This Update features a variety of stories, including the latest on Hopper and its apparent ongoing transition. Enjoy.
- Expedia Expands B2B Network in Asia / Pacific. This past week at its Explore 23: Connect Asia event, Expedia announced it had expanded its B2B network to include several new Asian companies. While Optimized Distribution is only one of several business initiatives for Expedia, it remains an area of big investment. Recently announced suppliers relying on the B2B redistribution platform include Dusit Hotels and COMO Hotels and Resorts.
- Hopper’s Latest: Clicks, Job Cuts and New Termination. Hopper continued to garner much of the industry’s attention this past month as the war of words between Hopper and Expedia continued (it was all about clicks and screens), Hopper announced significant job cuts and according to reports, Hopper announced the termination of another larger supplier (Booking.com). As for the expressed concerns of Expedia CEO Peter Kern regarding the numbers of clicks or screens required to complete a booking on Hopper (and the resulting likelihood of customer confusion), we too noted similar concerns when recently reviewing the Hopper mobile app and booking process for one of our clients. If you’ve never spent much time on the Hopper app, you should. It is a vastly different experience. Job cuts at Hopper were reported this past week by Canadian news publications – the cuts result in the loss of roughly a third of Hopper’s total work force (250 employees). According to a Hopper spokesperson, the cuts were part of Hopper’s overall effort to boost its business (a/k/a reduce expenses and turn a profit) and focus on direct supplier connections. Finally, reports issued this morning by Skift suggest that Hopper may have terminated its supplier agreement with Booking.com. Look for more news on this latest change at Hopper in next week’s Update.
- Potentially Landmark ADA Case Unlikely to Produce Much Needed Decision. In oral arguments this past week, several of the U.S. Supreme Court justices indicated that they are unlikely to consider any further the potentially landmark ADA case challenging whether serial plaintiffs who have no intention of ever staying with their targeted defendants have legal standing to sue for ADA website violations. Unfortunately, the plaintiff in the case (serial litigant, Deborah Laufer) voluntarily dismissed her claims against Acheson Hotels (in part, because her lawyer has been suspended for filing hundreds of ADA claims). For those of us looking for some much needed direction and support in combating these types of serial litigants, the Supreme Court’s refusal to consider the case further is unfortunate.