Hotels aren’t putting up with Orbitz and Expedia anymore

hotels arent putting up with orbitz and expedia anymore hotel apps
Alice app
The gloves have come off in the war between hotels and Internet sites like Expedia, Kayak, Travelocity, and Orbitz that promise customers low prices and competitive deals. After years of allowing these middle men to make a substantial buck off their services, the hospitality industry is finally saying “no more.” Large conglomerates like Hyatt and Hilton are now offering various incentives to customers to book through the hotels directly, rather than going through discount services that often offer lower prices at the expense of the hotels themselves.

At the beginning of August, a number of hotels loudly protested the proposed merger that would have made Expedia and Orbitz one giant discount travel service, insisting that the combined forces of the two sites would effectively establish a monopoly on the industry. And while there’s still no word from regulators on the ultimate decision on that marriage, hotels have decided to take matters into their own hands. As the New York Times reports, a few chains are now offering “digital check-in, free meals, Wi-Fi and even the ability to choose a specific room,” just as long as you book directly with the hotel and not through a third-party website.

Combined with existing programs such as loyalty rewards, a number of hotels are seeing substantial success in terms of convincing guests to not only stay, but also to book with them. As one industry analyst told the Times, “We see people who will book directly just to get their rewards points. They don’t want to give that up, and so it can be a powerful lure.” Already, marketing firms have found that such incentives have driven a “noticeable drop” in the number of bookings that have gone through Expedia-like sites. Moreover, Ellen Lee, vice president for e-commerce at the Hyatt chain, told the Times that their hotels observed “huge growth” in their own booking services following the premiere of room selection and other features.

Of course, this all comes as good news for travelers — ultimately, in order to remain competitive, hotels must not only offer good prices, but also additional perks to convince us to use their digital booking instead of third parties. And Orbitz, Expedia and others, of course, must find new ways to compete.

We’re seeing a race to the bottom — the good kind — in which the ultimate beneficiary seems to be the consumer. So for now, start looking into your next vacation. At least when it comes to your accommodations, you may be looking at a pretty sweet deal.


The IRS is cracking down on people who didn’t pay taxes on Bitcoin earnings

If you've been trading Bitcoin and haven't been reporting your earnings to the IRS, you might be getting a surprise in your mailbox. By the end of next month, around 10,000 people are expected to get letters from the IRS.

Apple Music offers a few subscription options. We break them down here

Competition for music streaming apps is quickly dwindling with giants like Apple Music and Spotify dominating most of the market? But how much does Apple Music cost and what does a subscription to the music-streaming platform entail?
Movies & TV

Who needs sunshine? Stay inside and watch the best movies on Netflix instead

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.

Listen in luxury with Sennheiser’s HD1 headphones for $112 less on Amazon

The perfect way to tune out of your environment and enjoy music unbothered is through noise-canceling headphones. Luckily, there are a lot of great pairs available, like the Sennheiser HD1 wireless headphones. Get it for $287 on Amazon.

Snag the Sennheiser HD 650 open-back headphones for $181 less on Amazon

Open-back headphones let in a certain level of outside noise, and listening to music through them is like listening to music in your room. One of the best is the Sennheiser HD 650, now worth $319 on Amazon.

This magic box stops hackers, advertisers, ISPs, and everyone else spying on you

The Winston Privacy Filter is an unobtrusive little box that you plug your router into, and it promises to protect your online activities from hackers, advertisers, Internet Service Providers, and everyone else looking to snoop on you.

What’s the best way to stick it to Equifax? Make them work for you

If you're among those whose data was compromised by the Equifax data breach, you're probably not going to get the $125 promised by the FTC settlement. If you want to make Equifax pay, you're better off choosing free credit monitoring.
Home Theater

CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox sue Locast, a free, nonprofit TV streaming service

In a story that his highly reminiscent of the legal battle that ultimately took down Aereo, Fox, CBS, ABC, and NBC are jointly suing Locast, a nonprofit that streams these TV channels for free over the internet.
Smart Home

Amazon is about to kill off its press-to-order Dash button

Amazon's diminutive Dash button is about to die. The ecommerce giant has said that from the end of August, customers will no longer be able to use its press-to-buy button to order products from its shopping site.

Apple Card applications have opened for a lucky few enthusiasts

Apple is getting into the credit card business. Apple Card is a credit card you can sign up for directly on your iPhone, and it doesn't have fees. There's a lower interest rate and you can even get Daily Cash from all purchases.

Were they really that bad? Here are the 10 most disliked videos on YouTube

Ever wondered which videos are the most disliked videos on YouTube? Well, we have the top ten list you’re looking for. Here are the latest videos with the most dislikes currently on YouTube.

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual-monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't mean you have to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual-monitor wallpapers for you.

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. The best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier than ever, but choosing the right tool to use isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our three favorite tools.