Biggest Travel Booking Sites In The World Crossword

Biggest Travel Booking Sites In The World Crossword – How to use Google Flights to save money on your next trip. Buzz60’s Natasha Abellard has the story.

Google Flights is trying to make the process of booking a flight a little easier — and less stressful — with some new updates.

Biggest Travel Booking Sites In The World Crossword

Biggest Travel Booking Sites In The World Crossword

Google launched a new feature in November for all users that notifies them when cheaper flights are available at nearby airports, Craig Ewer, a Google spokesman, confirmed to USA TODAY. Google now also offers a similar feature that lets you know if changing your travel dates could mean you save a significant chunk of change.

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“We want people to trust Google Flights to help you find the best flights that best fit your needs,” Thijs van As, product manager for the Google Flights team, told USA TODAY. For example, if you’re flying from New York to Washington and there’s a flight available at half price or cheaper than the one you’re looking for, the site will notify you of changes to your itinerary.

Travelers don’t buy tickets from Google (although they can book on the platform). The portal works with airlines and travel agencies to collect flight information. In fact, it is a one-stop shop of knowledge and shopping convenience.

A host of other providers, such as Kayak and Scott’s Cheap Flights, offer similar listings. Expedia, Kayak, Travelocity and others let you set up email price alerts to keep track of your flights (as does Google Flights). Some of these services include options to add nearby airports or include flexible dates when booking.

Google has researched the biggest problems travelers face when booking flights. The biggest?” People don’t know what’s a good price for a flight, “they also don’t know the right time to book, van As added.

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The airport and price notification service is part of a series of changes Google has made to help travelers better. Earlier this year, it launched a new type of price overview that tells you whether the airfare you’ve found is relatively high, low or typical. The service compares trips of the same length and time of year.

Google Flights also tries to predict whether the price of a flight will remain stable or if it may increase over the next few days. When the platform has high confidence that one of these two will happen, it will inform the user. Copyright © 2023, Los Angeles Times | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | CA Notice of Meeting | Do not sell or share my personal information

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Hotel resort fees have drawn the ire of the attorneys general for Nebraska and the District of Columbia, as well as travel rights groups, because they are often not disclosed in advance, leading travelers to believe they are getting a better deal than how much they really are.

Biggest Travel Booking Sites In The World Crossword

Now, the fees consumers love to hate are facing backlash from some online travel sites that help book hotels.

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Booking.com, one of the world’s largest online booking sites, has begun charging a commission on resort fees charged by hotels in Europe and plans to make the change to U.S. hotels in January. The website previously only collected a commission on the nightly rate for each hotel room booked through the site – a practice shared by most online booking sites.

The move comes just a month after the attorneys general for the District of Columbia and Nebraska filed lawsuits against Marriott International and Hilton Worldwide Holdings, respectively, calling the charges deceptive.

Although Booking.com admits the move will generate additional revenue for the company, the travel site claims the change is primarily aimed at pressuring hotels and other accommodation providers to be more transparent about the total costs they plan to charge. potential customers.

“We believe in full transparency and that the best customer experience is when people know the full cost upfront,” said company spokeswoman Angela Cavis. “We hope this will help continue to push the entire industry towards more transparency and fewer surprises for customers.”

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Hotel industry executives say only a small percentage of hotels charge mandatory resort fees, and most of them clearly disclose the fees before rooms are booked.

“When guests select a property with a resort or amenity fee, hotels are careful to follow [Federal Trade Commission] guidelines and display the fees prior to completing the reservation process,” said Rosanna Maietta, executive vice president of communications for American Hotel. and Housing Assn. . A 2018 report from the trade group found that 6% of hotels surveyed charge a resort fee.

Hotels charge resort fees on the grounds that they cover the use of facilities such as swimming pools, fitness centers and business centers, among other amenities and services. However, in recent years, some hotels and resorts have made resort fees mandatory, charging up to $100 per stay. at night, even in properties that don’t offer extras like a pool or gym.

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Biggest Travel Booking Sites In The World Crossword

In addition to raising additional revenue, mandatory resort fees allow hotels to advertise nightly room rates that appear to be much lower than they actually are when the fee is added. This means that travel booking sites that list hotels in order of lowest to highest price can give consumers the false impression that a hotel is much cheaper than it is at the mandatory rate.

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The FTC issued a warning to 22 hotels in 2012, saying it’s deceptive and illegal to surprise guests with hidden resort fees. In response, hotels began listing their resort fees on their booking websites – but often only in fine print and at the end of the booking process, just before the guest is ready to pay.

In the United States, hotels generated nearly $3 billion in 2018 in mandatory hotel fees, according to an estimate by Bjorn Hanson, an assistant professor at New York University’s Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism. The total represents an 8.5% increase from 2017, and Hanson predicts such charges will continue to rise in 2019 as hotels struggle to combat rising labor and property costs.

Resort fees typically run between $20 and $40 per person. nightly, but in Las Vegas, where such fees are common, three high-end MGM Resorts properties just raised their nightly resort fee to $45 from $39, a 15% increase.

Booking.com is the most popular of the online travel sites operated by Booking Holdings, a Norwalk, Connecticut company that also owns Priceline, Kayak, Agoda and other travel-related sites. Company representatives say they are considering charging a commission on future resort fees at other Booking Holdings brands.

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Travel rights groups are pushing for all hotels to include mandatory fees in the advertised price so that consumers who shop for awards know what they will ultimately pay to book a room.

Charles Leocha, president of the advocacy group Travelers United, welcomed the move by Booking.com and said he hopes more travel sites will pressure hotels to include mandatory fees in their advertised price.

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“It’s a move by the biggest hotel OTA [online travel agency] to hit resort fees and take away some of the profit that hotels make now without any commission,” he said.

Biggest Travel Booking Sites In The World Crossword

Expedia, another major online travel agency, takes a different approach than Booking.com’s model of charging a commission for resort fees.

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Hotels paying resort fees will drop as the site ranks available rooms from lowest to highest price, Expedia Lodging Partners Services president Cyril Ranque recently told reporters for travel website Skift. This means that hotels that charge resort fees will not be able to use a base price in advance to give an idea of ​​the hotel’s final price.

“We believe travelers benefit from having access to a wide range of travel options and transparency about what they pay for hotel stays, including mandatory fees imposed by the hotel,” the company said in a statement. “We continue to work with our hotel partners to ensure that the fees they charge are shared with us so we can again display them clearly so travelers can make informed decisions in their hotel selection process .”

The hotel industry hit back at travel sites, saying they are not always transparent about the fees they charge customers.

“Historically, the FTC has received a significant number of complaints from consumers who booked travel through third-party websites and were subsequently charged additional fees that were not disclosed at the time of booking,” Maietta said.

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Among the most popular travel sites are so-called aggregator sites such as Kayak and Trivago, which compile a list of travel prices from various other booking sites. They earn from advertising, not hotel booking commissions.

TripAdvisor, a site that does not charge commission but directs users to hotel websites, said it “believes in price transparency” but plans to make no changes to the way it advertises hotel prices.

“If the wider travel industry shows these tourist fares in their domestic price displays and supplier partners provide us and other distribution channels with this data, we would also show this,” the company said in a statement.

Biggest Travel Booking Sites In The World Crossword

Hugo Martín is an assistant editor on the Fast Break Desk, the breaking news team of the Los Angeles Times. He has been a reporter for the Los Angeles Times for more than

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