If you’re a frequent traveler or booking hotels online, you might have come across the names Expedia and Hotels.com. Both websites are popular among travelers and offer a range of accommodation options worldwide.
But have you ever wondered if these two travel giants are related or owned by the same company? In this article, we will answer the question: Does Expedia own Hotels.com? We will also discuss the history of both companies, their relationship, and how it affects your bookings.
So, whether you’re a curious traveler or looking for the best deals on hotels, keep reading to find out more!
The History of Expedia and Hotels.com
Expedia’s Origin and Growth
Expedia was founded in 1996 as a division of Microsoft and was later spun off as a separate company in 1999. The company started as an online travel booking platform that focused on flights but later expanded to include hotel bookings, car rentals, and vacation packages. Expedia has since grown into one of the largest online travel companies in the world, with operations in over 70 countries.
Expedia’s growth was fueled by a series of strategic acquisitions, including the purchase of travel websites such as Travelocity, Orbitz, and HomeAway. These acquisitions helped Expedia to expand its reach, increase its customer base, and offer a wider range of travel services.
Hotels.com’s Launch and Expansion
Hotels.com was founded in 1991 as Hotel Reservations Network (HRN) and was initially a toll-free hotel booking service. In the early 2000s, the company shifted its focus to the online market and changed its name to Hotels.com. The company quickly became one of the leading online hotel booking platforms, offering a wide range of hotels and accommodations at competitive prices.
In 2001, Hotels.com was acquired by Expedia, but the company continued to operate as a separate brand. This acquisition helped Expedia to expand its hotel booking services and reach a wider audience. Today, Hotels.com is still one of the most popular hotel booking websites, with operations in over 85 countries.
Despite the acquisition, Expedia and Hotels.com continue to operate as separate entities, with their own websites and mobile apps. While there is some overlap in the services they offer, each platform has its own unique features and benefits. For example, Expedia offers a wider range of travel services, while Hotels.com offers a loyalty program that rewards customers with free nights for every ten nights booked.
Expedia’s Relationship with Hotels.com
Expedia’s Acquisition of Hotels.com
Expedia, the popular online travel booking platform, acquired Hotels.com in 2001 for $1.1 billion. At the time, Hotels.com was one of the largest hotel booking websites, and the acquisition helped Expedia become the leader in the online travel industry. Since then, Hotels.com has operated as a subsidiary of Expedia and has maintained its own website and branding.
Changes in Ownership and Management
Over the years, there have been changes in ownership and management of both Expedia and Hotels.com. In 2019, Expedia underwent a leadership change, with Barry Diller taking over as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board. In the same year, Expedia also announced plans to spin off its subsidiaries, including Hotels.com, into separate publicly-traded companies.
As for Hotels.com, it has undergone several changes in management as well. In 2019, the company appointed a new General Manager, Adam Jay, who had previously worked at Expedia. Under his leadership, Hotels.com has continued to expand its offerings and partnerships with hotels around the world.
It’s worth noting that while Expedia owns Hotels.com, the two websites operate independently and offer different deals and promotions. It’s always a good idea to compare prices and options on both websites before making a booking.
How Expedia and Hotels.com Affect Your Bookings
Expedia and Hotels.com are two of the biggest names in the online travel booking industry. While they are separate companies, they are both owned by the Expedia Group, which also owns other popular travel booking sites like Orbitz and Travelocity. But how do these two sites affect your travel bookings? Let’s take a closer look.
Pricing and Availability
One of the biggest advantages of using Expedia and Hotels.com for your travel bookings is the wide range of pricing and availability options they offer. With access to a vast network of hotels and airlines, these sites can often provide competitive pricing and a greater selection of available rooms and flights than booking directly with a hotel or airline.
However, it’s important to note that pricing and availability can vary depending on the site you use. While both Expedia and Hotels.com are owned by the same parent company, they may have different partnerships and agreements with individual hotels and airlines, resulting in differing prices and availability for certain properties or flights.
Loyalty Programs and Rewards
Another factor to consider when booking through Expedia or Hotels.com is their loyalty programs and rewards. Expedia offers its own loyalty program, Expedia Rewards, which allows members to earn points on bookings that can be redeemed for discounts on future travel. Hotels.com, on the other hand, offers its own rewards program, Hotels.com Rewards, which allows members to earn a free night’s stay after booking 10 nights through the site.
It’s also worth noting that booking through these sites may affect your eligibility for loyalty programs offered by individual hotels or airlines. Some hotels and airlines may not award loyalty points or benefits for bookings made through third-party sites, so it’s important to research and compare the benefits of booking directly with the hotel or airline versus booking through Expedia or Hotels.com.
Customer Service and Support
Finally, customer service and support is an important consideration when booking through Expedia or Hotels.com. Both sites offer customer support through phone, email, and chat, as well as a user-friendly interface for managing and modifying bookings. However, some customers have reported issues with customer service and support, particularly when it comes to cancellations or changes to bookings made through these sites.
It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions for cancellations and modifications before booking through Expedia or Hotels.com, and to reach out to customer service as soon as possible if you encounter any issues. Additionally, it may be helpful to research customer reviews and ratings for individual hotels and airlines before making your booking, to ensure a positive travel experience.
Alternatives to Expedia and Hotels.com
While Expedia and Hotels.com are popular online travel agencies for booking hotels, there are several other options available. Below are two alternatives:
Direct Booking with Hotels
One alternative to using online travel agencies is to book directly with the hotel. This can often result in lower prices as hotels may offer exclusive discounts or loyalty programs to their direct customers. Additionally, booking directly with the hotel can provide more flexibility in terms of room selection and special requests.
To book directly with a hotel, simply visit their website and look for the option to make a reservation. Some hotels may also offer the option to book over the phone.
Other Online Travel Agencies
There are several other online travel agencies that provide similar services to Expedia and Hotels.com. Some popular options include:
- Booking.com: Offers a wide range of accommodations including hotels, apartments, and vacation rentals. Has a price match guarantee and free cancellation on most bookings.
- Kayak: Allows users to compare prices from multiple travel sites including hotels, airlines, and car rentals. Offers a price alert feature to notify users of price drops.
- Hotwire: Offers discounted rates on hotels, flights, and car rentals. Allows users to book without knowing the exact hotel name, but providing a general location and star rating.
It’s always a good idea to compare prices and features across multiple online travel agencies to ensure you are getting the best deal. Additionally, it’s important to read reviews and check the cancellation policy before making a booking.
In conclusion, Expedia does own Hotels.com, and both companies are part of the Expedia Group. However, each website operates independently and offers different features and benefits to travelers. Whether you prefer one over the other or like to explore other options, it’s essential to compare prices and read reviews before making a booking.
We hope this article has provided you with valuable insights into the relationship between Expedia and Hotels.com and how it affects your travel experience. Thank you for reading, and happy travels!