Why Bargain Travel Sites May No Longer Be Bargains

Aggregators like Expedia have made us lazy — and we may be missing out on the best deals. From a report on Backchannel: Most of us rely on metasearch engines, like Priceline, Expedia, or Travelocity, which typically use dozens (sometimes as many as 200) of online travel agents, called OTAs, and aggregators to find the best deals. (A metasearch engine and an aggregator are interchangeable terms — they both scour other sites and compile data under one roof. An OTA is an actual travel agency that actually does the booking and is the lone site responsible for everything you buy through them.) We rely on these sites because we assume they have the secret sauce — the most powerful search engines, tweaked by superstar programmers armed with the most sophisticated algorithms — to guide us to the cheapest options. With a single search, you can feel assured that you are paying a rock bottom price. Over time, however, the convention has flipped. As competition among the sites heated up, the hard-to-believe cheap fares required some filtering. A too-good-to-be-true fare ($ 99 to Europe from California) usually came with a catch (the $ 400, indirect, ticket home). And as the business models that on which these aggregators rely are getting tighter, the deals are getting worse. How can you be certain you’re getting the lowest quote? The short answer is, you can’t.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


Slashdot

Forrest Mimms On Modern Air Travel With a Bag Full of Electronics

Evidently even Forrest Mimms isn’t famous enough to fly without hassle when carrying a briefcase full of electronics; he writes at Make about his experiences, both before and after 2001. A relevant slice:

After police were called when I was going through security at the San Antonio International Airport and after major problems going through security in Kona, Hawaii, I finally realized the obvious: Most people who don’t make things have no idea how to evaluate homemade equipment. Some are terrified by exposed wires and circuit boards, maybe because of bomb scenes in movies.
So I gave up. Now my carryon bag is only half stuffed with electronics; the rest is shipped ahead via FedEx.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


Slashdot

Girls Catfish ISIS On Social Media For Travel Money

MarkWhittington writes: Yahoo Travel reported that three women in Chechnya took ISIS for $ 3,300 before getting caught. They are now under investigation for Internet fraud, which seems to be illegal even when committed against the most fearsome terrorist army in modern times. The scam seems to be a combination of the Nigerian Prince con, in which a mark is fooled into giving the con artist large sums of money and catfishing, in which the mark strikes up an online romance with someone he thinks is an attractive woman (or man depending on the gender and preference of the mark.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


Slashdot

Congressional Travel Is Skyrocketing

Where do lawmakers go on these trips? In 2013, one House member, Tom Petri, visited with penguins on the Falkland Islands. A handful of members spent spring break in Brazil. Ten went to China, where a participant said activities included trekking on the Great Wall. And one in 10 of these good times are never even reported.
Digg Top Stories