Have you noticed a trend recently in deals that are not being honored? I can point to Alitalia $320, United Hong Kong Four Mile Island, Wyndham 48,000 points… in just the last few months. I’m concerned we may have reached the point where unlimited offerings to this group of crazies is so economically devastating to the travel providers, they have to back out.
The first big “back out” I can think of was when Travelocity booked Hilton rooms in Japan for $2-$3 per night. The entire country of Japan was booked full for an entire summer with Hilton rooms at this rate. It just could not have been honored. The word spread across college campuses like wildfire and would have crushed the balance sheet of Hilton Hotels. Fast moving info that Travelocity could not control in time.
Now we have many more players in the game and the economic impact and breaking point is reached much sooner, in many cases before the travel provider even knows what hit them.
Some of you will counter; “It didn’t kill the Radisson 50K offers or the Rangoon deal.” Remember Radisson had a 50K cap on the number of participants. And how many people do you really think would get to Rangoon on their own for a cheapie ride home? The number is much more limited to the real hard core players, not the casual reader.
So how do we counter what may be going on here? Private groups sharing information to limited numbers of participants? It is already happening. Talking all the members of the hobby into booking only one mistake fare each? Doubted. We can hardly get along with one another now in many current instances of mistake fares or fantastic promos. Just read the forums to see the animosity within our group. Or maybe we should ban all blogs? An impossible task and not really the root cause of the problem, (although I will say giving out finite details to every Tom, Dick and Harry is probably not helping our cause any). Blogs are nothing more than information brokers that summarize the info in the travel hacking space. We do come up with some ideas on our own and do share the ideas of our readers but we aren’t the sole cause of the promo and mistake fare implosion.
I do not have the answer to our predicament, but am open to hearing your thoughts on the matter. Have we indeed reached critical mass? How can we continue successfully with the number we have in the game?
Deal of the Day
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