Monday, July 6, 2009

Travelocity: The Walled Garden Finally Falls - Almost

Travelocity has long promoted their igoyougo property (which has morphed over time into a version of Booking Buddy or Super Search) using pop-unders and banner ads. Travelocity's goal has been to still a searching consumer to convert somewhere even if not on the Travelocity mothership. In other words, better to get a few dollars in affiliate revenue by shipping the consumer off to a competitor than end up with nothing. Afterall, Travelocity attracted the consumer to their site somehow which probably wasn't free - might as well make something on it.

But we recently noticed a much more prominent placement - right at the bottom of the air search results page. Travelocity is also clearly displaying their competitors logos - right on their own site - first time we have seen that on major OTA besides Hotwire.

Now if only the search box actually worked without leaving the page - it does not allow a user to actually input city pairs and dates (much less do the obvious and pre-populate these fields.) Users who try and input search criteria are redirected to a new window - at least the search parameters are passed over....

Hotwire wins for elegance and usability, Travelocity for the bold logo placement....

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