Are Trip Advisor reviews reliable?

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Gene Simmons to Open Up “Rock & Brews” Restaurant in Maui

Rock n’ roll meets the food industry, and we’re not talking about just another Hard Rock Café. Gene Simmons, famously known as the front man for the band Kiss, is opening up a hot new restaurant on Maui this year, offering clientele a rock music memorabilia ambiance and a plethora of beer, both in bottles and on tap. The chain of “Rock & Brews” restaurants opens its first doors in April 2012 in the Los Angeles area, with five more of its kind expected to open within the year and into 2013 in Atlanta, Denver, El Segundo, California, Los Cabos, Mexico, and Tokyo.

The exact location and opening date still remains undisclosed to the public, but Maui is soon to receive a flood of rock n’ roll fans eager to test out Gene’s first crack as restaurant owner.
In my opinion, I would much rather see a unique restaurant go up in place of a common chain one, and I also happen to think Gene’s idea and concept behind the restaurant is quite catchy. I think it will cater not only to rock music fans, but also to the older rock followers, musicians, tourists and locals alike, and a younger crowd. A restaurant like this may be a great economic boost for Maui, especially during slow seasons in Hawaii, and create an even more welcoming atmosphere for visitors, enticing them to make a stop off on this particular island.

United/Continental Merger

The last flight from Continental Airlines occurred Friday, March 2nd, thus ending the merge of United and Continental Airlines and announcing its new airline, “United”. Despite complaints and attempts to delay it, this $3.2 billion merger is now in effect. While some say that the merge will create more streamlined routes and better connections, other argue that the new airline will create a monopoly, driving airline prices even higher than they already are.

The newly merged airline will in fact now be the largest in the world, making it indeed possible to raise ticket prices for consumers. I think the biggest issue at hand here is the potential for United becoming a monopoly in the airline industry. Because of its volume, it can and probably will eventually charge exorbitant fees for flying, as if they aren’t already bad enough.

Are Trip Advisor reviews reliable?

The reliability of online websites has always been controversial, especially in the realm of user reviews and advice.TripAdvisor, one of the leading online review sites for hotels, resorts, flights, vacation rentals, travel packages, etc. has been up for question for a few years now.

Like most other online review sites, it’s an easy process to become a member and write a review. However, those that are interested enough to become a member and write a review are likely to publish a handful of reviews, not just one. This is where TripAdvisor users seem to be manipulating the system.

Because online media sites have become integral in marketing and advertisement, bosses usually give workers incentives to generate good reviews. When incentives come into play, that is when workers begin asking their friend, friend’s cousin, friend’s cousin’s auntie, auntie’s brother’s cousin (you get the idea) to write a 5-star review for the business, regardless of whether or not it is accurate. Regardless still of whether they’ve ever even personally experienced the business!

On one hand, the real reviews tend to heavily outweigh the bogus ones. It is usually a red flag when a business consistently receives poor reviews and then all of a sudden, one user, who has never reviewed any other businesses, gives it five stars. These easy-to-spot mock reviews are why TripAdvisor came into question in the first place.

On the same token, reviews are merely opinion. My experience at the local sushi bar may have been spectacular, where as my neighbor’s may have been below par. Our reviews of the same sushi bar would differ greatly, but both are still accurate due to our personal experiences. Travelers should take reviews with a grain of salt, and regard each review as nothing more than a piece of advice or an opinion and not, by any means, as the final word.

Furthermore, TripAdvisor has a massive validity operation which tracks IP address and looks for suspicious reviews. Once a person writes a review, a live person at a desk actually reads it before it is posted on their website. Screening reviews is taken seriously at these websites, due to its large potential for user scams.

So, I guess what this side of the argument comes down to is, it doesn’t really matter whether or not the system is bugged, because in the end, reviews are all based on personal judgments and opinions, something everyone has and is entitled to. And, with anything of TripAdvisor’s nature, it is subject to the unreliability and corruption of the user, not the program itself.

So how do you benefit through review sites such as TripAdvisor? Well, browse through the reviews, look at the business averages, and rule out the aberrant stuff. Or, speak to a live reviewer. If you’re traveling to Hawaii, get the most accurate information possible and talk with one of our local reviewers. There is no weeding through online red flags with us, just honest people sharing their native knowledge with you. So if you don’t want to depend on TripAdvisor for your Hawaii information, call Hawaii Aloha Travel now at 1-800-843-8771, our friendly travel agents are standing by.

Mokulele Airlines Launches More Lanai to Maui Flights

Our somewhat remote (but aren’t we all in Hawaii?) neighbors on the island of Lanai are now happy to know that their opportunity for jumping a plane to Maui has now become easier. Mokulele Airlines, a small American commuter airline that operates inter island and charter flights amongst Hawaii’s smaller airports will as of April 15, 2012, offer Lanai residents three separate flights direct to Maui, as well as one flight to Honolulu with a brief stop on Molokai.

Although inter island flights still continue to amaze me with their steep costs for such short flights, (I swear it would be easier to just paddle from island to island!) Mokulele has done Lanai residents a huge favor by listening to their concerns and taking action on their desires. So thank you Mokulele, for providing those on Hawaii soil the chance to travel around the islands more effectively!

And for those interested, here is the flight schedule for Mokulele Airlines:

Lanai to Maui 6:10PM 6:34PM
Maui to Lanai 8:05AM 8:29AM
Maui to Lanai 5:25PM 5:49PM