Thursday, August 14, 2008

Expedia has jumped the shark

I got an e-mail blast today from Expedia with the following subject line:
Fares to Kansas City have dropped. Book today!

(I have MCI airport on my watch list for deals on trips to fly home and see my family.)

My eyes widened when I saw this headline in my inbox. Dropping fares. Christmas is coming; I haven't been home in one year. I took the bait, of course. Click.

You can imagine my dismay when the nicely designed e-flyer pops up on my screen and I see this headline: Hurry! Go to Kansas City for this new, low price of $559.

You've got to be kidding me. The price of $559 is now considered low? I'm flying to Germany next Tuesday from Dublin for €90 round-trip; that flight is only slightly shorter than San Francisco to Kansas City.

Wait, it gets better. Half-way down the screen there's a "personalized" letter to me with recent fare analysis and savings:

Your old price $590
Your new price $559
Your savings $31

My savings is circled with artwork resembling a blue crayon. Gee, thanks Expedia. A whopping $31? That won't even cover the tank of gas it will take me to get to -- and from -- the airport.

Yes, I realize the airline industry is suffering in the United States. Less people are traveling with the state of the economy. With gas prices soaring, the fares had to jump some time too. But Expedia shouldn't resort to bottom feeding in its marketing campaigns. Thirty bucks isn't enough of a chunk out of 500 bucks for me -- or anyone else -- to bite. (At least I don't think so.)

Even though Expedia is not a television program, I'd like to bestow it an honor created by one of my favorite web sites:

Expedia has officially Jumped the Shark.

No comments: