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Expedia Site Offers 'Unpublished' Fares

April 08, 2001

Hotwire, the airlines' Internet site that pioneered so-called "unpublished" discounted fares when it launched last fall, has inspired an apparent copycat: "Bargain Fares" at Expedia.

The giant Internet travel marketer, at http://www.expedia.com, is offering low fares not available on computerized reservations systems used by travel agents and Internet search engines.

The catch in both cases: The customer doesn't learn which airline or the exact departure and arrival times until after buying the nonrefundable ticket online.

There are minor differences in operation; for instance, Hotwire gives customers 30 minutes to accept or reject the fare; Expedia has no time restrictions.

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