader and loyal Travelocity customer, she knew that she deserved better. She found an e-mail for the company’s VP of Sales and Customer Care, which didn’t get her the package deal she wanted–she got her hotel stay for free instead.. [More]

Ritz-Carlton: Sorry, We Meant $580, Not $58

Ritz-Carlton: Sorry, We Meant $580, Not $58

Over at Christopher Elliott’s blog there’s a story of a guy who booked a great deal at Travelocity. A little too great — it was a typo. Someone forgot to add a zero on the end of the room rate. [More]

Should Travelocity's "TotalPrice" Guarantees Cover Mandatory Surcharges?

Should Travelocity's "TotalPrice" Guarantees Cover Mandatory Surcharges?

Aaron’s pissed because Travelocity’s quote for a one week car rental in Costa Rica didn’t include a mandatory insurance charge that cost him more than $100. Aaron feels cheated and wants Travelocity to pony up under their TotalPrice Guarantee, but Travelocity may not have done anything wrong. Join us across the jump to help us sort this out. [More]

How Does Travelocity's New Service Compare To Hotwire & Priceline?

How Does Travelocity's New Service Compare To Hotwire & Priceline?

In a move to compete with Hotwire and Priceline, Travelocity has gotten into the deep-discount, semi-blind hotel booking business with the introduction of their new Top Secret Hotels service that promises savings of up to 45% on three and four-star hotels. [More]

Expedia Drops Fee For Booking By Phone

Expedia Drops Fee For Booking By Phone

This morning, travel service Expedia announced it will abandon its book by phone fee, which it first implemented last May. This makes it the only major online travel agency to not ding customers with a fee for booking flights over the phone, notes consumer travel advocate Christopher Elliott.

Canceling A Vacation Due To Swine Flu? Expect The Runaround

Canceling A Vacation Due To Swine Flu? Expect The Runaround

So, you’ve decided to cancel your “nonessential” trip to Mexico to avoid the swine flu outbreak. Great. Just don’t expect the cancellation process to go smoothly.

Four Reasons Not To Book Your Hotel Room Through A Third-Party Site

Four Reasons Not To Book Your Hotel Room Through A Third-Party Site

You won’t get the best deal booking your hotel room through third-party sites like Expedia or Travelocity, according to an anonymous hospitality industry insider. Inside, four excellent reasons to book directly with a hotel to guarantee the best rooms at the best prices.

http://consumerist.com/2008/11/18/over-on-elliottorg-a-woman/

Over on Elliott.org, a woman describes how her $29 Days Inn room ballooned to a $180 charge when the hotel’s owner refused to honor the deal, and what she did to get the difference refunded. [Elliott.org]

http://consumerist.com/2008/11/10/flying-somewhere-to-welcome-home/

Flying somewhere to welcome home a family member in the military? Hope that the military doesn’t change the date, because as one mom found out — Travelocity’s insurance policy is only covers changes due to “death, illness and jury duty.” Don’t worry, there’s a happy ending. [MomLogic]

Morning Deals

  • Apple: Refurbished iPod touches on sale, 8GB for $180, 16GB for $240, 32GB for $320
  • Amazon: Rewards points upgrade for existing Amazon.com Visa holders
  • Apple: Free Select iTunes TV Shows in HD (requires iTunes 8

Highlights From Dealnews

  • Travelocity: United Airlines Sale: Round-trip flights from $108
  • Amazon.com: Amazon.com Men’s Watch Deals: Timex, Marc Ecko, more from $40 + free shipping
  • Sears: Seven7 Women’s Jeans for $18 + $6 s&h, more

Highlights From Buxr

  • Budget Truck Rental: $50 Gift card when paying w/American Express
  • Reverie: T-Shirt Sale: Buy 1 TEE get 1 free TEE
  • BestBuy: Westinghouse 42″ 1080p LCD HDTV and portable DVD Player for $749.99 + shipping

Highlights From Dealhack

  • Drugstore.com: New Customers: Save $5 or $10 off First Order
  • Vann’s: Panasonic FZ28 10.2MP Digital Camera $340 Shipped
  • Amazon: Get Savings of up to 75% off Bargain Books
Travelocity Stole $2,594.55 Of My Honeymoon Money!

Travelocity Stole $2,594.55 Of My Honeymoon Money!

James booked two flights for his honeymoon with Travelocity, but when it became obvious that their visas weren’t going to come in on time, James asked Travelocity if he could reschedule. They assured him that he could, so James followed their instructions and FedExed his tickets back to Travelocity. He then waited for them to call to complete the transaction. They called 2 days after he was originally scheduled to leave and left a message saying that he could now reschedule. When he called them back, Travelocity said that they’d neglected to inform the airline that he was going to be rescheduling, so they’d been marked as “no shows” and were out of luck… and out of $2,584.55.