Why the Internet sucks

By Don George

By Letters to the Editor

Published October 25, 2000 7:23AM (EDT)

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I have just read the article by Don George and his 6.5-hour effort to find a hotel in Rome. Might I suggest one indispensable site to him: Google.com. On a search for "Rome Hotel," at the top was the Travel Italy site, with a long list of hotels, and indicating those which could be booked online. Within a couple of minutes, I was quite happy with the Hotel Artemide, which had rooms for the period he wanted them at the price he specified. I could, of course, have gone for many. Developing Web search techniques are important to productive use of the Web.

-- Barry Allan

The Internet DOES empower consumers to make their own travel arrangements, but there is a small learning curve in that one has to know where to start looking. It sounded to me like Don George wasn't an experienced enough Web surfer to handle this task and was too stubborn to ask anyone around him for help.

It took me all of five minutes just now to find reasonably priced hotels in Rome near the touristy stuff he mentions. I used Yahoo. Go to Yahoo.com, type "travel" and click "search." Then follow the link for "hotel" reservations. You're now at Yahoo Travel, formerly Travelocity.com.

Type "Rome" in the "search by Airport" field, pick the dates you want to reserve from the pick list, click "Show Me Hotels," select which Rome you meant, and you will find a list of hotels near Rome with pictures, prices, availability and lots of detail available. The "more info" links tell you about the location including nearby attractions. You can make reservations online. Piece of cake. The UI isn't spectacular, but it works.

-- Glen Raphael

It took me all of 10 seconds to find this. The fourth hotel down the list, the Internazionale, is two doors from the Hassler at the top of the Spanish Steps. Rate is about $125 for a double. Nov. 4 is available, according to the online reservation system. Now, Don, please go and enjoy yourself and quit whining.

-- Tony Russomanno

Don George needs to know that there are still plenty of good travel agents who are familiar with charming small hotels and do exactly what he needed done! We do have to charge a small fee if the hotel doesn't pay commission, but certainly not $100! Our clients tell us repeatedly that we're worth the fee because of the time we save them and the knowledge that we have from years of experience.

-- Sally Watkins, CTC (Certified Travel Counselor)

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