|Online Travel's Taken Off|
The growing popularity of online travel agencies, however, is seeking to soothe the weary traveler with myriad booking options and expanded customer support, all at the click of a mouse.
So what secrets does
Orbitz, formed in 2001, was the first Internet travel company to present competing prices in an unbiased chart form. One of its major competitors, Priceline ( PCLN), originally had customers bid for tickets but did not list prices in a way that let users easily compare them. The other two most popular online travel agencies were founded in 1996: Expedia ( EXPE), formed as a division of Microsoft ( MSFT); and Travelocity, as a division of Sabre Holdings ( TSG). Travelocity was the first Web site that let consumers book trips without the help of a travel agent.