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Tnooz has announced that Groupon and Expedia are teaming up to offer “deeply discounted travel deals” to its customer base.  This sounds like a novel concept so how will it work?

Travel deals need to include a couple of components in order to make this thing really hum and be compelling. This is a getaway isn’t it? You know getting away from point A to point B.  Well if you need to get somewhere it has to be by car or plane right?  You can walk but that wouldn’t be much of a deal would it?  I mean walking from say New York City to Florida doesn’t make much sense now does it?

OK.  You could drive your own car and still take advantage of a deeply discounted compelling travel deal couldn’t you?  Yes you could but would you really feel like you got a really deeply discounted travel deal if you were driving your own car?  I prefer to rent a car on my travel deals because it makes me feel like I am on a getaway.  Driving my own car isn’t my idea of fun and I want my getaway to be fun so on my getaway I will rent a car.

I am sure Groupon and Expedia can sell me a deeply discounted rate like the one that I found at Advantage Car Rental at the San Diego Airport for $7.44 a day, according to today’s availability from carrental.com.  So what would be a deeply discounted rate from Groupon and Expedia?  Could I get it for half price and then I could save about $3.72 a day.  Now that’s what I call a deep discount.  Well I am renting the car for four days and I am saving $14 bucks.  That’s a heck of a deal isn’t it?  Imagine renting a car for a day for about what you pay for a gallon of gas.  What a country!

I got ahead of myself here didn’t I?  I like to fly when I go on trips.  I do go on trips and drive, like to my parents house, but that’s not really a trip.  A trip is like going to San Francisco or Paris, France.  I haven’t been to Paris in a long time and hope that it hasn’t changed that much but I still would like to go back there and use some of the French that I learned in high school 20 years ago.  Parlay vous Francie is about all I can remember right now.  Of course they speak Francie.

OK.  If I fly say American Airlines, what kind of deep discount is Groupon and Expedia going to get from them? They hate each others guts don’t they?  Well American maybe doesn’t hate Groupon but they do hate Expedia for trying to push them around a couple of months ago so let’s not kid each other American is not going to be invited to this deeply discounted party.  For that matter I don’t think that JetBlue or Southwest will be bringing presents either.  It really doesn’t look like this deeply discounted thing is working out before it’s debut now does it?

Oh my gosh.  I forgot one other part of the equation and that’s where I’m going to put my head in a bed on my deeply discounted compelling travel deal.  Remember I am not going to my folks house on this trip so I prefer to get a hotel room.  I slept in a twin bed or on the couch when I went to my parents house so I prefer to sleep in a king size bed when I am on the road.  You know how it feels when you stretch from one end of the bed to the other and your toes can’t reach the other corner of the bed?  In a twin bed my feet always hung over the edge of the foot board which was made out of wood.  That hurts!  The couch wasn’t much better. It kind of slumped in the middle so my back was always hurting me the next morning.

A hotel.  Isn’t that the only place left to squeeze the blood out of this turnip? My Mom use to say this when what she really meant is that someone was getting the short end of the stick.

Well if I searched for my hotel room directly on the hotel’s website I could get a really deeply discounted deal now couldn’t I?  They do guarantee the lowest rate don’t they?  So how could Groupon and Expedia beat that deal unless they have some sort of “understanding” with the hotel that won’t allow the hotel to sell me a better rate than they could.

These sort of things are very confusing to me.  A hotel can’t sell something they own (a guest room) cheaper than what Expedia can sell it for.  I thought it would be the other way around.  Isn’t this like the cat wagging the dog’s tail? My Mom use to say this when what she really meant was someone was getting the short end of the stick.

So since the hotel will most likely throw in the room as part of the equation for a price that’s lower than what I can book it for then maybe this new alliance between Groupon Getaways and Expedia should be called “Sort of a Discount on Your Next Getaway”.

Tom Costello is the CEO, Partner & Co-Founder of Groups International, a company that provides marketing, consultative services, and technology solutions to the group and leisure travel markets.  Connect with him on TwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook or contact him by email.

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