Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Travelzoo bought and has now relaunched Fly.com - looks familiar

Email/Deals marketing firm Travelzoo (TZOO) bought the domain name Fly.com for US$1.76mm a week or so ago (more over at Travolution). Today I saw a story announcing that Fly.com has been relaunched as a meta-search beta. New model for them. I wonder where they got their inspiration. Here is a screenshot of the new Fly.com website. Free 1 year subscription to the BOOT for anyone who can tell me which site the Fly.com website looks the most like. Any guesses? There is a hint below.


Update - just saw a post from Tom Botts of Hudson Crossing where he reviews some features from Fly.com


Anonymous said...

just compared fly to kayak and farecast and to my surprise all of them had very different rates. While kayak does a nice hand off to the seller farecast and fly puts you back at the gate... (start your search over again)

The handoff to KLM via kayak actually resulted in a rate about 40% lower then was on the kayak site.

My question is there room for another that does it right... or just wait until google start aggregating this date directly from the airlines. Just imagine airlines syndicating their routes with rates in iCal format... sure google can handle that. ;-)

Anonymous said...

about fly.com showing resemblance..im guessing kayak?

Before we know it we have dedicated search engines for meta-search only. Or indeed, wait for Google to start aggregating...

Anonymous said...

I am a TZOO fan from day 1. I even got free stock for signing up. Their brilliance was a stripped down website - nothing to distract the consumer from buying (or more accurately, reading the ads).

As the web developed, they resisted the temptation to get fancy. They had the simple, focused approach before Kayak or even Google existed.

Kayak beat the other-meta searches by using a similar strategy. No pictures of beaches or other distractions. Just the facts. Works for them, but the DNA belongs to TZOO and Google.

So, who copied whom?

Correct answer gets a no expenses paid spa in Catskill, NY

Anonymous said...

What do you think the business strategy is for this launch?

Travel meta-search isn't a new concept and I can't see any particular value add that Fly.com provides - granted this is still beta.

At the same time, I have to imagine the "Fly Guys" (has a nice ring) see this as helping w/ distribution of TZOO content? What am I missing?

Tim Hughes said...

@Pete - I believe that meta-search is a good model but it is not a certain or guaranteed success. I talked a little about it here in discussing PriceGrabber's efforts in travel (need to update this post).For Fly.com and TZOO the question is not about their functionality compared to Kayak. It does not matter whether or not Fly.com is a better engine to Kayak. What matters is if they can get distribution cheaper than the prices they can charge advertisers. More on this thinking in an update soon.

Anonymous said...

this iss totally true! the sex appeal of travel zoo is exactly, that they don´t care about a sophisticated search engine / algorithm.
they just place good offers!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

At first glance, $1.7mil seems like a ridiculous amount to pay for a domain, but after further consideration it may not be so ridiculous after all.

Search engines place a very high value on domain names which match search terms. As such, I am sure they will rank extremely well for any search terms including "fly" (and thats a lot of search terms).

Coupled with the direct traffic that they will get and the reduced difficulty of getting people to know what their brand represents and remember it, it seems like a wise investment for a company the size of Travelzoo.

Anonymous said...

travelzoo just proves Seth Godin's theory of otaku. DOing something remarkable and people will become obsessed and drive halfway across the country to find you.

Anonymous said...

What travel gds tech use fly.com.

Anonymous said...

What gds travel technology use fly.com