Introduction to Flight Reviews: 7 hours stuck in a Delta Airline airplane

30 06 2007

Delta Airlines 6499We are now quite familiar with customer-written hotel reviews; we also know about the trendy use of video reviews of hotels but what about reviews of flights?!

Yesterday I stumbled upon an incredible amateur video that made it to the top #20 of the most watched video of Youtube. The statistics speak for themselves:

Views: 76,062
Comments: 468
Favorited: 175

Robert McKee took a Delta flight (n°6499) and got stuck on tarmac during 7 hours straight.

[youtube R06dAgpmmbg]

Fortunately, he had a video recording device (a lot of batteries) and enough know-how to edit and post this video to the Consumerist Blog.

The same way, I thought of blogging my last trip to Barcelona (with a connection in Rome); it was an Alitalia flight planned at 7pm from Nice. The flight was delayed, re-scheduled at 11:45pm, then delayed again to finally be cancelled around 1h20am. My flight finally got scheduled 24 hours later. It got cancelled twice! After the first cancellation, a voice quickly came out of the airport speakers saying:

Airplane on tarmac

“We will try to repair the airplane with the help of Air France’ staff; Alitalia technicians will be sending instructions by phone from Rome to the technicians located at Nice airport, so they can repair the airplane.”

Priceless! I twittered it but unfortunately I did not have any good audio or video recording devices to record this.

We all have our own stories of bad luck while traveling, but thanks to the Web 2.0 user generated content, customers are now capable of getting a worldwide audience to denounce bad (or excellent) comercial practices. Airlines too, should care about what they say to their customers and how they treat them as information is spreading fast, otherwise it will be published on hundreds of blogs (including the famous blog of Robert Scoble) …

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Loic Le Meur interviews the CEO of Trivop

21 05 2007

Here is an interesting interview of Thomas Owadenko that Loic Le Meur just uploaded on his blog. Thomas is the CEO of the new travel 2.0 site called Trivop.


[vpod.tv loiclemeur/200710]

Trivop.com is a very good example of a good use of web 2.0 in the travel industry. It is a platform of video reviews of hotels (located in Europe and then in the future in the US).Like I said in the past, the future of hotel reviews is strongly connected to the future of online video; we previously saw the impact of a simple video uploaded on youtube to report a poor hotel room in Madrid. We also saw Tripadvisor launched a video uploading feature on their website to follow this (hotel) trend.

Trivop

Now we have a dedicated website only for hotels which combined a mashup of Google maps, Tripadvisor text reviews and videos generated by hoteliers and guests.In the video Thomas says that it will be focused on hotels for the first 3 years, Trivop does not have a real competitor since there is no other 100% similar site. However it might somehow compete with videos of websites like Youtube, Google Video, DailyMotions etc. and also with sites like www.travelistic.com that have a wider approach and publish video content for everything related to travel.

When Trivop has been launched at the beginning of April 2007, it already had filmed and uploaded about 170 videos of hotels. Trivop will also intend to create a marketplace community where video producers could meet the demand for video of hoteliers.

Ceo Trivop - Thomas OwadenkoDuring the interview Thomas says that not only the hotelier can upload a video but also the guest. As of today I have not been able to find a video generated by a guest, but only video “ordered” by hoteliers, with a very good editing by the way. The only negative comment I would make is that there is no way you can control the playback of the video other than using the pause button. Videos are played sequentially (divided into segments: lobby/standard room/suite etc) just as if you were watching plain old television. When deciding what hotel I want to book, I have a limited available time for making my choice. I need to compare hotel prices, hotels reviews and so on; watching each segment (of about 50sec to 1min40) without having the choice to fast forward the video is time consuming.

In my opinion the challenge for Trivop will be to generate revenue by proposing their services as filmmakers for hoteliers while they offer a free platform for guests to upload their “videos reviews” that could criticize and hurt their own clients.

Anyway I found that the concept of Trivop is innovative and useful for travellers and I wish them the best of success.

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Web Reservations International to launch a “revolutionary” travel website!

1 05 2007

Web Reservations InternationalIf you passed by WRI’s stand at the last ITB in Berlin, you certainly saw it! The Dublin firm Web Reservations International (WRI) is about to launch a new online travel website that claims to “revolutionise the travel industry and pit it against internet giants such as Google.

WebReservations International is a well know actor of the online travel industry. They bought the famous Worldres in 2005 and is now at the head of the following major online brands: hostelworld.com, worldres.com, hostels.com and trav.com. Hostelworld provides the hostels product of RyanAir’s website (whereas Expedia provides the hotel product).

Web Reservations International CEO and Co-Founder, Ray Nolan, stated in January 2007 that “Google throws you the Yellow Pages and says go find it yourself“. Ray Nolan also had good things to say about the aggregators, stating: “For any one destination, there are probably only 10 places you really want to stay, but the aggregators will make you go through 20 pages of hotels”.

As far as we know the new website (whose name has not been revealed yet) will be a fusion of social networking, travel information (with a system of reviews) and online booking system. It has been rumored that investment for this project might be as high as €30million. WRI planned to launch the website on Wednesday (tomorrow), back up with a large marketing budget.

I can’t wait to see this new product; at least on the paper the new website looks quite challenging! I hope it will meet my our expectations… Stay tunned.

Via Sunday Business Post
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Directory Free
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Information is spreading…fast.

6 02 2007

I have been looking around to find out if hoteliers were uploading video about their hotels on www.youtube.com or www.dailymotion.com. My third try was to search for the term “hotel madrid” in youtube.com, and on the first page of results, I saw the following entrance:

Youtube hotels

Translation of the spanish comment with the video: “Don’t go to the hotel Mediodia in Madrid in front of Atocha.” [...] “This is our wash basin.” This video has been here for 3 months now, and is posted under the category “Comedy”. It has already been viewed by 361 persons.

Here is the video of an anonymous customer of this hotel located in Madrid:

[youtube QaQM4GZ9Ilw]

I was looking for a new type of hotel promotions (using youtube, dailymotion and else) and in the end I found a new type of hotel review… I saw a lot of comments on the internet about Travel 2.0 and a lot of them were trying to define “Travel 2.0″. Maybe it is just about that; about spreading the information, about having potential customers more informed.

On the other hand, there is no way for the hotelier to remove such a video from youtube, even if he has already completed a renovation in his hotel or even he has fixed the problem. This applies to Tripadvisor as well. People should not pay attention to old comments, as hotel management team may have changed and as the hotel may have been renovated since then.
I recall people who told me that there were hotels that disallowed the use of camera and filming devices in their hotels in order to keep the mystery around their hotel intact…Anyway hoteliers won’t have any control over people using filming devices in their hotels; they cannot hide those flaws anymore.

Here is a positive hotel review of an independent hotel called Hotel Las Palapas in Playa del Carmen (Mexico). You will see that it looks very professional and nicely edited with commentaries of the guest. A nice piece of work. That reminds me I need to go to Tulum!
[youtube Pq5_qJ7Uyvs]

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