News Releases

Printer Friendly Version View printer-friendly version
<< Back
New ebookers Website for Smart Travellers

Orbitz Worldwide's ebookers brand improves the customer experience with new technology, more inventory and more service

LONDON and CHICAGO, Aug. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ebookers, a leading full service online travel company in Europe, has re-launched its U.K. website (http://www.ebookers.co.uk) offering customers greater functionality and a better user experience.

ebookers (http://www.ebookers.com) is a brand of Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: OWW) that operates in 13 countries across Europe and Scandinavia, including the brand Mr. Jet (http://www.mrjet.se) in Denmark and Sweden.

The new website aims to make booking decisions easier through simpler navigation and more product choice. As an example, ebookers has tripled the number of hotels available within its inventory. Authentic hotel user reviews from thousands of properties and additional information about traveller destinations, including more hotel photos and maps also have been added. Built on a new global technology platform, ebookers will offer customers greater speed in searching and booking.

"This is an important moment in the evolution of the ebookers brand, as we work to make it the leading travel choice for our customers in Europe," said Steve Barnhart, President and CEO of Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. "This new, innovative ebookers website will provide customers with more air and hotel choices and a better, faster online experience."

Major Technology Accomplishment for Orbitz Worldwide

The ebookers site in the United Kingdom is the first Orbitz Worldwide brand to be migrated over to the company's new global technology platform. The platform is one of several key strategic initiatives for Orbitz Worldwide's growth in international markets. The new technology is built to operate multiple consumer brands more efficiently, including multi-language and multi-currency capabilities. The platform is also designed to enable the more rapid deployment of customer-centric technologies and services across all of Orbitz Worldwide's international brands, including the ability to offer suppliers a global customer base.

"This new technology will help us enhance the global travel experience and grow in international markets to the benefit of ebookers' customers," added Barnhart.

    Additional ebookers.com functionality now includes:

    --  Improved site navigation to help make booking decisions easier.  For
        example, customers can now sort by hotel name and address, price and
        proximity to a landmark.

    --  Wider range of travel products, including over three times the number
        of hotels available.

    --  A world class dynamic packaging tool that enables customised packaged
        bookings to:
        --  More destinations for customers who book customised and packaged
            flight & hotel holidays
        --  Destinations enabling customers to book all travel elements
            together (e.g., flight & hotel & car) adding another layer of
            convenience
        --  Locales with guaranteed savings when you book customised holiday
            packages

    --  Improved features and promotional pages guiding customers to great
        offers and deals, helping them find the trip they want for less!

    --  Thousands of authentic hotel reviews, from other Orbitz Worldwide
        customers who have actually stayed at the property, supporting
        ebookers customers researching hotel options.

    --  Smart bookers' section where customers can access traveller reviews,
        insider tips and trade secrets from ebookers expert staff, customers
        and journalists providing impartial advice on popular destinations.

    --  "My Trips" and "My Accounts" sections that allow customers to view
        current and previous trips, save their payment information, delivery
        and travel preferences, including the ability to send itinerary alerts
        to up to 4 contacts, friends, family members or business associates.

    --  Multi-city flight search enabling customers to book more complex
        flight itineraries, including up to 4 flights segments, which can
        arrive and depart from different airports.  For example, ebookers
        customers can now book a flight that departs from London and flies
        into Amsterdam and schedule a return flight, departing from Paris back
        to London on the same itinerary.

    --  An improved ebookers customer service experience through new caller
        recognition technology.  Customers who call ebookers' call centres
        more than once will not have to repeat their trip information as the
        system will recognise them through details from previous bookings or
        their member profile, and populate their pertinent information on the
        agent's screen.

"41% of Europeans are currently researching and buying travel online(1). We believe these leisure travellers are focused on efficient, value-orientated websites, which offer a wide range of choice," said Alan Josephs, Managing Director for ebookers. "ebookers listened to what our customers wanted and we delivered a new website that meets the needs and expectations of today's savvy traveller. Customers rated price and ease-of-use high on their wish lists. To meet these demands, ebookers invested in a more modern and innovative website that has the functionality to increasingly provide more relevant content about destinations, greater travel choice through more hotel and flight inventory, improved backend technology and destination advice."

New Brand Campaign

To re-introduce the new ebookers website to its European customers, the company is planning to re-launch its brand through a comprehensive marketing campaign. The new brand campaign will help explain the benefits of booking with ebookers.com, including a new ebookers logo that has already been launched on site. Over the next year, ebookers expects to unveil more product features that will support the new customer-centric positioning, coupled with a large integrated brand communications campaign expected to be launched in early Autumn 2007.

Ebookers currently operates in 13 different European and Scandinavian countries: Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, France, Finland, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, UK, and operates the brand Mr. Jet in Denmark and Sweden. The company is expecting to move all ebookers websites on to the new global platform throughout 2007 and 2008.

(1) Forrester Research

About ebookers.com:

ebookers.com, one of Europe's largest online travel agents, prides itself on making booking decisions easier and providing honest and impartial advice to travellers. It has origins going back 20 years and close relationships with leading travel suppliers of hotels and airlines. It offers a wide selection of choice from 80,000 suppliers around the globe, plus a number of car rental companies throughout Europe. ebookers.com sells a full range of travel products online and over the telephone through 24/7 call centres and through some retail outlets.

ebookers.com is a brand of Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: OWW).

About Orbitz Worldwide

Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW) is a leading global online travel company that uses innovative technology to enable leisure and business travelers to research, plan and book a broad range of travel products. Orbitz Worldwide owns and operates a portfolio of consumer brands that includes Orbitz (http://www.orbitz.com), CheapTickets (http://www.cheaptickets.com), ebookers (http://www.ebookers.com), HotelClub (http://www.hotelclub.com), RatesToGo (http://www.ratestogo.com), the Away Network (http://www.away.com) and corporate travel brands Orbitz for Business and Travelport for Business (http://www.travelportcorporatesolutions.com).

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Orbitz Worldwide, Inc.'s ("Company") actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different than the results, performance or achievements express or implied by the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by phrases such as "believes," "expects," "potential," "continues," "may," "will," "should," "seeks," "predicts," "anticipates," "intends," "projects," "estimates," "plans," "could," "designed," "should be" and other similar expressions that denote expectations of future or conditional events rather than statements of fact.

The risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause future results to differ from those expressed by the forward-looking statements included in this press release include, but are not limited to, competition in the travel industry; factors affecting the level of travel activity, particularly air travel volume; maintenance and protection of the Company's information technology and intellectual property; the outcome of pending litigation; the Company's significant indebtedness; future acquisition opportunities and the Company's ability to successfully integrate acquired businesses and realize their anticipated benefits; risks associated with doing business in multiple currencies; trends in the travel industry; and general economic and business conditions. More information regarding these and other risks, uncertainties and factors is contained in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that are available on either the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov or the Investor Relations section of the Company's website at http://www.orbitz-ir.com. In light of these risks, uncertainties and factors, the forward-looking events discussed in this press release may not occur. You are cautioned not to unduly rely on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Unless required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to update the forward- looking statements included in this press release or to report the occurrence of unanticipated events.

SOURCE
Orbitz Worldwide, Inc.

CONTACT:
Cathryn Brannan, Anna Terrell, or Alexandra Marsh, all of Pleon UK, +44 0207 479 5656, ebookers@pleon.com, for ebookers; or Brian Hoyt of Orbitz Worldwide, Inc., +1-312-894-6890, bhoyt@orbitz.com

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Orbitz Worldwide Inc.'s business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.