Let’s travel together.

Do Travel Brands Matter to You?

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Are you loyal to any travel brands?  I began to wonder about this issue as I wrote my post about the citizen concept hotel for Wandalust today.  I suppose I can only answer for myself.  My greatest travel brand loyalty probably lies with the Travelodge budget hotel chain.  This is mostly based on price as I can book a room for £19 on their advance booking non refundable Saver rate.  The majority of Travelodge rooms in which I’ve stayed have been good to acceptable with the odd exception which is why I rate Travelodge as the best UK budget hotel chain.

Ryanair has a pretty negative brand image but loads of people (including me) book with them because of the choice of direct flights and low prices. So do brands matter at all?  Well obviously not everyone is influenced by low price they are looking for aspects such as high standards of customer service or an exclusive, luxurious environment.

Do you think brand can become a type of community and as there is less local community spirit, some of us are yearning to be part of a community, real or virtual, where can mingle and communicate with other  like minded people?  Or are brands like citizenM wasting their time and money by attempting to lure us into a community?

I am building the Europe a la Carte brand through my website and blog by aiming to provide interesting, useful and entertaining content. If site visitors and blog readers like what I write, they will come back.  It’s a on going process, If I stop producing quality and relevant content,  visitors numbers will drop away.

What’s your take on all of this?  Are you inclined to restrict your travel search to a few favoured brands?

Booking travel online can be confusing and complicated. Darren of Travel Rants and I will be co-hosting a live blog on Thursday evening to discuss the online travel booking experience. We’d love your input, whether you are a consumer, a travel company who take bookings online or a designer of online travel booking systems.

When I booked my flight from Glasgow to Berlin on the Easyjet site, I just wanted to book a flight but I had to go down a long list of options e.g. travel insurance, speedy boarding etc.

My worst online booking experience was when I tried to book accommodation in Fuerteventura on the On the Beach site. I entered my credit card details and nothing happened, no confirmation or message saying my card details had been entered incorrectly. I entered my details again and still nothing. At this stage I began to panic slightly, thinking what if I’ve booked the accommodation twice. I phoned On the Beach and they said they couldn’t help me over the phone I’d need to wait for an reply by email. I emailed On the Beach and 24 hours later they got back to me to say that they had no record of my booking, They was no apology, no explanation or no offer to take my booking over the telephone.

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