Travelocity

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Travelocity.com
Metasearch engine
Travel fare aggregator website
Industry Travel
Founded January 1996; 21 years ago (1996-01)
Headquarters Dallas, Texas, United States
Parent Expedia, Inc.
Website www.travelocity.com

Travelocity.com is an American travel fare aggregator website and travel metasearch engine. The website is owned by a subsidiary of Expedia, Inc.

History[edit]

American Airlines began offering customer access to its electronic reservation system, Sabre, in 1978 to travel agencies, and in the mid-1980s on CompuServe and GEnie to consumers under the "eAAsySabre" brand name.[1][2] This service was extended to America Online in the 1990s. The CEO of the eAAsySabre was Kathy Misunas.[3]

Travelocity was created in 1996 as a subsidiary of Sabre Holdings and was run by long-time Sabre information technology executive Terry Jones.[4] As one of the pioneers of web-based disintermediation, Travelocity.com was the first website that allowed consumers the ability to reserve, book, and purchase tickets without the help of a travel agent or broker.[4] In addition to airfares, the site also permits consumers to book hotel rooms, rental cars, cruises and packaged vacations.[3]

Travelocity gained popularity after a 1999 partnership with AOL.[5]

In 2000, Sabre negotiated a merger of Travelocity with Preview Travel.[6] The resulting company was independently quoted on the NASDAQ exchange, with Sabre continuing to own around 70 percent of the combined company's outstanding stock.[6]

In March 2002, Sabre consummated a tender offer for the remainder of the outstanding shares in Travelocity and re-acquired the brand.[7] Jones left the company shortly afterward, in May 2002.[8]

In March 2002, Travelocity acquired last minute travel specialist Site59.com.[9] The CEO and founder of Site59, Michelle Peluso, joined Travelocity with the acquisition as senior vice president, product strategy and distribution. Peluso became Travelocity’s COO in April 2003 and was then named president and chief executive officer of Travelocity in December 2003.[3] Many members of Peluso’s former management team at Site59 were appointed to senior management positions at Travelocity including Jeffrey Glueck (Chief Marketing Officer), Tracey Weber (President, North America), Josh Hartmann (Chief Technology Officer) and Jonathan Perkel (Senior Vice President and General Counsel).[10]

In 2004, Travelocity introduced an advertising campaign known as "Where Is My Gnome?".[11]

In 2005, Travelocity acquired lastminute.com for £577 million.[12] The acquisition included allhotels.com, which was founded in 1997 by Richard Irwin, acquired by Online Travel Corporation (OTC) in 2002 for £1.4 million,[13] and later acquired by lastminute.com in 2004.[14]

In January 2009, CEO Michelle Peluso announced her resignation and was replaced by Sabre executive Hugh Jones.[15]

In April 2011, president and CEO Hugh Jones moved to a position at Sabre and Gilt Groupe president Carl Sparks was brought in as president and CEO of Travelocity. Sparks had been general manager of Hotels.com and was previously chief marketing officer of Expedia.[16]

In December 2012, Travelocity sold Zuji to Webjet for $25 million.[17]

In June 2013, Travelocity Business, a corporate travel agency, was sold to Atlanta, Georgia-based BCD Travel.[18]

In August 2013, Expedia Inc. announced an agreement with Travelocity to power its United States and Canadian websites.[19]

In November 2013, Travelocity shut down its IgoUgo website.[20]

In May 2014, CEO Carl Sparks stepped down from his position as CEO of Travelocity.[21] After the departure of Sparks, Roshan Mendis, President of Travelocity was named to manage operations of Travelocity's operations in the Americas, while Matthew Crummack, CEO of lastminute.com was named to manage operations in Europe.

In December 2014, Travelocity sold lastminute.com to Swiss-based Bravofly Rumbo for £76 million.[22]

In January 2015, Travelocity was sold by Sabre Corporation to Expedia, Inc. for $280 million.[23][24][25][26]

In November 2015, Travelocity hired Assembly in New York to handle US media. Until then, media had been handled by Publics Groupe's Zenith Media.[27]

In December 2015, Travelocity relaunched its Travel for Good program that offers a $5,000 grant for a selected volunteer to participate in volunteer travel programs with various nonprofit organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, Globe Aware, and the American Hiking Society.[28]

Controversies[edit]

In July 2012, the U.S. Department of Transportation fined Travelocity $180,000 after discovering that Travelocity’s “flexible dates tool” did not always include fuel surcharges that were part of many international airfares in violation of the Department’s rules requiring all carrier-imposed surcharges and fees to be included in every advertised fare. In addition, the DOT found that the customer was informed only on the final page before purchasing the ticket that some itineraries required a paper ticket with a minimum additional delivery fee of $29.95.[29]

In August 2012, Travelocity faced a viral controversy when it offered a $200 coupon code to attendees at the National Federation of the Blind annual conference in Dallas. After the NFB posted the code on Twitter without mentioning the attendee restriction, Travelocity re-tweeted it without noticing the error but deleted the tweet a day later. After some travel blogs and message boards resposted the code, many ineligible travelers used the code.[30] Travelocity responded by cancelling all trips that used the code who weren't on the list of attendees at the NFB annual conference. This resulted in a barrage of complaints from customers angry to see their trips suddenly cancelled.[31]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gutis, Philip S. (1989-12-23). "More Trips Start at a Home Computer". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-06-26. 
  2. ^ Lewis, Peter H. (1992-01-12). "Booking With a Computer". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-06-26. 
  3. ^ a b c Schaal, Dennis (2016). "The Definitive oral history of online travel". Skift. Retrieved 15 June 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Sean O'Neill (October 18, 2012). "How to innovate: Lessons learned the hard way by Travelocity founder Terry Jones". Tnooz.com. 
  5. ^ Dennis Schaal (April 10, 2006). "Travelocity, AOL expand partnership". Travel Weekly. 
  6. ^ a b "Sabre's Travelocity.com and Preview Travel to Merge, Establishing Clear Leader in Online Travel" (Press release). PRNewswire. October 4, 1999. 
  7. ^ FLOYD NORRIS (March 7, 2002). "THE MARKETS: Market Place; In trying to acquire all of Travelocity, Sabre finds itself in a struggle to regain what it once had". New York Times. 
  8. ^ Greg Sandoval (May 9, 2002). "More Travelocity execs say bon voyage". CNET. 
  9. ^ KORTNEY STRINGER (March 26, 2002). "Travelocity.com Agrees to Buy Rival Site59.com for $43 Million". Wall Street Journal. 
  10. ^ Dennis Schaal (January 20, 2009). "Travelocity restructures with a global focus". Travel Weekly. 
  11. ^ Seth Stevenson (February 16, 2004). "Gnome Is Where the Heart Is". Slate. 
  12. ^ Tim Richardson (12 May 2005). "Travelocity buys Lastminute.com for £577m". The Register. 
  13. ^ "Online Travel Corporation (OTC) Buys All-Hotels". Hospitalitynet.org. 24 September 2002. 
  14. ^ "Travelocity revs up allhotels as an answer to Priceline in Europe, Asia, Latin America". Tnooz.com. April 30, 2010. 
  15. ^ Trebor Banstetter (January 7, 2009). "New CEO at Travelocity". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 
  16. ^ "Travelocity replaces CEO with former Hotels.com exec". Tnooz.com. April 4, 2011. 
  17. ^ Kevin May (December 12, 2012). "Travelocity sells Asia-Pacific agency Zuji to Webjet for $25 million". Tnooz.com. 
  18. ^ "BCD Travel acquires Travelocity Business from Travelocity" (Press release). BCD Travel. June 18, 2013. 
  19. ^ Charisse Jones (23 August 2013). "Expedia to provide key services for rival Travelocity". USA Today. Retrieved 2015-06-26. 
  20. ^ "RIP IgoUgo - the review site Travelocity wanted to compete with TripAdvisor". Tnooz.com. November 19, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Has CEO Carl Sparks ended his trip with Travelocity?". Dallas Business Journal. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 2015-06-26. 
  22. ^ "Lastminute.com sold to Swiss travel firm in £76m deal". BBC. 16 December 2014. 
  23. ^ Dastin, Jeffrey (23 January 2015). "Expedia Inc acquires Travelocity in $280 million deal". Reuters. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  24. ^ Michael J. De La Merced (23 January 2015). "Expedia Buys Travelocity for $280 Million in Cash". The New York Times. 
  25. ^ Amit Chowdhry (25 January 2015). "Expedia Has Acquired Travelocity For $280 Million In Cash". Forbes Magazine. 
  26. ^ Javier Panzar (23 January 2015). "Expedia buys rival Travelocity for $280 million". Los Angeles Times. 
  27. ^ Gianatasio, David. "Travelocity Hires a New Media Agency to Crack the Code Around Millenials". AdWeek. Retrieved 6 November 2015. 
  28. ^ "Travelocity Relaunches Travel for Good Grant Program for "Voluntourist" Hopefuls" (Press release). PRNewswire. September 21, 2015. 
  29. ^ "DOT Fines Travelocity for Violating DOT Price Advertising Rule". Department of Transportation. July 27, 2012. 
  30. ^ Michelle Deal-Zimmerman (10 August 2012). "Travelocity NFB dispute". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2015-06-26. 
  31. ^ Danielle Kurtzleben. "Good Deed Gone Viral Creates Web Headache for Travelocity". US News & World Report. Retrieved 2015-06-26. 

External links[edit]