In an unprecedented display of recognition for an online travel service, the Expedia.com? travel service (http://expedia.com/) swept a series of key head-to-head reviews and awards for the best travel Web site. Hailed as the “best user experience out there”* by Yahoo! Internet Life and an “excellent consumer value” by Gomez.com, the reviews consistently highlight the simple-to-use interface and comprehensive set of travel planning services as key examples of superior customer experience on Expedia.com.
“These awards are a testament to our extreme focus on the experience our customers have with Expedia,” said Richard Barton, president and CEO of Expedia, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE). “We systematically gather customer feedback in order to constantly improve the site. It’s exciting to see our leadership widely recognized by consumers and in the industry.” Recent site developments which have contributed to these accolades include the elimination of guest registration from the home page, and e-mailing a confirmation Trip Guide to customers a week prior to their departure offering destination information such as links to check the weather, and to book a last-minute hotel or car.
Highlights of these awards include the following:
Yahoo! Internet Life named Expedia.com a Gold Star Site with an A rating and called it the best overall travel site. According to Yahoo! Internet Life, “Top-flight tools, easy interface, and stellar lowest-price finders make this the best overall agent.”*
PC World awards Expedia.com with the 2000 World Class Award for Best Travel Site. “Dive into Expedia.com’s vast wealth of travel planning information, and you will start longing for your current homestand to come to an end. Expedia.com hits a round-tripper by finding the lowest fares, handling all of your trip details as a one-stop shop, and being superfast,” suggests PC World editors, testers, and contributors.
Gomez Advisors rated Expedia.com the Number One Travel Site according to its Spring 2000 Internet Travel Agent Scorecard?. According to Gomez.com, “Expedia is simply a superior site. Winning six of eight possible categories (Overall Score, Ease Of Use, Customer Confidence, Business Traveler, Leisure Traveler and Bargain Traveler) may be unprecedented in Gomez Scorecard history, and it simply isn’t possible without an intense effort to provide excellent consumer value. Right off the bat, Expedia’s homepage provides access to all key areas—flights, vacations, cruises, customer support, search and much more. This site backs up its offerings with strong e-mail and telephone customer support (at least during our evaluation), which is available 24x7.”
Ziff Davis Smart Business gave Expedia.com the only five-star rating (out of five stars) among online travel sites and called it the best business travel site. Ziff Davis Smart Business suggests, “Fire your travel agent and book travel the smart way online with this friendly service.” They also highlight that, “Overwhelmingly, testers picked Expedia as their favorite business travel site, thanks to its speed and simple-to-navigate interface.” Separately, Ziff Davis Smart Business notes that “Expedia is good at holding your hand through the entire process. Once you’ve booked a flight, it asks if you want a car, then a hotel, and it lets you indicate your preferences. As you plan a trip, your itinerary is continually updated on one page, along with links to other options you may want to add. By stepping through the process in a logical, concise way, it is much easier to tailor your trip to your needs, without getting lost or missing a step.”**
Society of American Travel Writers Foundation awarded Expedia.com first place (gold award) in the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition for the best Internet Publication/Web Site. The judges wrote: “Expedia is far and away the winner in almost every way—content, usefulness and interactivity.”
Expedia.com Site Developments
The best keeps getting better. Today, Expedia, Inc. also announced a site-wide update to further evolve the award-winning look and feel of the site, making top tasks even faster to access and perform and making the site even more approachable and easy to use.
Among the key design updates, Expedia introduced a tab-based design that helps customers more easily access the primary travel services from anywhere within the site. These services include flights, cars, hotels, vacations, cruises, destinations & interests, and maps. Expedia also updated the very popular Roundtrip Fare Search that allowed customers to get fares in a click from the home page and expanded it to include the other most popular transactions on the site—booking hotel and car. Called Express Search, customers can get specific available fares, airlines lowest published fares, available hotels in a city, and car rental rates—all within a click from the home page.
About Expedia, Inc.
Expedia, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE) operates Expedia.com, a leading online Web site in the United States with localized versions for travelers in Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom. To help customers Travel Right, Expedia.com provides the best combination of air, car and hotel booking, vacation package and cruise offers, destination information, and point-to-point mapping.