Cheap Tickets Closes West Coast Call Center

Cheap Tickets Inc. said that it will close its Los Angeles call center in a consolidation of its teleservices network.

The closing will result in the layoff of about 110 agents. The discount travel marketer expects to incur a one-time charge of about $1.7 million during the third quarter for lease fulfillment, employee severance and write-off of equipment.

Employees will be offered open positions at other Cheap Tickets call centers. Closing the center will reduce costs while allowing Cheap Tickets to maintain its 24/7 service levels, the company said.

The Los Angeles facility is the smallest of the four call centers operated by Honolulu-based Cheap Tickets. Others include Lakeport, CA, Colorado Springs, CO, and Tampa, FL.

The opening of the Tampa facility in July brought about the closing of the Los Angeles center. With the opening of a call center in the Eastern time zone, Cheap Tickets no longer required two call centers in the Pacific time zone.

Telephone sales represent about 60 percent of the gross bookings by Cheap Tickets.

Cheap Tickets recently agreed to an acquisition by Cendant Corp. The New York-based company is a diversified global provider of business and consumer services primarily within the real estate and travel sectors. The deal is expected to close in the fall.

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