Are Orbitz And Expedia Owned By The Same Company?

In the ever-evolving world of online travel booking, two names stand out as industry giants: Orbitz and Expedia. These platforms have revolutionized the way we plan and book our trips, offering a vast array of options at our fingertips.

However, a question that often arises is whether these two titans are owned by the same parent company.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: No, Orbitz and Expedia are not owned by the same company. While they were once part of the same corporate umbrella, they have since parted ways and are now owned by different entities.

In this comprehensive article, we’ll delve into the intricate details of the ownership structure of Orbitz and Expedia, tracing their histories and exploring the key events that shaped their current standing.

We’ll also examine the implications of their separate ownership on the travel industry and what it means for consumers.

The Origins of Orbitz and Expedia

Orbitz: A Pioneering Online Travel Agency

In the late 1990s, the travel industry was on the cusp of a digital revolution. As more and more consumers turned to the internet for their booking needs, a group of major airlines saw an opportunity to create their own online travel agency.

Thus, Orbitz was born in 2001 as a joint venture between American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, and Continental Airlines. The idea was to provide a user-friendly platform where travelers could easily search for and book flights, hotels, rental cars, and vacation packages.

Orbitz quickly became a game-changer in the online travel space, offering a seamless booking experience and access to a vast inventory of travel options. By 2003, the company had already captured a significant market share, with over 4 million unique visitors per month.

Orbitz’s success paved the way for other online travel agencies (OTAs) to emerge, ushering in a new era of convenience and transparency for travelers worldwide.

Expedia: The Trailblazer in Online Booking

While Orbitz was making waves in the online travel industry, another pioneering company, Expedia, had already established itself as a trailblazer in the field. Founded in 1996 as a division of Microsoft, Expedia was one of the first companies to offer online travel booking services.

Its innovative platform allowed users to compare prices, read reviews, and book flights, hotels, and rental cars with just a few clicks.

Over the years, Expedia grew into a global powerhouse, acquiring various travel brands like Travelocity, Orbitz (in 2015), and Trivago. Today, Expedia Group encompasses over 200 travel booking sites across 70 countries, making it one of the largest online travel companies in the world.

With a focus on providing a seamless and personalized travel experience, Expedia has become a trusted name for millions of travelers worldwide.

While Orbitz and Expedia started as separate entities, their paths eventually converged when Expedia acquired Orbitz in 2015 for $1.6 billion. This merger solidified Expedia’s position as a dominant force in the online travel industry, offering consumers a wide range of travel products and services under one umbrella.

The Acquisition and Separation

Expedia’s Acquisition of Orbitz

In 2015, the travel industry witnessed a major consolidation when Expedia, the online travel giant, acquired Orbitz for a whopping $1.6 billion. This move was seen as a strategic play by Expedia to strengthen its position in the highly competitive online travel market.

By acquiring Orbitz, Expedia not only gained access to Orbitz’s customer base but also expanded its portfolio of travel brands, which already included Travelocity, CheapTickets, and

The acquisition was a game-changer for both companies. Expedia, already a formidable player in the industry, gained even more market share and solidified its position as a leading online travel platform.

Orbitz, on the other hand, found itself under the umbrella of a larger, more financially stable company, which provided it with resources and opportunities for growth. According to Phocuswire, the combined company accounted for approximately 75% of all online travel bookings in the United States at the time.

The Divestiture: Orbitz’s New Ownership

However, the acquisition wasn’t without its challenges. In 2019, Expedia announced its decision to divest Orbitz, along with several other travel brands, as part of a larger restructuring effort. This move was driven by the company’s desire to streamline its operations and focus on its core brands, such as and Vrbo (formerly HomeAway).

The divestiture of Orbitz marked the end of an era, as the once-prominent online travel platform found itself under new ownership. In March 2020, Travel Weekly reported that Orbitz was acquired by Certares Equity Management, a private equity firm based in New York.

While the financial details of the deal were not disclosed, the acquisition was seen as an opportunity for Orbitz to regain its footing in the highly competitive online travel market.

Interestingly, despite the divestiture, Expedia and Orbitz continue to maintain a close relationship. According to Phocuswire, Expedia signed a long-term agreement to provide Orbitz with access to its travel inventory and technology platform. This mutually beneficial arrangement allows Orbitz to leverage Expedia’s vast network of travel suppliers and cutting-edge technology, while Expedia retains a foothold in the market through its partnership with Orbitz.

As the online travel industry continues to evolve, the relationship between Expedia and Orbitz serves as a testament to the ever-changing landscape of the industry. While they may no longer be owned by the same company, their intertwined histories and ongoing collaboration highlight the importance of strategic partnerships and the constant pursuit of innovation in the digital age of travel.

The Current Ownership Landscape

Expedia Group: A Global Travel Giant

Expedia Group is a formidable force in the online travel industry, with a portfolio of renowned brands that cater to diverse travel needs. This Seattle-based company operates as a global travel technology giant, offering services ranging from accommodation booking to car rentals and flight reservations.

Some of its most popular brands include,, Vrbo, and Trivago.

According to the company’s financial reports, Expedia Group generated a staggering revenue of $8.6 billion in 2022, a testament to its dominance in the travel sector. With a presence in over 70 countries and a workforce of over 20,000 employees, Expedia Group has truly established itself as a global leader, offering a one-stop-shop for travelers worldwide.

Its commitment to innovation, customer satisfaction, and strategic acquisitions has allowed it to maintain a competitive edge in an ever-evolving industry.

Orbitz: Under the Umbrella of Certares

Orbitz, on the other hand, has a different ownership structure. Once a prominent online travel agency, Orbitz was acquired by Certares, a leading private equity firm, in 2014. Certares operates in the travel, tourism, and hospitality sectors, with a focus on leveraging technology and data to drive growth and innovation.

Under Certares’ ownership, Orbitz has undergone significant changes and restructuring. While it continues to operate as an online travel agency, offering flight, hotel, and car rental bookings, its services are now more closely integrated with other Certares-owned brands, such as Travelport and Tripadvisor.

This strategic alignment allows Orbitz to leverage the collective strengths and resources of the Certares portfolio, providing travelers with a more comprehensive and seamless experience.

Despite their different ownership structures, both Expedia Group and Orbitz remain key players in the online travel industry. They offer a wide range of services and cater to diverse customer needs, constantly innovating and adapting to the ever-changing landscape of digital travel.

Whether you’re booking a family vacation, a business trip, or a spontaneous getaway, these platforms provide convenient and user-friendly solutions for travelers around the globe. 😎🌍✈️

Implications for Consumers and the Travel Industry

Competition and Consumer Choice

The potential merger between Orbitz and Expedia, two of the largest online travel agencies (OTAs), has significant implications for consumers and the travel industry as a whole. One of the primary concerns is the potential reduction in competition and consumer choice.

With fewer major players in the market, there could be less incentive for companies to offer competitive prices and innovative services. This could lead to higher prices and fewer options for consumers when booking travel arrangements.

However, it’s important to note that the travel industry is still relatively diverse, with other OTAs like Travelocity, Priceline, and Kayak operating in the market. Additionally, many airlines, hotels, and rental car companies offer direct booking options on their websites, providing consumers with alternative choices.

According to a Phocuswright study, OTAs accounted for approximately 35% of online travel bookings in the United States in 2021.

Innovation and Industry Trends

While concerns about reduced competition are valid, a potential merger between Orbitz and Expedia could also drive innovation and industry trends. A larger, combined entity may have more resources to invest in developing new technologies, enhancing user experiences, and exploring emerging trends in the travel industry.

This could lead to improved services, personalized recommendations, and more seamless booking experiences for consumers.

Additionally, the travel industry is constantly evolving, with new players and disruptive technologies emerging regularly. For example, the rise of sharing economy platforms like Airbnb and Uber has already disrupted traditional accommodation and transportation models.

The industry is also witnessing the integration of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and blockchain technologies, which could revolutionize how consumers plan and book their travel experiences.

Can you imagine booking your dream vacation with just a few voice commands or experiencing a virtual tour of your hotel before you even arrive? 😍 The possibilities are endless, and the potential merger may spur further innovation in this dynamic industry.

Ultimately, the implications of a potential Orbitz-Expedia merger will depend on various factors, including regulatory oversight, market dynamics, and the companies’ strategies. While concerns about reduced competition are valid, the travel industry’s constantly evolving nature and the emergence of new players and technologies could counterbalance any potential negative impacts.

As consumers, it’s important to stay informed, explore all available options, and embrace the exciting innovations that shape the future of travel.


The journey of Orbitz and Expedia, from their pioneering beginnings to their current separate ownership, has been a fascinating tale of innovation, acquisitions, and strategic decisions. While they were once united under the same corporate umbrella, their paths have diverged, with Expedia Group continuing to expand its global footprint and Orbitz finding a new home under the ownership of Certares.

As consumers, the separate ownership of these two travel giants presents both opportunities and challenges. On one hand, it fosters competition and provides a diverse range of options, allowing us to compare and choose the platform that best suits our needs.

On the other hand, it raises questions about potential consolidation and its impact on pricing and consumer choice.

Regardless of their ownership structures, Orbitz and Expedia remain key players in the ever-evolving travel industry, constantly adapting to changing consumer preferences and technological advancements.

As we look to the future, it will be interesting to observe how these companies navigate the competitive landscape, embrace innovation, and continue to shape the way we explore the world.

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