Inside look of the Easyhotel of London (video)

1 05 2007

easyHotel South LexingtonArt Du Service“, a french blog that talks about the service sector in general (with a focus on services in the tourism, telecommunication and banking industry) stayed at the Easyhotel of London and came back with a candid video of the room.

easyHotel brand is part of a larger group known as EasyGroup which also holds easyJet, the famous budget airline mostly known in Europe.

Check below the amateur video of the easyHotel London South Kensington. You will see that the bathroom is as tiny as the toilets of an easyjet aircraft!

[dailymotion 5ixTzFiYomr034nT]

For your information, he booked his room online, willingeasy Hotel room to pay 10 pounds (about 15€) as advertised. In the end he paid 60 euros, his credit card was instantly charged . His room did not have any window, there was only one towel (an extra towel would cost 1 pound at the reception) and a soap; the room came with a TV but you need to buy a remote control from reception (£5 for 10 channels for 24 hours). There is no bar, no restaurant in the hotel.

easyHotels definitely target people in need of a cheap bed … and only a bed! In this case Bruno paid 60€. It’s quite a low cost budget for a hotel in London but maybe there are hostels (with more services) that could compete with this rate.

I just did a search for a hostel centrally located in London on www.Hostelworld.com; I found a private double bedroom in the Smart Hyde Park View hostel (50 meters from Hyde Park) for about 47 pounds with a lot more services included in the price (internet access, full english breakfast, linens, locker, towels, tea making facility, color TV, luggage storage). Besides this it has a 24hours Lounge Bar.

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Google will add a click-to-call feature to its ad program

6 09 2006

I can already hear some of you saying, “Google did not invent anything launching a click-to-call feature on the internet. That’s true, Google is not innovating there BUT how many hotel’s official sites offer this type of feature for their users? Not a lot, although there are companies that already propose this type of (great) services.

Basically it consists of placing a button on a webpage to allow the internet user to be called back for free immediately. The technology being involved is VoIP (Voice over IP).

Let’s take a concrete example: Imagine you are confused with the cancellation policy of a hotel just before you validate your booking online. You will probably stop the process until you have a clearer idea of the policy (or maybe you will book somewhere else). Now imagine you find a button on this page saying that if you provide your phone number (that will remain private) you will get an immediate phone call from the hotel to support you for free..

I like the way new technologies influence the hotel industry (travel industry in general) but I clearly think that a mix of those new technologies backed up with a good old phone call simply does the trick.

Click-to-callNow let’s return to the main subject; Google has launched a Click2call feature for its advertising program. It will add a small telephone icon to the ads and will connect you with the company that advertises on google. Not a revolutionary feature since Miva already created this type of feature for its ads program (see a good demo here), but considering that Google benefit from an incredible online buzz, and since I never mentioned (on this site) this kind of features then it is the right time for me to cover the topic and spread the word.

Click-to-call

If you want to try a live demo of google Click-to-call, it is currently being tested in the UK see this basic faq. (if not living in the UK just add a proxy address located in the UK to your Internet Explorer properties and type “artisan hotel” on google.co.uk).

By the way Skype (now belonging to Ebay) powers this feature; concerning Yahoo UK, it has launched in Europe its click-to-call feature in August powered by eStara.

Source of the pictures:
http://davideichholtzer.blog.lemonde.fr/davideichholtzer/2006/09/clicktocall_goo.html

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Clickair, the spanish low-cost airline will spread its wings in oct. 2006

23 08 2006

There have been speculations about the name of the new spanish low cost of Clickair logoIberia; formerly called Catair, the final name of the low-cost will be Clickair. Why choosing such a brand name? Basically because it will use the internet as a primary sales tool.

The budget airline has its headquarters in Madrid, but will operate from its Barcelona hub (Prat airport).

Clickair website

Ownership? Iberia owns parts of Catair Lineas Aereas (Clickair); it equally shares ownership (20% for each of the 5 owners) with the spanish Tour Operator Iberostar, Cobra, Quercus Equity (Grupo ACS – a spanish construction company), and Nefinsa group (Nefinsas being the owner of Air Nostrum).

Flying destinations? Clickair has confirmed it will start to fly to 12 destinations – 8 international cities: Amsterdam, Dublin, Geneva, Zurich, Prague, Lisbon, Oporto, Moscow, and 4 spanish cities: Bilbao, Malaga, Seville and Valencia. For the moment it will not fly to Madrid.

Fleet? The airline will start its activity with a fleet of 3 Airbus A320-200, then it will add an aircraft each month; the fleet size is expected to be around 30 aircrafts in 2008 and Clickair expects to reach up to 70 destination by 2008.

What’s new?The good news is that unlike many other low-cost carriers, Clickair will only fly to the main airports of the cities it serves (hence no extra transportation costs for the budget travelers..

Belonging to Iberia, Clickair will be run as a separate company however Clickair’s passengers will benefit from the Iberia Plus loyalty program. Clickair will also share flight codes with Iberia, meaning that Clickair fares won’t only be sold on internet but also through the GDSs, following a different approach from the traditional low-cost strategy.
Rumors say that passengers will be offered theather and theme park tickets on board.

What’s next? For the moment we are still waiting for the launch of the website; bad move for a company which is already created, announced and ready to go. Anyway I logically expect Iberostar to provide much of the hotel product of the coming website.

Any direct competitors? Barcelona-based Vueling and Air Madrid are direct local competitors, but also Ryan Air since Clickair has decided to open a route between Barcelona and Dublin. I guess Ryan Air should take Clickair seriously since Ryan Air lands its flights far from Barcelona center (In Girona, 103km from Barcelona city center) when Clickair lands at Barcelona’s main airport. EasyJet, which has announced the opening of new routes in Spain is a seen as a tough competitor too.

According to Europa Press, the booking system that will be used on the website is Open Skies developped by Navitaire (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Accenture). This technology is also used by RyanAir, German Wings and VirginExpress just to name a few..

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