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Expedia, Inc., an American company with headquarters in Bellevue, WA; is the world's largest online travel company by transaction volume. It also operates Hotels.com and Hotwire.com
Travelocity, the sixth-largest travel agency in the United States and the second-largest online travel agency, is based in Southlake, TX. Travelocity was created in 1996 as a subsidiary of American Airlines.
Travelocity.com was the first website that allowed consumers themselves not only to access fare and schedule information, but also to reserve, book, and purchase tickets without the help of a travel agent. Click here for direct access to Travelocity.com.
Founded in 1997, Priceline.com first gained prominence for its "Name Your Own Price" system, where travelers would name their price for airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals and vacation packages. While the purchaser can select a general location, service level and price, the hotel, rental car company or airline (as well as the exact location of the hotel and the exact flight itinerary) is disclosed only after the purchase had gone through, with no rights to cancel.
More recently, it has added a more traditional model where travelers are presented prices and are also told the name of the establishment. Travelers can still choose to name their price for airline tickets, hotel rooms and rental cars.
The number of airlines, hotels and car rental company participants in the name your own price program has increased as these suppliers utilize this opaque market Priceline created to sell their perishable inventory without lowering prices through other traditional sales channels. Priceline now also sells discounted cruises, as well as tours and attractions. The Company reported revenues of $2.3 Billion in 2009. Click here to go to Priceline.com
Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines and American Airlines invested a combined $145 million to start their own online travel service in November 1999. The new company adopted the brand name Orbitz when it began corporate operations in February of 2000. Orbitz.com was officially launched in June 2001 and reported 2009 revenues of $175 million. Click here to enter the Orbitz site.