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Orbitz Goes the Extra Mile With Innovation: Travel Site Wins 2008 Budget Travel Magazine Award

Award honors companies that have done the most to make travel easier and more affordable

CHICAGO, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Orbitz (, a pioneer in online travel, has won a 2008 Extra Mile Award from Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel Magazine for its innovative use of social media and mobile technology to bring travelers vital up-to-minute travel information.


"Innovation has always been at the core of our business as we continue to work to improve the travel experience for our customers," said Steve Barnhart, CEO and president, Orbitz Worldwide. "We are honored to receive an Extra Mile Award and be recognized as a leader in innovation."

This year, Budget Travel recognized for OrbitzTLC(TM) Traveler Update, launched in September 2007. Traveler Update combines up-to-the-minute information from the Federal Aviation Administration, OrbitzTLC air traffic alerts and data from the Transportation Security Administration with the contributions and reports of everyday travelers to create a powerful new information resource. Content includes real-time data and information on security line wait times, traffic delays, parking updates, taxi lines, flight delays, weather information and more.

Orbitz Worldwide Technology

While primarily a java shop, Orbitz Worldwide developed Traveler Update, through collaboration within its marketing and technology teams using Ruby on Rails, an open source web application framework for the Ruby programming language.

The idea for Traveler Update was incubated in late 2006 when Orbitz employees developed a simple prototype using Ruby on Rails to demonstrate and pitch the concept to Orbitz Worldwide management. The prototype stirred excitement, leading to a partnership with Rails experts, with the goal of developing the prototype further.

"Initially, Orbitz Worldwide planned to build Traveler Update on the company's new global technology platform; however, it became clear developing the project on our Java platform would put us past our desired launch date given competing priorities, and we took a closer look at Rails," said Jack Staehler, group vice president, technology, Orbitz Worldwide. "The formation of our cross-functional development team that worked autonomously on the project and built the application in less than four months is an example of our company's focus on innovation and dedication to testing new technologies that benefit our customers."

Traveler Update joins a growing list of innovative services launched by Orbitz over the past year that all work to make the travel experience easier for its customers.

-- Orbitz Price Assurance(SM), launched in June 2008, allows Orbitz customers to book airfare and rest easy, knowing they are getting the best price for their flight. With Price Assurance, if the price drops for a plane ticket booked on and another customer subsequently books the same airline ticket on for less, Orbitz will automatically send travelers a cash refund for the difference.

-- Live Destination Specialists, introduced in March 2008, provide travelers with the local expertise to help them make travel decisions about an unfamiliar destination. Orbitz destination specialists are a select group of customer service representatives with extensive local knowledge for select vacation hotspots, including Hawaii, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Cancun.

--, launched in April 2008, is an innovative new search tool that helps beach-goers find the destination that's right for them. The tool asks travelers questions about who is traveling, preferred vacation activities, and desired hotel options to provide information that will help determine the best choice for him/her. It then searches over 450 of Orbitz's top beachfront hotels in the US, Caribbean, Mexico and South America that have been handpicked and then ranked by Orbitz's team of Hotel Market Managers based on these criteria.

    "We're thrilled to acknowledge Orbitz as the first company to develop a
    way for travelers to share valuable real-time updates while on the go-
    whether from a computer, a web-enabled PDA, or by text message from a
    cell phone."
      --Budget Travel editors

Since 2005, Budget Travel Magazine's Extra Mile Awards have recognized noteworthy innovations in travel that make travel easier, more enjoyable, and/or more affordable across all aspects of the industry.

For more information about Orbitz, please visit

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 (, CheapTickets (, ebookers (, HotelClub (, RatesToGo (, the Away Network ( and corporate travel brand Orbitz for Business ( For more information on how your company can partner with Orbitz Worldwide, visit


"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.