Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Online Travel

Booking.com Became Major League Baseball’s Official Online Travel Partner

1 year ago

Booking.com, which has marketing relationships with the International Cricket Council and the Union of European Football Associations, is playing ball with Major League Baseball.

Pictured is a Spring Airlines A320 bedecked as Booking.com as seen on July 7, 2018. Source: Flickr.com/ Kwok Ho Eddie Wong https://tinyurl.com/4m6a58jf

The company will officially announce today that it has become Major League Baseball’s official online travel partner. Among travel-related services, the league also counts MGM Resorts and Capital One, which offers Capital One Travel, as official sponsors. Marriott has also been a partner.

Booking.com declined to release financial details of the marketing partnership, but said fans will begin to see Booking.com branding in baseball stadiums across the U.S., and there will be a new media campaign getting under way in several weeks.

With the launch, the official schedule pages of Major League Baseball teams will feature Booking.com icons that direct people to search and book accommodations near stadiums.

A recent Booking.com survey found that 49 percent of U.S. baseball fans plan to travel to at least one game in 2023, and 61 percent would be open to traveling as far as 500 miles to see teams play.

Booking.com, based in Amsterdam, has been making significant inroads in the U.S. market, trying to challenge Washington-based Expedia as the market leader.

Online Travel

Hopper Attracts a $96 Million Investment From Capital One in Partnership Expansion

2 years ago

Capital One, which led a $170 million investment round in travel app Hopper in 2021, has added $96 million to the kitty, and the companies announced a long-term partnership between Hopper and Capital One Travel.

Hopper CEO and co-founder Frederic Lalonde
Hopper CEO and co-founder Frederic Lalonde in discussion with Executive Editor Dennis Schaal. Source: Skift

“Following the success of Capital One Travel, Hopper and Capital One are announcing an extension to their partnership as a way to continue creating best-in-class, intuitive solutions that make all parts of the travel journey seamless for customers,” Hopper’s announcement stated.

Hopper powers Capital One Travel, and Hopper also offers an array of fintech products, such as price freezes on flights and hotels, for an array of other partners.

Hopper claims to the the third largest online travel agency in North America, and to command 11.2 percent of third party flight bookings in the U.S., citing Marketing Information Data Tapes figures.

“The funds will be used to accelerate the company’s growth across several fronts including fueling its new social commerce initiatives,” Hopper stated.

Hopper has raised around $730 million in total funding.

A Hopper spokesperson declined to elaborate on Capital One’s equity stake in Hopper.

Travel Booking

Citi Is Developing a Travel Platform with Booking.com

2 years ago

Financial services firm Citi is launching Citi Travel later this year. The travel booking platform will be powered by Booking.com and its Rocket Travel subsidiary.

The portal is set to replace its existing City Thank You Travel Center website, and will offer hotel, air, and car hire options.

“Leveraging the scale and range of Booking.com, the new Citi Travel provides an unmatched breadth of hotel reservation options,” the companies said in a joint statement. “With more than 1.4 million hotels available worldwide — ranging from boutiques to beloved chains — there is the right option for every budget, vacation type and preference.”

Banks are continuing to develop travel products to gain more loyalty from their customers, giving them more options to spend their points. Capital One has recently invested in Hopper as well as private jet startup Aero.

Earlier this year, JP Morgan bought luxury travel agency Frosch, while in Nov. 2021, U.S. Bancorp acquired Will Smith-Backed TravelBank for $200 million.

Airlines

Jet Startup Aero Raises $65 Million to Grow Its Network

2 years ago

Semi-private jet company Aero has raised $65 million in funding to expand its network, and to service demand on existing routes.

Currently it operates flights to Aspen, Los Cabos and Sun Valley from private terminals in Los Angeles and San Francisco in the U.S, as well as Ibiza, Mykonos, and Nice from London’s Farnborough Airport

The Series B round was co-led by Albacore Capital Group and returning investors Expa and Keyframe Capital, as well as new investment from Capital One Ventures (which last year invested in popular booking app Hopper.)

Unlike other jet services, Aero aims to stand out by focusing on connecting millennials with destinations that offer Instagram-worthy experiences. It owns and operates its aircraft, and sells individual seats on flights to leisure destinations around the world.

Aero CEO Uma Subramanian formerly worked on Airbus’ helicopter service Voom.Flights, which closed down in 2020.

The startup previously raised $20 million in Series A funding in March last year, and before that $16 million in 2019.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article described Aero as a private jet company, and said it did not own or operate its own aircraft, and provides ticket resale for flights on registered air carriers on selected routes