Taking off with Online Travel Sites - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/4/02

Taking off with Online Travel Sites

Airlines, car rental companies, hotels, and travel agents are waiting for consumers in cyberspace. Travel portals like Expedia, Travel.com, Orbitz, and Travelocity.com are offering special features like travel alerts, special deals, and customized packages.

"We have to be a friend of the traveler, someone who can help them, help them get through the travel process, from dreaming, shopping to buying, to actually taking the trip. We have to be helping them with information, with as much destination information as we possibly can," said Al Comeaux, the Vice-President of Travelocity.com .

The Internet is helping Travelocity.com and other companies do just that. Travel websites are trying to profile their customers to best suit their needs. You can type in destinations you have enjoyed in the past plus your interest, and the site will find a vacation spot you may enjoy.

"We have a trip expert that can tell you the best destination for you based on your personality, based on the kind of hotel you might want to stay in. We have a cruise expert that you tell things you really never thought about," said Comeaux.

You can also find detailed information on cruises, including a view of the cabin you could be staying in. Messaging is another service popping up on sites. The sites can sent messages to your pager, or cell phone. Or the site can send a message to someone picking you up at the airport to let them know your flight is late. Online travel agents say providing more answers to customers while they are on the web will help them make the vacation a reality instead of just a dream.

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