Contributed by Beth J. Harpaz, AP.
The travel industry is offering promotions large and small for CyberMonday. Some companies are participating for the first time, while others are embracing the online holiday sale in a bigger way than in the past.
American Express Travel is launching its first-ever CyberMonday promotion, with substantial hotel discounts and deals throughout the U.S. and Canada for Jan. 13-31. The promotions will be bookable at http://www.amextravel.com beginning Monday (Dec. 2) at 12:01 a.m. and will last 72 hours.
Liberty Travel has participated in CyberMonday before, but the volume of deals and their promotion is bigger this year and offers deeper savings. Liberty has assembled 99 deals with up to 65 percent off, bookable Black Friday through CyberMonday (Nov. 29-Dec. 2), featuring resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico along with cruises and escorted tours.
Liberty is also giving a credit of up to $100 on all new bookings made in Liberty Travel stores Friday-Monday (Nov. 29-Dec. 2). Get a Black Friday code at http://www.LibertyTravel.com , available as of 12 a.m. Friday (Nov. 29), then present it to an agent to take $50, $75 or $100 off (depending on how much you spend) on trips worth $2,500 or more.
Priceline.com is doing a one-day sale beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday (Dec. 2) promising "50 percent off flights for travel before Dec. 18" on select flights from unsold inventory. Spokeswoman Leslie Cafferty says "there are a lot of options for those who are there first," advising deal-seekers to "start searching early."
George Hobica of AirfareWatchdog.com says "the hipper newer" airlines like Virgin America and JetBlue have participated in CyberMonday airfare sales in the past. But he says they often simply bring out their "usual Tuesday or Wednesday promo code sales wrapped up in a CyberMonday package."
For cruise-lovers, Royal Caribbean will offer onboard credits of $50, $100 and $200 per stateroom (depending on length of cruise) as well as reduced deposits for departures Jan. 1 or later. The offer applies to bookings with paid deposits made Dec. 2-4 at http://www.royalcaribbean.com or via 800-Royal-Caribbean, and it excludes sailings on Quantum of the Seas.
The hotel industry is offering a wide variety of online post-Thanksgiving sales. Anthony Melchiorri, host of the Travel Channel show "Hotel Impossible," says the holiday sales can be "a win-win for hotels and consumers." Hotels push deals for periods when they have capacity, "and consumers can save up to 65 percent." He added that "more and more hotels seems to be joining in" the promotion as the years go by.
But check websites for details as every offer is different. Some deals go live on Thanksgiving or Black Friday; some are available all weekend; some begin at 12:01 a.m. CyberMonday (Dec. 2). Some are for 24 hours, some last several days. Many have blackout dates for popular travel periods. Some hotel deals are straightforward rate offers, others are 10 percent off, some give triple credit-card points or dollar-amount credits during a stay toward amenities or services. Some require coupon codes.
Among the lodging companies offering some type of online deal are Hotels.com, Starwood hotels, BedandBreakfast.com, Pacifica Hotels, Loews Hotels, Preferred Hotel Group, Omni Hotels and Red Roof Inns. Destinations range from big cities and beaches to spas and ski resorts, including Manhattan's Waldorf Astoria, the Conrad Chicago, Eden Roc and the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach, Vermont's Woodstock Inn, California's Westin Monache Resort at Mammoth Mountain, Vail Resorts in various locations, Divi Vacations and Resorts, Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, Canyon Ranch in three locations, Miraval Resort & Spa in Tucson, Ariz., Wild Dunes Resort near Charleston, S.C., and Omni La Mansion del Rio in San Antonio, Texas.
Myrtle Beach, S.C., has created a destination-wide effort at VisitMyrtleBeach.com/TravelSaturday. The website is housing deals that can be booked on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 30), from free rounds of golf with some lodging purchases, to half-off tickets at Ripley's Aquarium.
Other destinations, tour companies and travel entities with some type of deal beginning Thanksgiving or in the days that follow - again, check websites for sale windows, terms and blackout dates - include SeaWorld theme parks, Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, RailEurope, REI Adventures, GottaPark airport parking and the tour company Gate 1 Travel.