This is the monthly newsletter for the Expedia.com TM travel service, highlighting the latest site information and trends in online travel. Expedia.com includes many third-party offers; some restrictions may apply. More information on these offers is available at http://expedia.com/ .

What’s New

New Look, New Name, New Features for Expedia.com

  • Expedia.com recently completed the largest upgrade since its first year to help travelers find the right trip at the right price, especially when buying airline tickets or selecting from vacation and cruise packages. Along with the name and sleek new look, Expedia.com debuted or improved several unique features: Fare Compare, My Travel, shop for Vacations and Cruises, improved search tools, and more. New and upgraded features can be seen now at http://expedia.com/ .

AOL Customers, You’ve Got Cash

  • Being an AOL customer brings all sorts of privileges, and now Expedia.com delivers even more for anyone with an aol.com e-mail address. Now is the time for AOL customers to buy their first ticket on Expedia.com. People who register with Expedia.com using an aol.com
    e-mail address will be eligible for a $25 American Express Gift Cheque if they purchase their first airline ticket through Expedia.com by Aug. 20, 1999.

Celebrate and Save on Carnival Cruises During National Cruise Month

  • August is National Cruise Month, and Expedia.com is celebrating by offering $50 off all Carnival three-, four- and five-night cruises and $100 off all seven-night or longer cruises. This offer is valid for all bookings made Aug. 1-31; all travel must be completed by Feb. 15, 2000.

Expedia Great E-Mail Escape

  • In August Expedia.com will launch the Great E-Mail Escape. Each week, through the end of 1999, one lucky subscriber to the Expedia.com weekly Fare Tracker e-mail notification service will win a trip to one of his or her three chosen destinations. All the customer needs to do to win is subscribe to Fare Tracker and check his or her e-mail once a week.

Expedia.com Ranked No. 1 by Media Metrix for Each Month in the Second Quarter

  • The recent update, combined with the site’s No. 1 ranking in both sales and customer traffic, firmly establishes Expedia.com as the leader in online travel. Expedia.com was the most visited online travel site for each month of the second quarter of 1999, according to Media Metrix, with 4.2 million visitors in June alone. Second-quarter sales surpassed $183 million, more than triple the sales for the same period in 1998.

  • Through Sept. 1, kids can still enter the Ultimate Family Vacation contest* sponsored by the Online Vacation Mall for a chance to win Universal Studios Escape passes, round-trip air fare to Orlando, accommodations at the new Portofino Bay Hotel (a Loews Hotel) at Universal Studios Escape, use of an Alamo minivan, and dinner for four courtesy of NBA City. Weekly winners will receive a Fujifilm Endeavor camera, a backpack from eBags.com, and Microsoft® Home Publishing Suite software. In addition, the winning essays will be posted on the Expedia.com Web site and read over Expedia® Radio.

Fall Colors on Expedia.com

  • According to the Travel Institute of America, millions of travelers across the country are planning trips to view the brilliant colors and participate in fall festivals from late August through October. To help travelers plan and book their fall colors travel, Expedia.com will be devoting editorial content to this annual event. Interested travelers can watch Expedia Express for details.

Insider’s Advice

  • Eileen Ogintz, recently featured on CBS
    “This Morning,”
    lends her expertise beginning Aug. 5 on how to make national parks the perfect family vacation destination.

  • Tipping at sea. Travelers can compare notes with Expedia experts and other travelers on calculating a fair tip amount and how to distribute it. Aug. 11, 7-8 p.m. PDT

  • The Eternal City of Rome.

    Tony Kendall, former resident of Italy and current Europe Forum host, will share his personal tips for making the most of a trip to the legendary city of Rome. Aug. 11, 7-8 p.m. PDT

  • Ni


    a, Pinta or Santa Maria?

    Travelers can learn which cruise lines offer the onboard services and activities they’re looking for during this live chat with Cruise Forum hosts.
    Aug. 18, 7-8 p.m. PDT

  • Beginning Aug. 5, travelers can view Florence, Italy, from a nearby overlook and see this romantic destination’s beautiful bridges, the Duomo and its characteristic red roofs in this 360-degree tour.

  • Rome 2000: Y2 travel in the Jubilee Year. In anticipation of the Jubilee Year celebration, Rome has invested millions of lire into countless cultural projects. Users of Expedia.com can discover how to best view the reopened museums, restored palaces and numerous art shows and events. Beginning Aug. 3, travelers can read this article, then click on the
    “Plan this trip”
    link to book the trip, learn about activities and link to local tourism Web sites.

  • Skyscraper Chicago: a walking tour of architectural landmarks. This tour illustrates why the
    “Second City”
    has been immortalized for its towering skyscrapers and rich architecture. Chicago offers walking tours that give visitors a glimpse into American architecture. Beginning Aug. 17, travelers can read this article, then click on the
    “Plan this trip”
    link to book the trip, learn about activities, and link to local tourism Web sites.

  • Sydney 2000. Sydney is the home to the 2000 Summer Olympics, and preparation is underway to provide a spectacle for the world to appreciate. Travelers can gain an early advantage by reading this guide to the events and sites that surround the games. They can read this article beginning Aug. 31, and then click on the
    “Plan this trip”
    link to book the trip, learn about activities, and link to local tourism Web sites.

Top 10 Destinations Booked Online With Expedia.com

Where are travelers on the Internet going? Following is a list of the hottest destinations booked on Expedia.com from June 15 through July 15, 1999:

  1. New York

  2. San Francisco

  3. Washington, D.C.

  4. Chicago

  5. Los Angeles

  6. Orlando

  7. Seattle

  8. Las Vegas

  9. Atlanta

  10. Boston

About Expedia.com

Expedia.com ( http://expedia.com/ ) is the leading place to go on the Web to find the right trip at the right price. People can book air, car and hotel reservations as well as find vacations, cruises and other travel options. Along with booking travel, Expedia.com helps people plan their trips with in-depth destination information, travel news and mapping services.

Expedia.com leads the online travel industry in sales and customer traffic. Expedia.com was the most visited online travel site for each month of the second quarter of 1999. According

to Media Metrix, Expedia.com had 4.2 million monthly visitors in the month of June and $183 million in second-quarter sales, more than triple its sales for the same period in 1998. Expedia.com has also been recognized as the top online travel site by such prestigious publications as PC Magazine, PC World, PC Computing, Macworld, Computerworld and Brill’s Content.

A credit card guarantee is offered on Expedia.com (U.S. and Canadian versions only) to protect credit cards used on the Internet from fraud. With this service, after customers use their credit cards for an initial purchase on Expedia.com, the cards are protected from fraud liability – up to $50 (U.S.) – on any purchases made in the subsequent 12 months on or off the Internet. Since the program’s introduction in June 1998, Microsoft Corp. is proud to state that, because of the top-level site security, the service remains unused.

Expedia.com also offers exceptional customer service, with more than 250 travel representatives and travel agents available via (800) EXPEDIA (397-3342) and e-mail to answer questions and provide assistance to travelers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

*Contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States who are between the ages of 7 and 13 as of July 7, 1999. Void where prohibited. No purchase is necessary. Official rules are available at http://www.enw.com/expedia/rules.html.

Microsoft, Expedia.com and Expedia 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.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.asp .

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