Distribution

Sabre’s acquisition of Farelogix blocked by US Justice Department

Aug 25, 2019 / Sabre
Sabre
Sabre

Court papers filed by the DoJ accused Sabre of seeking “to eliminate” a competitor by acquiring it.”

US-based GDS owner Sabre announced the acquisition of airline technology provider Farelogix last November in a $360 million deal.

Miami-based Farelogix is a recognized leader in developing new distribution capability (NDC) technology, which would enable Amazon-style retailing of airfares and airline ancillaries through third-party agents.

The DoJ lawsuit argues Sabre and Farelogix “compete head to head to provide booking services to airlines . . . [and] the acquisition would eliminate competition that has substantially benefitted airlines and consumers”.

Revenue Management

Marriott and Hilton sued over ‘Resort Fees’

Aug 25, 2019 / Marriott
Marriott International
Marriott International

The hotel charges known as resort fees are again under scrutiny — this time, from state attorneys general.

The suits allege that the hotels’ “deceptive and misleading” pricing practices violate consumer protection laws.

The suits accuse the hotels of using the fees as a way to increase revenue without appearing to raise their room rates. Resort fee notices often are hidden in “obscure” areas, appear in smaller print, or under misleading headings suggesting they are fees imposed by local governments, the suits said.

The lawsuits seek to force the chains to advertise the true prices of their hotel rooms upfront, pay money to consumers who were harmed by the fees and pay civil penalties.

Distribution

Booking.com promotes first-ever Genius Week

Aug 25, 2019 / Booking.com
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

U.S. travelers can enjoy exclusive discounts and perks through Booking.com’s Genius loyalty program, simply by logging in or creating an account.

From August 28th to September 10th, U.S. travelers are invited to experience the benefits of the company’s Genius loyalty program, which they can do simply by creating a new account or logging in to their existing Booking.com account. Once the account is activated, travelers will enjoy the perk for seven days from that day.

First launched in 2013, Booking.com’s Genius loyalty program awards are available for those who have a Booking.com account and have completed at least two stays over the past two years. This includes a 10% discount for certain rooms at participating properties all around the world.

Digital Marketing

WeChat hotel marketing agency raises $42.5 million

Aug 25, 2019 / Zhiketong
Zhiketong
Zhiketong

Zhiketong, a Beijing-based provider of direct marketing services for upscale hotels using WeChat, has secured $42.5 million in a Series C funding round.

Today thousands of upscale hotels and other companies use the startup’s services to maximize direct sales via WeChat, a combination of a social messaging and payment platform. Hotels like WeChat because it’s a cheaper alternative to using online travel agencies like Ctrip.

Hotels and other companies can use Zhiketong to establish a WeChat official store and receive operational support, tools for managing what rates and inventory they offer, help with planning and delivering advertising campaigns, and statistical analysis of customer data.

Related: Zhiketong

Products & Services

A sign of the future restaurant: The new McDonald’s to-go location

Aug 25, 2019 / F&B
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

The fast-food giant is known for its quick drive-thru service, but now it’s taking things a step further with a new to-go location that only serves food with no seating.

Instead of being full of tables and chairs, the restaurant features touch screens for customers to order. The pilot location is London is much smaller than a typical McDonald’s. Even the menu is streamlined with only favorite items like fries, chicken nuggets, and the classic Big Mac.

After ordering, customers move over to the collection area, where they wait for their order. Since customers can only order through the kiosks, all human employees work on fulfilling the orders, which gets the food to customers much faster.