Online Hotel Reservations Site Lodging.com to Cut Jobs

Lodging.com
, an online hotel reservation service, will lay off nearly 90 people - more than half its work force - because of restructuring by its parent company, Cendant Corp. of New York.
The travel and real estate conglomerate bought Lodging.com in August for an undisclosed amount of cash. The layoffs are effective Nov. 22.


Lodging.com employees, many of them part time, will get severance plans and help finding new jobs, Cendant spokeswoman Eliza Dalton said Monday.


“When the layoffs were announced last week, the company brought in other hiring employers in the area to talk with employees,” Dalton said.


Management and sales employees will continue to work at the Boca Raton headquarters, but reservation operations will move to Cendant call centers in Moore, Okla., and Colorado Springs, Colo., Dalton said.


The layoffs include 75 reservation agents, seven call-center team leaders, three call-center supervisors, a human resources manager and a call-center manager, according to a letter dated Sept. 23 from Human Resources Manager Lisa Carriegos to the state Agency for Workforce Innovation. That`s a total of 87 job cuts, although the agency`s Web site lists 88 layoffs. Cendant spokeswoman Dalton couldn`t confirm the actual number, and Lodging.com didn`t return phone calls Monday.

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When Cendant announced the buyout in August, a Lodging.com spokesman said the company planned no cutbacks among its 150 employees.


Two high school friends, Bill Marbach and Ed Silver, formed Lodging.com in 1995 as Travelbase, an online reference to ski lodges. They started taking hotel reservations two years later with financial backing from Marbach`s father, Carl, who lived in Boca Raton. All three remain with the company.


Lodging.com handles about 115,000 reservations a month by offering unpublished discounted rates at about 3,000 hotels. It also has partnerships with 2,750 Internet travel sites.


The layoffs in Boca Raton come as Cendant reorganizes its Travel Distribution Services Division into six new business lines. Lodging.com will be part of the Retail Travel Services division, which also includes Galileo, WizCom, TRUST International, RCI Travel, Traveler`s Advantage, Cheap Tickets.com and Trip.com.


Cendant, the country`s largest hotel franchiser, also owns the Days Inn, Ramada hotels and Avis car rental. Cendant subsidiary NRT Inc., the country`s largest real estate brokerage, paid $170 million cash in April for Clearwater-based Arvida Realty Services. It also owns the Coldwell Banker, Century 21 and ERA franchises.

Related stories on ITN:

  (14/08/2002) Cendant Announces Acquisition of Lodging.com

(27/02/2002) New Honeymoon Guide For Couples At Lodging.com

(08/11/2000) Lodging.com`s Affiliate Program Lures Travel Sites into New Partnerships

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