CheapTickets was founded in 1986 in Honolulu, Hawaii by Michael and Sandra Hartley when inter-island carrier Mid Pacific Air gave 3,000 tickets to Hartley's employer at the time, advertising firm Regency Media, as payment for its services at the time Regency closed its Honolulu branch. The tickets were advertised via newspaper classified ads and sold out in two weeks. The company grew into an airline ticket consolidator, acquiring seats from airlines at rates low enough to allow the company to resell them at fares lower than the airline's normal published airfares.
It opened its first call center in Honolulu in 1987, and would later open call centers in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Lakeport, California, Los Angeles, California, and Tampa, Florida. It launched its web site in 1997, becoming a pioneer in Internet travel sales. The company operated brick and mortar agency locations in Hawaii, California, New York, and Washington which were closed by the end of 2001, by which time they accounted for just 2% of the company's business.
The company was acquired in 2000 by Cendant. In July 2006, it was part of the sale of Travelport to the Blackstone Group, part of a division known as the Travel Distribution Services Division and later spun off as Orbitz Worldwide.
- ^ a b Torres-Kitamura, Maria (September 1996). "Up, up and away." (Reprint), Hawaii Business. Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
- ^ Staff writer (2001-06-05). "Business Briefs", Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
- ^ Lynch, Russ (2001-08-13). "Cheap Tickets bought out", Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
- ^ Lynch, Russ (2001-08-02). "Cheap Tickets’ profits plunge 76 percent", Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
- ^ Gelsi, Steve (2007-05-10). "Orbitz files second IPO, eyes $750 mln", MarketWatch. Retrieved on 2007-10-22.