Expedia investing to build marketplace for flights

Expedia, Inc. said it has introduced several new flight products and services designed to help improve the air travel experience for both customers and industry partners worldwide.

The company is investing in tools to enable customers to compare and understand flight components in a transparent way, by making vast improvements to its global air products to address traveler fees and service expectations, and to help create a better overall shopping experience for travelers by making it easier to compare similar options across different carriers. These enhancements are part of a broader investment to build a comprehensive comparison marketplace for flights.

Poised to provide huge benefits to customers looking for better air options and suppliers who want to reach more travelers around the globe, Expedia® is rolling out the following new product features and enhancements to surface more valuable information and better connect people to the increasing number of choices available during all phases of the flight planning, searching and booking process:

> Upgrade Options: The company announced GDS partnerships last year to support airlines´ branded fare families, and at the end of June officially upgraded the flight experience to begin offering customers the ability to search for and purchase a broader range of fare choices from select carriers. With this new technology, called Upgrade Options, travelers have more transparency into exactly what´s included in certain flight prices at the time of purchase, thus enabling travelers to book flights with the specific attributes and on-board services that matter most to them. The company plans to continue expanding the number of fare options available to customers as new suppliers and partners are integrated into the Expedia+ global air technology platform that runs air ticketing and packaging for its brands around the world.

> Baggage Calculator: As a result of the company´s recent partnership with ATPCO´s Baggage Calculator, Expedia provides travel shoppers with more robust access to baggage fees and pricing information for the majority of airlines available to book through its sites. Customers will now have easier access to accurate baggage policies for specific flights, the number one ancillary service for airlines.

> Paid seating options: These offerings will be integrated into Expedia sites so that customers can easily identify, select and purchase these premium seating options via the online seat map. Expedia currently has agreements in place and expects to launch this product in late 2015. In addition, the company is working to relay a traveler´s frequent flier number to the airline so if the traveler has status, the Expedia seat map will seamlessly display the appropriate status-eligible seats during the booking process.

Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) is one of the world´s leading travel companies, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes leading online travel brands.