Cheap Tickets leads its online travel agency competitors with the highest overall customer rating, according to BizRate.com, an independent monitoring company, which surveys customers of e-commerce sites in numerous industries.
Cheap Tickets` rating is also the highest among all travel and leisure companies exclusively categorised within the sector.
Cheap Tickets` current overall BizRate rating is 9.0, as rated by at least 25,000 customers. Only two other leading online travel agencies are rated by at least as many consumers, Expedia and Travelocity, which have overall ratings of 8.9 and 8.6 respectively. The customer survey sample is much smaller for Hotwire (at least 10,000 customers), Priceline (at least 500), and Lowestfare (at least 500). Cheap Tickets, Expedia and Travelocity have been continuously certified by BizRate since 1999.
Cheap Tickets leads Travelocity and Expedia in seven of the 10 rated attributes, including price (9.0), ease of booking (9.0), confirmation accuracy (9.5), security (9.3), and privacy (9.2). For web navigation (8.6) and customer support (9.0), Cheap Tickets and Expedia are the same. Travelocity does not lead in any category.
Cheap Tickets` online business has been growing at significant rates since it launched its web site in 1997. In 2000, Cheap Tickets` Internet sales increased 77% over 1999 to $255.4 million. Total gross bookings for the company during the same period reached a record $666.5 million, a 34% increase over the previous year. In first quarter 2001, Internet bookings reached $77.7 million, a 29 percent increase over the same period in 2000. In April, Cheap Tickets led its competitors in growth in unique visitors moving it to the third most-visited online travel agency during the month, according to Jupiter Media Metrix. The 2.7 million unique users, who visited the company`s site in April, were a 182% increase over 2000, and a 21% increase over March.
The company plans to re-launch its web site later this month with numerous usability improvements over its existing site.