Hotwire Heats Up

16th May 2001

Since last Octobers launch, the site has registered more than 10,000 new users on average per day, making the leap to one of the top six online travel sites (according to and PCData online).
Without relying on multi-million dollar marketing campaigns or distracting site content, Hotwire has proven its narrow focus on finding the best deals in travel, announcing its two millionth registered user in just 200 days of operation. “Our approach to this business is unique,” said Karl Peterson, President and CEO of Hotwire. “We`re not a big-spending marketing machine like a lot of sites in this space. Anyone can buy advertising time, and anyone can claim to have the lowest fares—the challenge is standing behind your claims. We`ve built an incredibly large user base in just six months because we focus on the fundamentals: low price, only high-quality travel partners and a simple, straightforward site.”
Hotwire is the first site to launch with major airline backing. Unlike competitors, Hotwire does not try to be all things to all people. Instead, Hotwire has focused narrowly on one thing: being the one site where flexible leisure travelers are shown the best possible price, even on last-minute travel. There is no bidding, no weeding through a laundry list of fares and no hidden travel deals to search for. While anyone can offer a list of published fares, Hotwire offers specially negotiated Hot-Fares(SM) and Hot-Rates(SM) from top travel companies, including equity partners American, American West, Continental, Northwest, United and USAirways.
Normally, leisure travelers are prohibited from traveling at the last minute because of high prices. However, Hotwire`s opaque model not only allows travel companies to offer deeply discounted travel but encourages them to do so by offering a way to sell unsold inventory at the last minute. By asking travelers to be flexible about certain details—like the exact flight time—Hotwire can save travelers a significant amount of money on unsold flights, hotel rooms and rental cars.
In addition, while Hotwire was founded by Texas Pacific Group and six major airline partners, it operates independently, managing day-to-day operations and making business decisions within the core executive team. Hotwire continues to perfect the customer experience, with changes and enhancements that make finding the best deal, quick, simple and hassle free. These include:
—A new site look featuring numerous user interface and design improvements
—An even better deal on last minute travel:
—Customers can book a Hotwire flight until 11 p.m. ET the night before the trip
—Customers can rent a car just two hours before pick-up
—Customers can book hotel reservations until 6 p.m. ET the night before
—Continued additions of quality supplier partners, numbering 27 domestic and international airlines, nearly 2000 hotels and two rental car partners.



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