03 April 2010

An iPad for $499? How about $1170!

OK so I will admit I am biased because I really do dislike the "ancillary" revenues that an iPhone extracts from its seemingly (in other moments) sane and rational people.

So I went to Best Buy and looked at a fully functioning netbook from HP mini 210-1010nr Black netbook featuring an Intel N450 Processor with 1GB Memory and 160GB Hard drive. $299.99. Add an extended warranty ($45) Shipping (free but lets add $25) A case (it comes with a slip case) $0. I could extend the memory. But it's a multi tasking machine. So far I have a comparable machine but no 3G wireless support. The iPad requires a 2 year 3G data plan....

So I left Best Buy and wandered over to the AT&T Wireless store. I can buy a Netbook (the same machine) for only $199. it comes with Wifi and 3G built in. Ah ha! A comparable machine.

So the numbers are $199+protection $99. and? Well nothing else. Total including tax $317.58 (tax included). Shipping was free. Add back some additional accessories - add another $49 - making a total $371.40.

So how did I come up with the $1170 price? Go check out this article.

So will I pay - lets be kind $800 for an extra 20% of screen real estate and a REALLY COOL device? Oh yes and remember the iPad is a single tasking machine.

And that data plan price? Standard pricing is $35 for 200MB/month or $60 for 5GB per month. Roaming internationally? It is $19.50 PER MEGABYTE. To put that in perspective. The average web page size is 60KB or $1.17 PER WEB PAGE.

So if its all the same to you - I think I will pass on the iPad.



31 March 2010

Amadeus Announces Abolition of GDS Segment Overrides and More

In what must be one of his last acts as CEO - David Jones told a packed audience of Travel Agents in London this morning (April 1st) that he was finally acknowledging the immorality of paying agents to use the Amadeus system. Dressed like Clement Atlee with a shorn head and wearing a 1930s top coat against the spring showers, Jones stunned the audience but there were further shocks in order as he had more to add.

To cheers from the suppliers in the audience (who had paid for the rally event) and jeers and thrown shrimp from the agents, the British CEO who is known for his gentility didn't mince any of his words.

"I have long believed that the practice of paying a travel agent to use our system was a disservice to our real paymasters the airlines." Continuing on - he challenged the leaders of both Sabre and Travelport to join him in his holy crusade to rid the industry of outdated business models and a return to as he put it "a normalized state" of affairs.

The encouraging words of wisdom to the assembled audience of suppliers however were short lived when the other shoe fell.

"Effective immediately, we are also abolishing the differential in all booking fees irrespective of whether the booking comes from online or off line or from an agent or a supplier.

Commenting on the announcements, one agent was overheard to say "Blimey, what will happen next Willie Walsh as a Flight Attendant". An airline executive who was within earshot was heard to mutter and describe the acts as "robbing Peter to pay Paul."

A small group of people in the audience at the rear of the crowd were suitably glum and looked remarkably unhappy. It is rumoured these people were Amadeus Agency Sales staffers.

jetBlue Completes Migration To Legacy Carrier

In the recent years - airlines have fallen in love with the Low Cost Carrier model - LCC. But more recently as the strictures of the model start to constrain the growth of the business - the startup LCCs are started to adopt more hybrid like characteristics. At the same time the legacy full service network airlines have adopted many of the LCC characteristics. This dual trend - big airlines becoming hybrid and LCCs becoming hybrid has now passed a formal milestone. The first LCC to become a full service legacy carrier.

Welcome to the old boy club JetBlue.

In the past 3 years jetBlue has undergone a radical transformation. Here are some of the things it now does:

1. Participates in ARC
2. Participates in GDSs
3. Interlines
4. Hosted in Sabre
5. Is partially owned by LH

Etc etc

So as you can now see - jetBlue has become a full service network carrier just like all the others. Voila - completing its transition.

Seems like the LCCs are the dying breed despite their greater profitability.

Hmmm food for thought.


EC Updates Banned Airlines List

The 13th update is now out

Interestingly a few airlines got clean bills of health but in general the list was expanded. The latest airline to get "restricted" is Iran Air.

All carriers from 17 countries – 278 companies in total – are banned: Angola, Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, (with the exception of three carriers which operate under restrictions and conditions), Indonesia, Kazakhstan (with the exception of one carrier which operates under restrictions and conditions), the Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Philippines, Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, Sudan, Swaziland and Zambia. 10 air carriers are allowed to operate under restrictions and conditions - Air Koryo from the Democratic People Republic of Korea, TAAG Angola Airlines, Air Astana from Kazakhstan, Iran Air from Iran Gabon Airlines, Afrijet and SN2AG from Gabon, Air Bangladesh, Air Service Comores and Ukrainian Mediterranean Airlines from Ukraine. A further few airlines are also included outside this list.

For the full list go here:


Many companies ban their employees from flying on these airlines irrespective of where they fly. So it is important to note this airline list. There are a few players here who are commonly used carriers readily available in GDSs or other distribution tools. It is important therefore to check your current company policy compliance if you are a flyer. For a company HR and/or risk assessment company providing insurance coverage for staff - it would be important to remind people of the necessity of compliance to existing conditions.



29 March 2010

Behavioural Targeting Effectiveness

A great study sponsored by NAI and conducted by Howard Beales looked at Behavioural Targeting in 2009.

As the subject has become somewhat contentious of late - I was very interested to see this report. It covered a lot of territory and has good source data.

I highly recommend that you read the whole report (25 pages not that long) if you are interested in this type of targeting and its effectiveness vs that of regular run of network online CPM based advertising.

I wanted to see if there is a consistent advantage to using this from a pure cost perspective - well approx 10% and its pretty consistent across the year.

So irrespective of the issue of privacy concerns it seems that BT has some value. In Travel this may be even more important given the higher CPMs that accrue to the vertical vs other product segments.

It may also have - and this is pure speculation on my part but let's call it an educated hunch - that Social Media based media coupled with BT may prove to be even more effective. That may result in too small a target but an interesting idea nonetheless.

Just call me an old CPM geek


With thanks to the AdTorque network for the image

U cnt txt on Rynr

Sorry - no more texting on Ryanair any more.

OnAir and Ryanair decided not to carry on working together and have terminated their agreement.

Seems that only a year ago Michael O'Leary was saying:

"Nobody is flying on Ryanair because it is a bastion of solitude where you can contemplate life."

Read more:

So now your Low Cost Flights can be quiet again.


Phot courtesy of Eurocheapo.com