RealTime IT News

All's Fare in Last-Minute Travel

Entering a battle if not declaring full-scale war in the last-minute travel sector, Travelocity.com Inc. signed a deal with Site59.com and said it will launch a new "Last Minute Deals" section on its site.

Travelocity's stock was up sharply today following the announcement, rising $4.20 to $26.10 in mid-morning trading. However the bounce had more to do with positive remarks about the company made by Prudential Securities analyst Mark Rowen, who said that a recent drop in the stock price has created a buying opportunity.

The Site59.com agreement follows a deal between LastMinuteTravel.com and America Online that was announced June 1.

Smart travelers have always known that airlines try to put a warm body in every seat for the sake of cost efficiency, which explains why you may have paid $75 for your ticket and the person in the next aisle paid $275. With the advent of the Web and its databasing powers, a whole new travel segment appears to have developed, especially since the hotel and car rental businesses also would prefer to make some money rather than let rooms and vehicles go begging.

Fort Worth, Texas-based Travelocity said its new last-minute area will give members access to discounted travel packages for travel booked within 14 days of departure. The focus will be on long weekend getaways.

"With this agreement Travelocity.com has the added opportunity to include its own inventory with Site59.com's robust offerings, expanding the deals that consumers can access," said Terrell B. Jones, president and CEO of Travelocity.com."

Financial arrangements with Site59.com were not disclosed. Site59 says it has developed patent-pending packaging technology called TRACE that automates and assembles inventory in real-time from 1,500 industry suppliers including airlines, hotel companies, car rental firms and hundreds of specialty providers worldwide. Site59's technology is the cornerstone of its ASP product.