REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 6, 1997 — Planning and booking travel on the Internet just became easier and more comprehensive as Microsoft® Expedia.com travel services today introduced new features on its award-winning Web site (located at (http://expedia.com/) . Visitors to Expedia.com can now print driving directions and pinpoint addresses using Expedia Maps, buy vacation packages through a new relationship with the Online Vacation Mall, access Amtrak train schedules and tickets, and access a comprehensive bed-and-breakfast directory from Inns & Outs. The addition of these new features brings all travel-planning activities, from research to purchase, together in one convenient place.
“Our efforts are continually focused on expanding choices and improving the Expedia
experience for our customers, based on their direct feedback,” said Simon Breakwell, group manager, Expedia.com sales and marketing. “We’re particularly pleased to be offering new mapping tools and access to the incredible array of vacation packages available through the Online Vacation Mall.”
Microsoft also announced that the travel-planning Web site, formerly known as Microsoft Expedia, would adopt the name Microsoft Expedia.com. The change will make it easier for customers to find Microsoft Expedia.com on the World Wide Web.
Expanded Travel Options
Expedia.com has added a variety of features designed to expand the alternatives available to travelers today:
Expedia Maps. These new integrated online mapping tools, created by the same team that developed the Microsoft Expedia Streets 98 and Expedia Trip Planner 98 mapping CD-ROMs, include Driving Directions, which lets travelers plot routes between North American cities; Address Finder, which pinpoints the exact location of street addresses in the United States; Worldwide Place Finder, which generates maps bearing the location of popular attractions and places around the world; and Business Finder, which lets users plot the locations of thousands of businesses in the United States by pulling from an extensive database of business listings maintained by American Business Information Inc.
“Microsoft and American Business Information joined forces to help people make better and more efficient travel arrangements,” said Vin Gupta, founder and chairman of American Business Information. “From Expedia.com, it’s now possible to find virtually any of the 10 million businesses in the United States and have not only their address and phone number, but the ability to plot and print out a color map of their locations.”
Vacation packages. Members of Expedia.com can now buy vacation packages through the Online Vacation Mall. This new travel-planning option lets members of Expedia.com create and buy their own complete vacations to popular destinations. Vacation packages, which typically include round-trip air fare, hotel stays and transportation options, are provided by Southwest Airlines Vacations, United Vacations, Mirage Resort Vacations, Funjet Vacations, Vacations by Sheraton, US Airways Vacations, Mountain Vacations and Midwest Express Airline Vacations. To celebrate the immediate availability of vacation packages, Expedia.com and the Online Vacation Mall plan to offer special low pricing through Dec. 19, 1997, on selected packages to top destinations.
Amtrak. Members of Expedia.com now have easy access to a wealth of information about Amtrak schedules and fares to more than 500 destinations nationwide. Members can view train routes, scenic highlights and on-board accommodations. Other sections alert members to special promotions, such as Explore America Fares, Air Rail and all-inclusive Amtrak Vacation packages. Members can also make reservations and purchase train tickets online, plus check arrival and departure updates for en-route trains.
Bed-and-breakfast inn directory. Through a new relationship with Inns & Outs, Expedia.com gives members access to the Inns & Outs online directory of over 20,000 bed-and-breakfast inns in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.
Worldwide Links. For travelers interested in further researching their destinations and types of travel, such as Web sites for recreational or exotic travel, the editors of Expedia.com have compiled over 10,000 of the best travel-related Web sites across the world.
Enhanced Travel Shopping Functionality
Microsoft Expedia.com also includes a number of new capabilities designed to streamline researching, purchasing and receiving tickets:
Streamlined sign-in. Electronic Travel Agent is just a click away from the Expedia.com front page for registered users, removing a total of six screens for most users.
Alternative address for ticket delivery. Customers can enjoy the convenience of having their tickets delivered to their office or hotel, instead of only to the credit card billing address.
Electronic ticketing. Customers of Expedia.com can now reap the benefits of ticketless travel by purchasing electronic tickets, available on even more airlines through Expedia.com.
The Microsoft Expedia.com online travel planning service (http://expedia.com/) is part of the Microsoft Expedia family of travel and mapping products and services. These include the Microsoft Expedia Streets 98, Streets Deluxe 98 and Trip Planner 98 CD-ROMs http://www.microsoft.com/expedia/ and Mungo Park
, an online magazine dedicated to the spirit of adventure in travel (http://mungopark.com) .
Microsoft Expedia.com is built on Microsoft Travel Technologies, a platform suite comprising server, applications and content designed to create the best buying experience for travel-related services on line. Microsoft Travel Technologies is created with Microsoft BackOffice
™family products including the Windows NT® Server operating system, Internet Information Server and Microsoft SQL Server
. Microsoft Travel Technologies supports interactive travel within an Internet or intranet environment, using any popular Web browser software, and is compatible with the top computer reservations systems.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
Microsoft, Expedia, Mungo Park, BackOffice and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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