Priceline makes private label push with Overstock deal

January 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

The Expedia Affiliate Network does it, and Orbitz and Travelocity, too, so why not Priceline?

The focus is on their respective private label businesses as Priceline announced a deal with Overstock, taking over the online retailer’s travel tab, including vacation packages, hotels, flights, cars and — interestingly — Name Your Own Price.


The opaque bidding offering is co-branded travel powered by

Overstock has been dabbling in travel. It launched a vacations tab in March, powered by Texas travel agency Rovia, but Overstock says Priceline now runs Overstock’s entire travel offering.

Priceline may be trying to reinvigorate its private label Priceline Partner Network, which was formerly known as Hotels By City.

The Priceline Partner Network says it offers customizable private label deals with high commissions, and claims: “Our goal is NOT to be the largest affiliate program, so participation is limited to only those sites with a proven track record of success!”

Priceline has some unpublicized private label deals, although Overstock and are the only ones recently publicized.

“Overstock isn’t the only one to offer Name Your Own Price, but it is the largest partner to date,” says Priceline spokesman Brian Ek.

Whether Priceline has a substantial, existing customer base for the Priceline Partner Network is open to question.

The partner network website refers to “a new affiliate program from Priceline” and the private label business receives no mention at all in Priceline’s annual 10-K filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Priceline’s private label initiative comes as Expedia and Orbitz, in particular, are making strides with their respective programs.

For example, Orbitz later this year will kick off a private label deal with American Express and expects a material change in its business from other private label business in the pipeline.

Related posts:

  1. Orbitz makes white-label push through iSeatz distribution deal
  2. LAN Airlines taps Orbitz Worldwide over Expedia for private label solution
  3. Travelocity out and Orbitz in as private label provider for American Express travel site
  4. Priceline launching local deals through private label partnership with Group Commerce
  5. Orbitz, iSeatz add Alaska Airlines to private label business

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Carriers offering post-holiday airfare deals out of Sacramento

January 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

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SACRAMENTO -  You may still be recovering from all of your holiday travel, but the airlines want you to come back and they are offering some special incentives to do so. 

This time of year is when the airlines experience a substantial drop in sales.  Most people have done their traveling for a while and are back at work.  But, if you didn’t get a chance to take a vacation during the holidays, or simply couldn’t afford to travel, the airlines are offering some deals to help fill their fuselages.

Southwest Airlines is offering “three-day click n’ save” deals where you get a reduced rate if you book a flight by January 5th for a trip between January 13 and May 16.  Keep in mind, these deals are only good for travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Some of the best offers of the Southwest bunch include the following one-way flights from SMF:  Sacramento to Las Vegas or Los Angeles tickets for $59. Sacramento to Denver or Phoenix for $89. Sacramento to Portland or Ontario, California for $59.

Frontier Airlines is also offering discounted airfares, with some one-way tickets as low as $39 if purchased before January 12.  However, those fares cannot be found flying out of Sacramento.

Travel agents say Jetblue was offering the best deals with one-way flights out of Sacramento starting at $39, but those discounts wrapped up yesterday. 

When you book any deals like the ones listed above, be sure to read the fine print.  Additional fees, taxes, and restrictions often apply and could catch you off guard in the price total.


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Central Coast: $99 for San Simeon hotel and wine-tasting

January 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Here’s a $99 coupon deal for a hotel stay that positions you perfectly to visit Hearst Castle and the beaches along Central California‘s rugged coast. LivingSocial offers a one-night getaway in San Simeon that includes room, wine-tasting and easy access to springtime sightseeing.

The deal: The stay is at the the Morgan at San Simeon, named for Julia Morgan, the architect of the dazzlingly ornate Hearst Castle. This $99 deal goes a long way; it includes a room with a king-sized bed or two queen beds, continental breakfast, a glass of wine, free Wi-Fi and a wine-tasting at Harmony Cellars that comes with a bottle of wine.

When: The offer is good through Tuesday for a stay through April 30.

Tested: The drill is that once you buy the voucher, you call to make a reservation directly with the hotel. I like LivingSocial’s money-back guarantee that allows you to return the voucher within 30 days for a full refund. It’s a nice safety cushion in case you can’t get the dates you want to visit.

Contact: LivingSocial, (877) 521-4191


Article source:,0,3964388.story

See Mesa Verde National Park free in Jan., Feb. (AP)

January 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel News

MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK, Colo. – Mesa Verde National Park is waiving its entrance fees through March 3.

Park Superintendent Cliff Spencer said he’s waiving fees to start the year because he wants to encourage visitors to come at a time when the park generally isn’t as busy.

Private vehicles typically pay $10 to $15 to enter the park, with the fee good for seven days.

Mesa Verde also is among national parks that plan to waive entrance fees April 21-29 for National Park Week; June 9 for Get Outdoors Day; Sept. 29 for National Public Lands Day; and Nov. 10-12 for Veterans Day weekend.

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Free national park entry MLK weekend, Jan. 14-16 (AP)

January 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel News

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service is waiving entrance fees at more than 100 other national parks Jan. 14-16 in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend.

The list includes parks like Everglades in Florida and Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii, which attract a fair number of visitors in winter, as well as parks that see more visitors in the summer but that offer winter recreation as well, like Yellowstone in Wyoming and Sequoia National Park in California. For a list of participating parks by state, visit

The National Park Service website says the fee waiver includes entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees, but other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not covered by the fee waiver unless stated otherwise.

However, some park partners and nearby businesses are offering discounts and special offers for the weekend, such as a two-for-one Grand Canyon tour offer with coupon; details at

Other fee-free days scheduled for national parks for 2012 are April 21-29, which is National Park Week; June 9, “Get Outdoors Day”; Sept. 29, National Public Lands Day, and Nov. 10-12, Veterans Day weekend.

Many national parks are free to enter year-round.

Article source:*

Rangers fighting 45-acre fire on Cumberland Island (AP)

January 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel News

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Firefighters used hand tools to battle a slow-moving wilderness fire Thursday on Cumberland Island, forcing the National Park Service to close portions of the federally protected island to tourists visiting the Georgia coast.

After burning for more than a day, the fire covered 45 acres — or less than 1/10th of a square mile. That’s a tiny fraction of the land on Georgia’s largest barrier island, which covers 40,000 acres. It’s mostly wilderness but is also home to a few historic19th-century mansions built by wealthy industrialists such as Thomas Carnegie, who owned Cumberland Island before the federal government bought it in 1972.

Maggie Tyler, a Park Service spokeswoman working on the island, said two wilderness camp grounds nearest the fire had been closed. However, visitors were still being allowed to arrive by ferry and van tours along the island’s main road were continuing uninterrupted.

“It’s not a fast moving fire, so it’s kind of easy to keep it where it is,” Tyler said. “…On the main road or on the beach, you would see smoke but not see any flame.”

The fire posed no immediate threat to any of Cumberland Island’s historic structures. Tyler said the nearest, the Carnegie family’s Victorian mansion called Plum Orchard, was 2 1/2 miles from the blaze. The tiny First African Baptist Church, where John F. Kennedy Jr. married Carolyn Bessette in 1996, is several miles farther north.

The fire was first spotted early Wednesday and investigators were still working Thursday to determine what caused it. Tyler said periodic fires are crucial to maintaining the island’s longleaf pine forests, though this particular blaze wasn’t planned.

About 16 firefighters were working Thursday to dig fire breaks in a circle around the blaze by clearing away pine needles and other fuels using hand tools. Some also carried water pumps in backpacks to hose down smoldering hotspots that could otherwise cause the fire to grow.

Fred Boyles, park superintendent for Cumberland Island, said in a statement that areas would remain closed to the public as long as the fire posed a potential threat. He urged anyone visiting the island to check with rangers for the latest closures affecting hiking trails and campgrounds.

“The fire is dynamic and trail closures may change rapidly,” Boyles said.

Cumberland Island is accessible from the mainland only by boat. Tyler said the fire was not considered enough of a threat Thursday to justify bringing in firefighting bulldozers or to use helicopters to drop water on the blaze — both of which can be destructive to the island’s protected wilderness.

Cumberland Island gets about 43,500 visitors each year, with visitation limited to a maximum of 300 people per day.

Winter tends to be much slower. Tyler said only 35 people boarded the ferry to the island Thursday morning.

Article source:*

Best Credit Card Deals for Airline Miles in 2012

January 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals identifies top three airline credit card promotions.

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) January 05, 2012

As consumers embrace the start of 2012, savvy shoppers can give themselves the post-holiday gift of frequent flyer miles., a credit card comparison website, recently updated their list of the best airline credit cards with lucrative sign-on bonuses and generous rewards.

The right airline credit card depends on the traveler’s travel needs and airline affinity. compared generous rewards, low interest rates, low fees and helpful benefits to determine the best airline credit card deals.

Plus, all airline credit card deals include lucrative introductory bonus offers.

“Historically, consumer enthusiasm for airline credit cards enjoy a January bump as airlines tend to start promoting discount fares for travel during the next few months,” said Charles Tran, founder of “Getting a card that offers frequent flyer points on top of discounted fares can be a marvelous deal, as long as people maximize the card’s benefits and minimize their drawbacks.”

The experts at recommend the following airline credit cards, depending on your travel needs:

  • United Mileage Plus Visa – With the United MileagePlus Explorer card, you will earn up to 40,000 bonus miles. Check your first bag free on United and Continental-operated flights. Board your flight before general boarding with priority boarding privileges. Visit the United Club with two complimentary day passes every day. Earn 2 miles for $1 spent on tickets purchased from United and Continental and 1 mile per $1 spent everywhere else. The $95 annual fee is waived for first year.
  • Delta SkyMiles Credit Card – With the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card, you will earn 30,000 bonus miles when you spend $500 on the Card in the first three months from account opening. Check your first bag free on every Delta flight. Receive double miles on Delta purchases and 1 mile for all other eligible dollars spent. Enjoy priority boarding. The $95 annual fee is waived for first year.
  • Southwest Airlines Credit Card – With the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus credit card, you will earn a free flight after your first purchase. Get 3,000 points every year on your card member anniversary that can be redeemed for a $50 Wanna Get Away Fare. 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else. There is a $69 annual fee.

For travelers with no preference toward any particular airline, recommends Discover Miles credit card. With the Miles by Discover credit card, you’ll earn 1,000 bonus miles every month you make a purchase for the first year. Plus, there is no restriction on travel, fly on any airline, book any hotel or car, with no blackout dates and no annual fee.

“At, we advise only real frequent flyers sign up for airline credit cards,” said Tran. “The average consumer probably won’t use them often enough to reap significant benefits, considering the higher than usual annual fees. Instead, grounded consumers can consider cash back credit cards, which are enjoying a surge in generous sign-on bonuses.”

Consumers can visit for free comparisons of credit card rewards. publishes credit card deals, tips and reviews to help consumers make informed credit decisions. They can search, compare and apply online, finding the best credit cards for their individual needs.


For the original version on PRWeb visit:

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Mount Rainier National Park to reopen Saturday (AP)

January 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel News

SEATTLE – Mount Rainier National Park in Washington will reopen to the public on Saturday, and all services with the exception of snow play will be available this weekend.

The park has been closed since ranger Margaret Anderson was shot to death on New Year’s Day trying to stop a car that failed to pull over at a checkpoint requiring drivers to put chains on their vehicles.

A memorial service is being planned for the 34-year-old mother of two who was married to another park ranger.

Authorities say she was killed by Benjamin Colton Barnes, a 24-year-old Iraq war veteran. Investigators found his body face down in a snowy creek Monday with a handgun and rifle nearby. An autopsy Tuesday showed he had hypothermia and drowned.

Article source:*

Maldives president orders resort spas to reopen (AP)

January 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel News

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – The president of the Maldives ordered the country’s upscale resorts to reopen their spas on Wednesday pending a Supreme Court decision on whether they violate Islam, just days after they were shut under pressure from protesters led by an opposition party.

The court decision could be critical to the tourism-dependent island nation’s economic future.

“The government has decided we will open all spas and give all the services to tourists which we have been giving before,” President Mohammed Nasheed told The Associated Press by telephone.

“The tour operators were very worried” about the closure, he said.

Last week, authorities ordered all spas to close following a protest in the capital on Dec. 23 in which thousands of people called for a halt to “anti-Islamic” activities including spas.

The protesters also demanded that authorities halt the sale of alcohol on islands inhabited by local people, stop plans to allow direct flights from Israel, and demolish statues given by other countries to commemorate a South Asian summit in November which they saw as idols.

“To be racist in any way is detrimental to the tourism industry,” Nasheed said of the call to halt Israeli flights. “This is not the way to go forward.”

Debates on religious issues have intensified since a group vandalized a statue given by Pakistan bearing the image of Buddha. In November a protest followed a call by the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, for the Maldives to end the flogging of women found to have had sex outside marriage.

Nasheed has said he stands for a brand of moderate Islam traditionally practiced in the country and that it is vital to preserve tourism.

Article source:*

Hawaiian Airlines signs deal with Orbitz

January 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Hawaiian Airlines signs deal with Orbitz

Hawaiian Airlines 

has signed a multiyear deal with the global travel company Orbitz to offer hotel deals and vacation packages through its website.

The private label deal with Chicago-based Orbitz Worldwide Inc 

. (NYSE: OWW) will allow Hawaiian to provide hotel suggestions to passengers booking air travel only, and will allow the airline to award HawaiianMiles for booking hotels and packages in the future.

“Hawaiian Airlines is a very strategic partner for Orbitz due to the market it serves, its loyal online customer base and its commitment to offering great value in vacation packages to its customers,” Ronnie Gurion, president of Orbitz Worldwide Distribution, said in a statement.

The deal will allow Honolulu-based Hawaiian, a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings Inc. 

(Nasdaq: HA), to leverage Orbitz’s merchandising while helping the airline strengthen its relationships with many Hawaii hotels, Peter Ingram, Hawaiian’s chief commercial officer, said in a statement.


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