Imagine a simple idea manifesting out of basic every day human needs. To turn such an idea into a prospective business not only has resistance, but involves struggle. Based out of Citigroup Center in Chicago, Illinois, Orbitz operates websites that allow individuals to plan their holidays to a great extent. A user can book flights, cruises, hotel rooms, rent cars and select vacations packages according to their preference.
The company was launched in 2001 by five major airlines, United, Delta, Continental, Northwest and American. The airlines came together to create a dedicated portal for booking tickets that would decrease the market dominance of travel agencies. The launch was first announced in 1999 and over time, other airlines took an interest in the service too. In the end, other six major airlines decided to invest in the portal too.
The initial funding for the site was $50 million. However, even before its launch, the site faced many problems. Since all major airlines were coming together in one way or the other to help launch this site, traditional travel agents and other competing websites protested heavily. They lobbied to stop the service from launching in the first place, stating that the airlines would already be biased in favour of Orbitz.