April Fools day was an entire week ago, but we’re still learning of some of the hoaxes that we fell for on the 1st of the month. Remember that photo of a giant helicopter that doubled as a flying hotel? The hotelicopter turned out to be real, but as a hotel search engine instead of a flying cruise ship.
The hotelicopter’s engine aggregates search queries from over 30 different hotel search websites in order to give you a free, comparative review of hotel prices. The search is done in real time, and displays hotel room rates, availability, photos and videos in order to provide a multi-layered and media-centric approach to helping you find the right hotel and the right price.
This aggregate search engine is achieved through its 65 travel partners, and access to a database of 150,000 hotels. Hotel bookings are done through hotelicopter’s partnership with hotel chains as well as independent hotels, through Hotelier Suite extranet. So instead of going to a single website that searches several hotels, or opening up multiple tabs in order to compare your own prices for diffrent hotel search sites, take the one-stop approach at hotelicopter.
Another added benefit to the newly revealed hotelicopter is its integration with Facebook Connect, giving users easy access to the hotelicopter service (if they’re an existing Facebook user), as well as the ability to share travel plans as recommendations to friends. This works both ways, as others can look at your previous activity to get ideas on their own hotel search.
The icorporation of Facebook Connect is important as it takes hotelicopter into the realm of direct recommendations to an existing social graph. I think in partnering with other services to expand within the travel booking realm, as well as with platforms such as Facebook Connect, hotelicopter can take a broader approach to recommendations given the type of data it’s collecting from its users. This is all valuable information for itself as well as for its partner sites, as it acts as an aggregator that segues between thes traight search and data providers and the socially driven users.