"often you can get better deals just by contacting the vendor directly."
That's correct. What makes things even fierce for them is that people first use the online third-party sites to search for the "deals" and then contact the airlines and the hotels thereafter. I wonder if analytics can help them that much to reverve that situation.
Noreen, interesting video giving a chance to see a human face behind the online interface.
Recent reports I've seen, mainly on TV, indicate that these online third-party sites are having an increasingly difficult time competing with the airlines and hotels themselves — often you can get better deals just by contacting the vendor directly. This suggests lots of stress. I'd wonder how much better analytics can actually help in this highly competitive situation.
@Noreen, thanks for sharing this video with Joe Megibow. He gives a great overview on Expedia's focus on analytics. I'm encouraged to hear him say that Expedia realizes the give and take between its needs and its customers' desire to share -- or not -- data about themselves.