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Airlines Begin Testing Online Booking Site

March 18, 2001

A coalition of five major airlines has quietly begun testing of its controversial Internet booking site, http://www.orbitz.com, which is scheduled for a full launch this summer.

Spokeswoman Dawn Doty said last week that the site, which is the subject of federal antitrust reviews, has already sold several hundred airline tickets among the "couple of thousand" users who have signed on to test it. She said Orbitz would "definitely" launch in June, regardless of whether the reviews are still pending.

Although only airline tickets are being sold now, the site expects to offer car rentals, hotel bookings, cruises and vacation packages by late April, she added. The airline partners are Continental, Delta, Northwest, United and American.

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