Expedia is an online travel company initially launched in October 22, 1996 as the first Microsoft internet property. The initial team was composed of Greg Slyngstad, Group Manager; Richard Barton, Group Product Manager; Soraya Bittencourt, Group Program Manager; and Byron Bishop, Group Developer Manager. In 2001, Bill Gates decided to spin off the property to become a public company and raise the financial portfolio of Microsoft. Rich Barton became its CEO and Lloyd Frink who used to work for Richard at Microsoft joined the now independent company. As an Internet-based travel website company with headquarters in Bellevue, Washington. It also has localized sites for 30 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, US, and Vietnam.
It books airline tickets, hotel reservations, car rentals, cruises, vacation packages and various attractions and services via the World Wide Web and telephone travel agents. The site uses multiple global distribution systems like Amadeus or the Sabre reservation systems for flights and for hotels, Worldspan and Pegasus, along with its own hotel reservation system for contracted, bulk-rate reservations. This last is shared with other Expedia, Inc. sites.
Expedia was started by Microsoft and later spun off as a multi-billion dollar company because it was “no longer about software intensive technology” and they were “concerned that they would not do their best at this.”
In December 2010, listings for AMR Corporation, parent of American Airlines and American Eagle Airlines, were removed from Expedia’s site. The decision resulted from a dispute over the degree of access to the site’s customers. AMR reversed its decision in April 2011, allowing tickets to once again be sold through the aggregate site.
In June 2014, Expedia started accepting bitcoins.
In September 2014, Expedia partnered with Citigroup and created the Expedia+ card where members can earn bonus points and earn exclusive benefits and priority customer service through the website.