What is Orbitz®?

Phil Shepley

Orbitz® is one of many Internet travel company websites that offer services to people who are researching and planning trips and vacations. Some of these services include booking flights, cruises and hotel rooms, and also reserving rental cars. Other services are provided as well, and all of these can be combined in different configurations. For instance, a family seeking a vacation may rent a car, book a flight, and reserve a hotel room all at once through Orbitz® as a “package deal,” or simply rent the car through the site. Typically, more services bought at the same time will result in a higher overall discount on the price, but this is not always the case. Different types of fees may also apply to each kind of service prior to finalizing travel reservations.

In 2003, Orbitz® started offering discounted hotel reservations.
In 2003, Orbitz® started offering discounted hotel reservations.

Orbitz®, which is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, officially began doing business online in June 2001, and had originally been created in 1999 by five major airline companies – American, Continental, Delta, Northwest and United. The point of this Internet startup was for the airlines to offer bargain prices for airline tickets without having to pay fees to other online databases that specialized in reserving airline tickets. Orbitz® would rely on a separate fast search engine for gathering the massive amount of data to run a website that sells a commodity such as airline tickets.

One of the services offered through Orbitz® is the ability to book hotels rooms.
One of the services offered through Orbitz® is the ability to book hotels rooms.

Orbitz® gained instant popularity as a travel website, and eventually would begin offering stock in the company to the public in 2003, the same year it began expanding to offer discounted hotel reservations in addition to plane tickets. The company trades on the New York Stock Exchange as OWW (Orbitz® Worldwide) and owns a variety of other similar websites. Orbitz® employs several thousand people worldwide, and also has offices in London, Sydney, and elsewhere.

Orbitz helps people plan vacations to various locales.
Orbitz helps people plan vacations to various locales.

The homepage for Orbitz® is where a person researching travel plans can find most of the services that the site has to offer. By filling in the necessary information, a person seeking a travel service will typically receive many different choices at varying rates. For instance, one seeking a flight must enter where they wish to travel to and the city they are coming from, as well as the dates of travel. Seeking a rental car at the same time will result in possible combinations of flights and cars for the traveler to choose from, as well as the cost, minus taxes and other fees.

E-tickets can be issued by Orbitz.
E-tickets can be issued by Orbitz.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the amount of travel options that one can seek out through websites like the one offered by Orbitz®. Someone can seek plans to travel to practically any destination along with many different modes of transportation, even including railroads and cruises. The hotels that can be booked range from cheap roadside motels all the way to expensive resort-type hotels. Similarly, a traveler may choose first class airline tickets or coach, or a cheap economy rental car versus an expensive sports utility vehicle. The options for an overall travel package through online travel websites such as Orbitz® are practically infinite.

Plane tickets can be bought through Orbitz.
Plane tickets can be bought through Orbitz.
Orbitz was originally created in 1999 by five major American-based airline carriers.
Orbitz was originally created in 1999 by five major American-based airline carriers.

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