Poor Hotel Tonight: It pioneered tonight-only hotel deals, but now must compete with a bunch of competitors, including the most recent addition, Jetsetter.
Jetsetter joined the crowd and began offering same-day hotel bookings through its updated iPhone app.
The New York-based startup pledges that the Jetsetter Now feature within its iPhone app will give users discounts of up to 60% off published rates for Jetsetter-Verified hotels — properties that have been reviewed and curated by Jetsetter personnel — in seven launch markets, including New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Boston and Chicago.
Among competitors, Hotel Tonight, Priceline, and Travelocity now offer same-day, last-minute hotel bookings as a special option.
Consumers using Jetsetter Now can view a handful of hotel choices in each market beginning around noon each day, and know the section of the city, the hotel classification (Classic, Hip, Contemporary or Luxe), and the nightly rate up-front, but only learn the name of the property after the booking.
The Jetsetter iPhone app now offers these same-day bookings, with some properties allowing an extension for several days at the same rate, plus limited-duraton flash sales, and retail deals using the merchant model.
Flash and retail now even
Rob Deeming, Jetsetter general manager, says flash sales and retail hotel sales now account for 50% each of Jetsetter’s business. That’s a big change for Jetsetter, which launched in 2009 as a flash sales site and introduced published-price retails sales about 18 months ago.
Jetsetter now offers about 1,100 hotels on a retail basis, and expects to increase that number to 1,800 next year, Deeming says.
Deeming recently lost the interim tag in his general manager title, having succeeded CEO Drew Patterson, who left in May, with the company seemingly in turmoil.
Asked what’s next for Jetsetter, which was funded by Gilt Groupe, Deeming says Jetsetter is “continuing to focus on our core business” as it hopes to be known as “the online travel agency for the luxury space.”