Following complaints from ATA
about alleged misrepresentation of their fares by Hotwire
, the online travel company says it stands behind its national advertising campaign centered on the “Hotwire Travel Challenge.”
The campaign features more than a dozen different radio spots in which real people are asked to take the Hotwire Travel Challenge, searching for airfare or hotel rooms on Hotwire and other travel sites.
All fares and savings used in the Hotwire Travel Challenge ads are actual fares found by real people searching Hotwire and competitor travel sites. “We don`t script any of these ads. Instead, we go out into the street and ask everyday people about their honest point of view when comparing Hotwire prices to those of other travel sites,” said John Hommeyer, chief marketing officer for Hotwire. “We can offer our great prices because we ask leisure travelers to be flexible regarding flight times and which major airline they fly. We make a point to be upfront with consumers that if they can be flexible, we can save them money.”
In a typical Hotwire Travel Challenge radio ad, real people on the street are asked to compare fares found at Hotwire and other travel sites for places they want to go. Comparisons are made using the same travel dates and city pairs in order to demonstrate Hotwire`s savings versus other travel sites.
For example, in one radio spot, a woman checked a fare to Boston on Expedia and was quoted $586 round trip on ATA. She then checked Hotwire and found a flight with the same city pairs and same dates, for $291 - saving $295. The spot then goes on to state that Hotwire fares require flexibility, all purchases are final and fares are subject to change. Because Hotwire partners with 33 major airlines, it serves more destinations than discount carriers, and often offers lower fares.
Hotwire is designed for the flexible leisure traveler whose first priority is price. By not revealing certain details like flight time or airline until after purchase, Hotwire offers savings of up to 50% off airline tickets, and up to 70% off hotel rooms.
Related stories on ITN:
(09/04/2002) Hotwire Delivers Unique National Travel Challenge