At Your Service: The Orbitz Blitz

Consumers are curious--and rivals, furious--about the website created by the major airlines

Hurricane season is back, and not just in the tropics. as business travel slumps with the economy, airlines are slashing fares to get more vacationers on board. One of the few industry bright spots is online travel. Consumers spend more than $1 billion a month at travel sites, a third of all the money spent online, according to research firm Nielsen/NetRatings. Top sites Expedia and Travelocity reported their first operating profits this spring. Even beleaguered Priceline says it's finally in the black.

Now the big boys want in. In June, American, United, Continental, Delta and Northwest launched Orbitz, a site that...

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