Orbitz celebrates fifth birthday

1st Jun 2006

Starting June 1st, Orbitz is launching a five-week celebration encouraging its loyal customers and dedicated employees to “Take Five” out of their busy lives. To kick-off the anniversary celebration, Orbitz is announcing a system-wide traveler appreciation sale with deals at hundreds of hotel properties.

In 2001, when it launched, Orbitz had the most low air fares online. Orbitz was the first online travel company to introduce the unbiased flight matrix display that redefined the way people book travel. Orbitz was the first online travel company to build an on-site customer care center (now known as the OrbitzTLC Center), staffed by former air traffic controllers, travel agents, weather specialists and journalists. Orbitz was first to introduce OrbitzTLC flight delay alerts. Continuing in its propensity to be ahead of the curve, Orbitz was also the first online travel company to introduce the hotel neighborhood matrix, RSS feeds and most recently, travel podcasts.

Known as a great online travel site for flyers seeking to book airfare when it launched, Orbitz has turned into a site with high customer marks for booking hotels as well. In 2005, in its first study of independent online travel sites, J.D. Power and Associates said Orbitz had highest customer satisfaction for independent travel web sites—hotels, in its 2005 Independent Hotel Web Site Study(SM).

In November 2004, Orbitz was acquired by Cendant Corporation and became the flagship brand for the global consumer travel unit of Travelport, Inc. (formerly Cendant Travel Distribution Services Group, Inc.). Some of Travelport’s other consumer brands include CheapTickets ( http://www.cheaptickets.com/ ) in the Americas, eBookers ( http://www.ebookers.com/ ) and Octopus Travel ( http://www.octopustravel.com/ ) in Europe, and HotelClub.com and RatesToGo.com in Asia Pacific. In January 2005, Mitch Truwit was named president and CEO of the business unit responsible for growing the Orbitz brand.

“In 2006, Orbitz helped Travelport outgrow all its online competitors domestically by continuing its tradition of being first,” said Mitch Truwit, president and CEO of global consumer travel, Travelport, Inc. “Orbitz continues to be first to market with innovations in customer care, reinventing the future of travel.”


Take Off Into Orbitz ...

Orbitz’ five year history, since its June 2001 launch, has been marked by many “firsts,” technology and customer service innovations, and business successes. Some examples of how Orbitz raised the bar in the travel industry include:

  - June 2001:  Orbitz.com launch breaks records as the biggest e-commerce
          debut in history
  - June 2001:  1st online travel company to introduce unbiased flight
          matrix display
  - June 2001:  1st online travel company to send proactive flight departure
          delay, gate change or cancellation alerts via email or phone
  - June 2001:  1st online travel company to build an in-house, on-site
          customer care center staffed by former air traffic
          controllers, travel agents, weather specialists and
  - June 2002:  1st online travel company to launch gay & lesbian online
          travel microsite
  - Aug 2002:  Introduces breakthrough Supplier Link technology
  - March 2003: Introduces merchant hotel program
  - Oct 2003:  Launches DealDetector for airfare searches
  - Dec 2003:  Becomes a publicly traded company raising $317 million in
          its first day of trading
  - Nov 2004:  Acquired by Cendant Corp. for $1.25B
  - Feb 2005:  1st online travel company to introduce Hotel Neighborhood
  - Nov 2005:  J.D. Power and Associates noted that Orbitz.com had the
          highest customer satisfaction for independent travel web
          sites - hotels in its 1st ever 2005 Independent Hotel Web
          Site Study(SM)
  - Dec 2005:  1st online travel company to launch travel RSS Feeds
  - Dec 2005:  Introduces Hotel Scorecard with over 60,000 hotel user
  - Jan 2006:  Launches OrbitzTLC customer care sub-brand
  - March 2006: 1st online travel company to introduce OrbitzTLC alerts that
          contact up to 6 friends, family members or business
          colleagues of a “mid-air” flight arrival delay, executive
          car service alerts and emergency information alerts
  - May 2006:  1st online travel company to launch travel podcasts

“Five years ago, Orbitz.com launched with a vision to create a superior online travel experience,” said Jeffrey Katz, founding CEO of Orbitz. “I look forward to watching Orbitz grow as it continues on the path as a technology and service innovator in the travel industry.”

Birthday Blowout Savings*

In celebration of its 5th Anniversary, Orbitz is working with hundreds of its hotelier partners to encourage travelers to “Take 5” with a month-long sale that includes free hotel nights with purchase and other great deals at properties worldwide. To find 5th Anniversary Sale information, visit: http://www.orbitz.com/App/ViewHotelMerchDeal?deal_id=anniversary_052906 .

From now until July 2, travelers who book on Orbitz will find special hotel deals throughout the site such as 5th night FREE, 25% off deals, and great extras during their hotel stay. These special anniversary deals are denoted with the “Orbitz 5th Anniversary - Take 5” logo. Travel must be taken between today and December 15, 2006.

Orbitz will be promoting the “Take 5” sale in its television and radio advertising spots throughout the month of June.

In addition to opportunities to stay and save at hotels around the world, when you book on Orbitz.com you can get the OrbitzTLC you deserve when you travel. If your vacation means you are taking a flight, make sure to sign up for our OrbitzTLC Alerts.


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