Competition comes to online travel sites

Overstock.com is offering an online booking engine.

Graphically it looks most similar to Orbitz, which suggests that it has the same backend, although I haven’t spent but 30 seconds on the site to see if that’s the case.

Overstock’s unique selling proposition seems to be that it is undercutting the booking fees charged by other online travel sites, tacking on $2.95 rather than the customary $5 or $6.

Update: The Washington Post
has more

    Overstock Gets Into Travel: Overstock.com Inc. — a four-year-old Web company that sells items from closeout merchandisers — begins selling discounted hotel rooms, car rentals and airline tickets today.


    The site, which says it gets about 8 million visits a month, is entering an online travel field already crowded with the likes of Travelocity.com L.P., Expedia Inc. and others attracting price-conscious customers.


    Patrick M. Byrne, Overstock.com’s chairman and chief executive, said the site was working with hotel chains, airlines and travel consolidators that have extra inventory. Byrne said nearly 80 percent of the airline deals will come directly from travel distributors such as Worldspan L.P. and about 20 percent will come from deals the site strikes directly with airlines. Byrne said Overstock.com prices would be about 15 percent lower than prices found on other sites. Later this week, the site plans to sell luxury cruises.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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