Right now, as you read this, thousands of people are enjoying the rooms they booked at Hotels.com. That’s a thought that makes us smile. It’s reason enough to come in to work every day. But luckily for us, it isn’t the only reason. Hotels.com is a global company with the spirit of a start-up. Our people are experts in their fields but there are no big egos here. Collaboration is in. Red tape and politics are out. Let your guard down. Relax. Have fun. You’re in good hands now.
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United Airlines Grows at Hubs: United Airlines tweaked its network over the weekend, and I found its moves at Los Angeles, where I live, to be the most interesting. A decade ago, United was one of Hollywood’s preferred airlines, and it flew to many of the largest markets for entertainment, as well as bigger Western cities. Now, it’s focused on smaller markets from L.A., including some unusual additions: Eugene, Oregon; Madison, Wisconsin; and Pasco/Tri-Cities, Washington. Ben Mutzabaugh of USA Today has details.
Whether you’ve just arrived and need lodging in a jiffy, or you were so busy planning your vacation that you forgot to book a hotel in advance, don’t fret—Expedia.com has you covered. There’s no need to spend the rest of your day frantically searching for accommodations. We know life can throw some curveballs, so we feature a listing of accommodations that makes it quick and easy to find a motel or hotel near you.
In November 2012, Airbnb acquired NabeWise, a city guide that aggregates curated information for specified locations. The acquisition shifted the company focus toward offering hyperlocal recommendations to travelers. That same month, Airbnb launched "Neighborhoods", a travel guide of 23 cities that provides in-depth information via collaborative filtering to help travelers choose a neighborhood in which to stay based on criteria such as public transportation, dining, peace & quiet, nightlife, tourist attractions, and shopping.
To help fund the site, the founders created special edition breakfast cereals, with presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain as the inspiration for "Obama O's" and "Cap'n McCains". In two months, 800 boxes of cereal were sold at $40 each, which generated more than $30,000 for the company's incubation. It also got the company noticed by computer programmer Paul Graham, who invited the founders to the January 2009 winter training session of his startup incubator, Y Combinator, which provided them with training and $20,000 in funding in exchange for a small interest in the company. With the website already built, they used the $20,000 Y-Combinator investment to fly to New York City to meet users and promote the site. They returned to San Francisco with a profitable business model to present to West Coast investors. By March 2009, the site had 10,000 users and 2,500 listings.