Despite the protests from the leading hotel industry group that a merger between Expedia and Orbitz would concentrate too much of the travel-booking market in one company’s hands – leading to fewer choices for consumers – the two companies have received regulatory approval and completed their $1.6 billion marriage today. [More]
You might think of Expedia, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Travelocity, and Trivago as competitors in the online travel-booking business, but most people probably don’t know that all of these brands fall under the Expedia Inc. ownership umbrella. And so will Orbitz if the pending $1.6 billion merger of the two companies is approved. The leading hotel industry trade group says that this consolidation has gone too far. [More]
Last fall, both United Airlines and Orbitz sued travel-booking startup Skiplagged.com, which helped travelers find so-called “hidden city” tickets where you book a multi-stop itinerary with the intention of not flying all the way to the end. Orbitz settled its part of the case in February, but the United suit continued — until yesterday, when a federal judge dismissed the airline’s complaint, but not because the airline didn’t have a case. [More]
If you’re in the market for a couple travel websites, travel agent Orbitz Worldwide Inc, the company that runs Orbitz.com and Cheaptickets.com, could be looking for a buyer to hook up with, according to a new report.
I live in Philadelphia and if I want to visit a friend in Chicago for a weekend, it will cost me several hundred dollars for a round-trip ticket on U.S. Airways. For significantly less money, I could book what’s known as a “hidden city” ticket from Philadelphia to Orlando via Chicago, and then just get off the plane when it stops in Chicago. Most airlines ban the practice, but there’s not much they can do to stop it. They can, however, sue to stop a website from promoting and booking these verboten fares. [More]
Feathers were flying, dust was stirred up and a general hullabaloo was underway when American Airlines and US Airways announced last week that they’d be pulling fares off travel booking site Orbitz.com. But now the tiff is over almost as quickly as it began, as the two sides have agreed to get back together. [More]
For years, some have accused America’s largest hotel chains of colluding with travel booking sites like Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, and Priceline to make sure that the room rates offered to consumers on these sites are the same. This practice, claimed plaintiffs in various lawsuits, effectively allowed the hotel chains to determine their own prices and kept the booking sites from competing against each other; meaning consumers could be paying more than they should. But a U.S. District Court judge feels differently. [More]
Here’s a tip to hotel managers around the world — Paying for reviews is bad enough. Advertising that you’re willing to pay for positive feedback is only going to communicate to your guests that you run a bad hotel and that you expect them to not have anything nice to say about your establishment. [More]
You know those paranoid sci-fi stories where everything the protagonist thought he knew about reality starts to come apart at the seams and he has to question whether he really is married to Sharon Stone or maybe he’s really trapped on an island with that Hobbit guy? Well, that’s what Orbitz is doing to Devin (well, maybe not the Sharon Stone part). [More]
April called up Orbitz to make a change to part of her flight itinerary, because customers can’t be trusted to handle that kind of thing ourselves, and must speak to a trained customer service representative. The helpful employee she spoke to apparently can’t be trusted to handle reservations, either, because–click!–he canceled the whole thing when she only needed to change part of the reservation. Now she apparently has a large credit with United, when not all of her travel was on United. How wonderfully useless.
Travel reservation site Orbitz says it has data showing that customers who use Apple computers to book their hotel rooms have a tendency to go for pricier rooms, so Orbitz has just gone ahead and decided that when Mac users visit Orbitz, they will see more expensive options first.
Orbitz has been slapped with a $60,000 fine by the Dept. of Transportation because the travel site violated federal laws that require clear disclosure of taxes and fees associated with airfares.
Isn’t it just so cute when big companies get back together after a breakup? Four months after Expedia expunged American Airlines fare and schedule information from its online listings, the two foes have announced the listings will be restored to Expedia and its affiliate Hotwire.
Things are starting to get ugly in the battle between airlines and travel-booking websites. Less than one week after American Airlines pulled its listings from Orbitz.com, Delta has announced its flights will no longer be listed on three other sites.