Travelocity

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Travelocity.com
Travelocity logo.svg
Type of site
Travel agency
FoundedJanuary 1996; 24 years ago (1996-01)
Headquarters,
IndustryTravel
ParentExpedia Group
Alexa rank3,464 (As of 16 January 2020)[1]

Travelocity.com is an online travel agency owned by Expedia Group. It has 12.4 million unique visitors and 91 million page views, making it the third most popular website owned by Expedia Group, after Expedia.com and Hotels.com.[2]

One of the pioneers of web-based disintermediation, Travelocity.com was the first website that allowed consumers the ability to purchase travel tickets without the help of a person.[3]

In addition to airfares, the site also permits consumers to book hotel rooms, rental cars, cruises and packaged vacations.[4]

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.[5][6] This service was extended to America Online in the 1990s. The CEO of eAAsySabre was Kathy Misunas.[4]

Travelocity was created in 1995 as a joint venture between Worldview Systems Corporation and Sabre Corporation. The founding team at Worldview conceived of the idea in 1994 as an extension to their online travel database offering which had been distributed through Sabre, Bloomberg, AOL and many others. The founding team at Worldview joined with distribution partner Sabre in a 50-50 JV that resulted in the development and launch of Travelocity in 1995-1996.

In 1996, Worldview's investors, Advance Publications and Ameritech, sold their stake in Travelocity to Sabre Corporation. It was run by long-time Sabre information technology executive Terry Jones.[3]

Travelocity gained popularity after a 1999 partnership with AOL.[7]

In 2000, Sabre negotiated a merger of Travelocity with Preview Travel.[8] The resulting company was listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange, with Sabre owning around 70% of the company.[8]

In March 2002, Sabre reacquired all outstanding shares of the brand via a tender offer.[9] Jones left the company shortly afterward, in May 2002.[10]

In March 2002, Travelocity acquired last minute travel specialist Site59.com.[11] 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.[4] Many members of Peluso's former management team at Site59 were appointed to senior management positions at Travelocity.[12]

In 2004, Travelocity introduced an advertising campaign known as "Where Is My Gnome?".[13]

In 2005, Travelocity acquired lastminute.com for £577 million.[14] 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,[15] and later acquired by lastminute.com in 2004.[16]

In January 2009, CEO Michelle Peluso announced her resignation and was replaced by Sabre executive Hugh Jones.[17]

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.[18]

In December 2012, Travelocity sold Zuji to Webjet for $25 million.[19]

In June 2013, Travelocity Business, a corporate travel agency, was sold to Atlanta, Georgia-based BCD Travel.[20]

In August 2013, Expedia Inc. announced an agreement with Travelocity to power its United States and Canadian websites.[21]

In November 2013, Travelocity shut down its IgoUgo website.[22]

In May 2014, CEO Carl Sparks stepped down as CEO of Travelocity.[23] 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.[24]

In January 2015, Travelocity was sold by Sabre to Expedia, Inc. for $280 million.[25][26][27][28]

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.[29]

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.[30]

In February 2016, Travelocity launched its Wander Wisely advertising campaign featuring the Roaming Gnome and "The Customer 1st Guarantee". The tagline was also changed from "Go and Smell the Roses" to "Wander Wisely".[31]

Controversies[edit]

Drop pricing; exclusion of surcharges[edit]

In July 2012, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) 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 DOT 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.[32]

Cancellation of trips booked with promo code[edit]

In August 2012, Travelocity 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 re-posted the code, many ineligible travelers used the code.[33] Travelocity responded by cancelling all trips of people that used the code who were not on the list of attendees at the NFB annual conference. This resulted in a barrage of complaints from customers.[34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alexa Internet: Travelocity.com". Alexa Internet.
  2. ^ "Audience". Expedia Group.
  3. ^ a b O'Neill, Sean (October 18, 2012). "How to innovate: Lessons learned the hard way by Travelocity founder Terry Jones". Phocuswire.
  4. ^ a b c Schaal, Dennis (2016). "The Definitive oral history of online travel". Skift.
  5. ^ Gutis, Philip S. (December 23, 1989). "More Trips Start at a Home Computer". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Lewis, Peter H. (January 12, 1992). "Booking With a Computer". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Schaal, Dennis (April 10, 2006). "Travelocity, AOL expand partnership". Travel Weekly.
  8. ^ a b "Sabre's Travelocity.com and Preview Travel to Merge, Establishing Clear Leader in Online Travel" (Press release). PR Newswire. October 4, 1999.
  9. ^ Norris, Floyd (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". The New York Times.
  10. ^ Sandoval, Greg (May 9, 2002). "More Travelocity execs say bon voyage". CNET.
  11. ^ STRINGER, KORTNEY (March 26, 2002). "Travelocity.com Agrees to Buy Rival Site59.com for $43 Million". The Wall Street Journal.
  12. ^ Schaal, Dennis (January 20, 2009). "Travelocity restructures with a global focus". Travel Weekly.
  13. ^ Stevenson, Seth (February 16, 2004). "Gnome Is Where the Heart Is". Slate.
  14. ^ Richardson, Tim (12 May 2005). "Travelocity buys Lastminute.com for £577m". The Register.
  15. ^ "Online Travel Corporation (OTC) Buys All-Hotels". Hospitalitynet.org. 24 September 2002.
  16. ^ "Travelocity revs up allhotels as an answer to Priceline in Europe, Asia, Latin America". Phocuswire. April 30, 2010.
  17. ^ "Hugh Jones to Head Travelocity Global as Michelle Peluso Announces Departure" (Press release). Sabre. January 7, 2009.
  18. ^ "Travelocity replaces CEO with former Hotels.com exec". Phocuswire. April 4, 2011.
  19. ^ May, Kevin (December 12, 2012). "Travelocity sells Asia-Pacific agency Zuji to Webjet for $25 million". Phocuswire.
  20. ^ "BCD Travel acquires Travelocity Business from Travelocity" (Press release). BCD Travel. June 18, 2013.
  21. ^ Jones, Charisse (23 August 2013). "Expedia to provide key services for rival Travelocity". USA Today.
  22. ^ "RIP IgoUgo - the review site Travelocity wanted to compete with TripAdvisor". Phocuswire. November 19, 2013.
  23. ^ "Has CEO Carl Sparks ended his trip with Travelocity?". American City Business Journals. May 8, 2014.
  24. ^ "Lastminute.com sold to Swiss travel firm in £76m deal". BBC News. 16 December 2014.
  25. ^ Dastin, Jeffrey (January 23, 2015). "Expedia Inc acquires Travelocity in $280 million deal". Reuters.
  26. ^ De La Merced, Michael J. (23 January 2015). "Expedia Buys Travelocity for $280 Million in Cash". The New York Times.
  27. ^ Chowdhry, Amit (25 January 2015). "Expedia Has Acquired Travelocity For $280 Million In Cash". Forbes.
  28. ^ Panzar, Javier (23 January 2015). "Expedia buys rival Travelocity for $280 million". Los Angeles Times.
  29. ^ Gianatasio, David (November 2, 2015). "Travelocity Hires a New Media Agency to Crack the Code Around Millennials". AdWeek.
  30. ^ "Travelocity Relaunches Travel for Good Grant Program for "Voluntourist" Hopefuls" (Press release). PR Newswire. September 21, 2015.
  31. ^ "Travelocity Launches New Advertising Campaign: "Wander Wisely"" (Press release). PRWeb. February 26, 2016.
  32. ^ LAING, KEITH (July 27, 2012). "Travelocity fined for violating DOT airfare advertising rules". The Hill.
  33. ^ Deal-Zimmerman, Michelle (August 10, 2012). "Travelocity NFB dispute". The Baltimore Sun.
  34. ^ Kurtzleben, Danielle (August 10, 2012). "Good Deed Gone Viral Creates Web Headache for Travelocity". US News & World Report.

External links[edit]