Online travel specialist Travelocity has begun beta-testing an Instant Flight Deal Notification product using RSS technology.
RSS – Really Simple Syndication – enables Travelocity to alert consumers about any fare changes as they occur. Users are able to sign up for the free service via rss.travelocity.com.
From the site, they select the vacation type – honeymoon, beach, family, golf, ski etc – followed by their departure city, and up to five destination cities. Travelocity will then send deal information when fares drop by at least 20%.
By offering the service, Travelocity can engage in a precise form of targeted marketing because consumers select the types of fares and holidays they are interested in receiving updates about.
Consumers can get the Travelocity RSS feed through RSS newsreaders, including My Yahoo, My MSN, Pluck and others.
Another organisation going down the RSS route is SideStep.com, which has launched RSS feeds of current travel deals and consumer-generated hotel reviews.
The company says RSS will help users keep abreast of deals to their favourite destinations as well as providing new hotel reviews to make it easier for consumers to make informed hotel selections.
The reviews, which will be powered by TravelPost.com, will offer both numerical ratings and detailed comments on a wide selection of hotel properties.
Travellers can filter the reviews based on attributes such as reviewer age, gender and purpose of stay to see feedback from travellers who are most like them.
These reviews complement SideStep’s other hotel content, which includes photos, star-ratings, property descriptions and amenity information, according to the company.
SideStep is also working with Amazon.com to put its comparative-shopping engine on the web retailer’s site early this year.