Orbitz to Double Contact Center Staff After Calling Spree

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Just days after going online, fledgling travel marketer Orbitz received such a flood of inbound calls that the company already is seeking to double its contact center staff.

The exact number of calls to Chicago-based Orbitz was not disclosed. While the site allows consumers to book flights online, the unexpectedly heavy business led to higher-than-anticpated call volumes, many from people new to Internet booking, Orbitz said.

However, the company booked more than $1 million worth of flights on its first day and more than $3.3 million the following day. Orbitz is selling approximately 10,000 tickets each day.

The company said it regretted that the high volume of calls has affected some customers. Orbitz is taking action to improve service levels, the company said.

The call center staff will be increased to more than 200 over the next three weeks. Hirings are to begin as early as next week, the company said.

Orbitz -- founded by American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines Corp. and United Airlines -- offers leisure travelers published and Web-only fares from roughly 40 partner airlines as well as hotel and car rental fares and vacation packages.


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