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Orbitz flight ticket booking may face anti-trust case

May 24, 2006

The promise of low flight ticket fares and customer-friendly service by the travel site, Orbitz has been proven true. Spawned in the late 1990s, Orbitz came at a time when airlines were struggling to reclaim some of the revenue earned by travel agents and websites for distributing flight tickets.

Then came Orbitz, from the five carriers - American, Continental, Delta, Northwest and United. These airlines will never give fares lower than that of Orbitz's to any other competing sites. In addition, they will give the special offers exclusively through Orbitz.

But it is seen that, in some instances, the airline partners of Orbitz offer lower fares on a competing site. There can be many reasons behind this. For those sites that have access to ticket inventory through consolidators can be priced lower than that offered by Orbitz to its members. Since different sites have different levels of ticket reservation systems, in a scenario where the Orbitz's low fare tickets are sold out, the next competitor's price ma be a bit lower than that of Oritz's.

The US Department of Transportation, may review it for its antitrust concerns later this year. Orbitz ranks high for its simplicity, ease of use and minimalist look.

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