Orbitz Worldwide has kicked off 2009 by announcing that travel brand ebookers has completed the process of migrating and testing all 13 of its country sites across Europe to Orbitz Worldwide’s new technology platform.ebookers operates online travel sites in the United Kingdom (www.ebookers.com), Ireland (www.ebookers.ie), Belgium (www.ebookers.be), the Netherlands (www.ebookers.nl), Austria (www.ebookers.at), Germany (www.ebookers.de), France(www.ebookers.fr), Spain (www.ebookers.es), Norway (www.ebookers.no), Finland (www.ebookers.fi) and Switzerland (www.ebookers.ch). In Denmark (www.mrjet.dk) and Sweden (www.mrjet.se), ebookers operates under the name Mr. Jet.
The new technology platform powering ebookers will provide customers with access to three times the amount of hotel inventory, while creating an improved site experience for consumers looking to book either hotel-only stays or flight + hotel packages.
“The migration to a common platform is a major technology accomplishment for ebookers, a big step toward increased efficiency at Orbitz Worldwide, and a positive step forward for our customers and suppliers,” said Steve Barnhart, CEO and president, Orbitz Worldwide. “We begin 2009 having replaced 13 different technology platforms at ebookers, and look forward to opportunities to begin integration of the platform within strategic elements of our U.S. branded sites.”
Orbitz Worldwide’s technology team plans to follow-up the migration project with further development of new consumer innovations on ebookers’ sites across Europe.
New features of the re-launched sites include:
- Three times the number of hotels available worldwide, particularly across North and Central America and the Caribbean
- Authentic customer hotel reviews
- Customers must have stayed in a hotel in order to post a review
- A more robust, dynamic package holiday purchase path allows customers to create their own holiday by mixing and matching any combination of flight, hotel and car
- Customers are now able to use dynamic packaging on more destinations and benefit from more frequent cost savings when booking trip elements together
- Improved on-site content which improves ebookers natural search rankings
- Customers are more likely to see ebookers listed higher on the results page of the free search listings
- Easier filtering of results where customers can now sort by hotel name and address, hotel amenity, price and proximity to a landmark
- Improved features and promotional pages guiding customers to select offers and deals, helping them find the trip they want for less
- “My Trips” and “My Accounts” sections that allow customers to view current and previous trips, securely save payment information, delivery and travel preferences, including the ability to send itinerary alerts to up to four contacts
- Transatlantic multi-city flight search capability enabling customers to book more complex flight itineraries, including up to four flight segments, which can arrive and depart from different airports
- For example, ebookers customers can now book a flight that departs from Paris and flies into New York City; and schedule a return flight, departing from Boston back to Paris on the same itinerary
- Automated back-end processes achieved through the new platform have brought and are expected to continue to bring operating cost efficiencies
- A team of expert market managers actively working directly with key hotel suppliers in an effort to ensure customers receive the best market prices
“ebookers now benefits from a sophisticated technology platform that makes it even more efficient to roll out new innovation and site features to all of our customers across Europe,” said Alan Josephs, managing director, ebookers. “Travellers have come to expect more from the online booking experience, and we believe the new platform provides a strong foundation for an improved customer experience.”