Orbitz Unveils Low-Cost Online Travel Booking Tools

17th Jul 2002

Orbitz, the travel website founded by the world`s leading airlines, today introduced Orbitz for Business, offering the first corporate booking and tracking tools that can save companies of all sizes up to 75% on transaction costs.
The announcement comes less than a week after Expedia Inc. announced plans to extend its industry and provide a full array of travel services to corporations. 
Orbitz for Business is designed to offer corporate travelers easier access to Orbitz` widest selection of low fares and a simpler booking process in which corporate negotiated fares and rates are combined in one display with Orbitz` comprehensive and unbiased listing of travel options.

Orbitz for Business allows companies to leverage Orbitz` unique and powerful booking engine technology, capable of searching over 2 billion flight and fare options from more than 455 airlines, with a quick and hassle-free implementation.

“Since Orbitz launched, many of our customers have been using the site for business travel because Orbitz offers more flight options and access to web fares from the most airlines,” said Rick Weber, Vice President of Business Services at Orbitz. “Orbitz for Business was created to offer corporate travelers the same ease-of-use our leisure site is known for, while at the same time addressing the need for companies to reduce travel management costs caused by rising agency transaction fees.”

Orbitz for Business will allow corporations and their preferred suppliers to integrate negotiated rates into the Orbitz flight and fare display, so that customers from participating corporations have the option to view and select among corporate, published and web fares for flights, hotels and cars. Companies will also be able to designate a third-party as “travel arranger” to manage bookings for multiple travelers. Orbitz will charge as little as $5 for online corporate bookings, with full customer service capabilities available on a per transaction basis. Orbitz transaction fees are expected to be on average 75 percent less than the $40 - $60 fees currently charged by most corporate travel agencies.

Orbitz for Business will allow corporate travel managers to obtain the travel data not captured in existing managed travel programs when employees book online. The travel reports generated by Orbitz can be integrated into the data reported by a company`s other corporate travel agents and suppliers in order to provide an accurate, 360-degree view of travel volume and spending. This information is vital for corporate travel managers to properly negotiate volume agreements with suppliers. Access to online travel data will also help corporate travel managers keep better track of where their employees are staying in the case of an emergency.


“With an increasing number of employees booking online because they can access more flight options and oftentimes better fares, corporate travel managers have struggled with what is more important—gaining cost savings or maintaining control of their employees travel data,” said Michael Hall, corporate travel manager for Johnson Controls. “With Orbitz For Business, corporate travel managers now have the best of both worlds - access to their employees` online travel data and cost savings through better fares and lower corporate transaction fees with Orbitz.”

Orbitz for Business customers will benefit from the company`s industry leading Customer Care Program that tracks the travel environment in the U.S. and abroad and uses this information to proactively notify travelers about real-time travel delays, security updates and itinerary changes. These Traveler Care Alerts are delivered through customer-designated outlets including email, cell phones or pagers. Full service agency support is available to assist Orbitz business customers with their travel booking needs.

Related stories on ITN:

(11/07/2002) Expedia, Inc. Extends Services to Corporations


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