CheapOair puts a fresh spin on hotel listings

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Today, online travel agencyCheapOair expands beyond airfares and rental cars to offer comprehensive hotel listings for more than 85,000 hotels in cities worldwide.

CheapOair is the ninth largest online travel agency, so you may not have heard of it before. What makes it stand out from the crowd?

CheapOair's hotel search page displays up to 500 hotel results on one page. Other Web agencies take money from hotels in exchange for listing them at the top of the search results. CheapOair doesn't, listing all the hotels available, which you can sort by price or star rating.

CheapOair also aims to streamline the payment process. It puts you through fewer screens than other online agencies to book a room. It also says it cuts deals with consolidators to offer lower prices than you can find elsewhere on some hotels. And like other Web agencies, it offers a money-back guarantee if you find a lower rate elsewhere.

On the downside, the site charges fees of between about $5 and about $20 to book some—though not all—hotels. Other hotels can be booked without a fee. The fee, if any, is disclosed on the "detail" page of each hotel.

Another downside is that you can't book dynamic packages, such as mixing and matching airfares with hotel rooms.

Its hotel rates will not show up in metasearch site Kayak, but will show up in the results of some other metasearch engines.

We'll keep our eye on CheapOair and update you as it continues to improve.

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