A minute by minute account of how Expedia lost a customer to Kayak ~ Brand Mix

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A minute by minute account of how Expedia lost a customer to Kayak

(This account is my best recollection, several hours after the fact. Times are approximate. Feelings accurate.)

3:00pm: A gap in meetings. Great. I've just got time to find flights to Bentonville. (Three guesses why I'm going there.) Then on to Houston (My glamorous life!)

3:01pm: I'll look up my options on Expedia.

3:02pm: Damn it. What's the name of that airport I have to fly into? Stupid site. I have to know the exact name or the airport code. But I don't.

3:03pm: Open new tab and search for "airports in Arkansas." Oh, that's right. It's Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport. How could I forget that?

3:04pm: Start filling in flight details including "XNA" for the airport.

3:05pm: Departing time. I want to fly in the morning. What's this? A pull down menu for all the times but the morning option is below the bottom of my screen. I've got to line the screen up just right, with the departing box right at the top of the screen so that the morning option just shows up at the bottom to be able to select it. That's crazy.

3:06pm. Departing time for Houston. I don't know - sometime in the afternoon. Line up my screen again just right. There's no option for afternoon. Just "noon" or "evening." Sigh. Select "noon."

3:07pm: Last leg. Back to SFO. Hey I'm getting good at this lining up the screen thing.

3:07pm: Airline preference. I want to fly United. I need to make sure I keep my Premier status or else I'll be stuck on the back of the bus again like last year. They probably don't go there but I should at least check. Oh no. Another pull down. Thank goodness I didn't want to check Virgin Atlantic or anything that begins with a "Y" (Yemen Airlines?).

3:08pm: Search for flights

3:08pm: We found more than one airport that matched 'houston'. Please select an airport from the list below

3:08pm: That list includes "Houston: all airports"

3:08pm: Select Houston: all airports. Search again

3:09pm: Result #1: $1,831.99. United. Itinerary: SFO - Chicago - XNA - Chicago - Houston - Chicago - SFO. And seven more listings, variations of the same. There's no page two for other options. Hmm, that's not going to work for me.

3:10pm: OK, I wonder if there's any other Star Alliance flights that I could fly on. I'll still get the miles.

3:10pm: There's no option for Star Alliance under airlines. Ugh. OK, I'll try U.S. Airways. They're one of them, right?

3:10pm: Line up screen and select U.S. Airways

3:10pm: It's thinking about it. Thinking. Thinking.

3:11pm: We were unable to find available flights between San Francisco (SFO) and Fayetteville (XNA) on US Airways. Below are available flights on other airlines.

3:11pm: Aye, Yae, Yae

3:11pm: Scroll back.

3:11pm: Select the "View flights separately" button under heading of "Didn't find what you were looking for"

3:12pm: Don't find anything better. Isn't there a new site? Someone told me about it. What was it called? Canoe?

3:14pm: Find kayak.com

3:15pm: Wow. This is great. There's no pull down menus that go below my screen. Bentonville shows up in the airport list. There's an option for "afternoon." Plus it's searching everything: Expedia plus Orbitz plus Hotwire plus Priceline plus some of the airline sites as well.

15 minutes. 5 small irritations. 1 lost customer.

1 comment:

BIG said...

www.sidestep.com is outstanding!

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