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> Presumably their acquisition of ITA gave them the ability to respond to queries in real-time which enabled all of the (quite excellent) features you pointed out above.

Perhaps, but I was never impressed with Orbitz during its heyday. I remember watching a Google tech talk* about how hard a problem it is to give the searcher a viable set of options to chose from. However, in my experience, the viable set of options always seemed to include a 23 hr layover with with multiple connections that was $200 cheaper than the nonstop option, and various single connection 1hr layover options about $150 cheaper than nonstop. At the time, both Expedia and Travelocity offered a more reasonable set of options.

* can't seem to find it right now. Will post if able to locate later.

The talk you're looking for is probably this: http://www.demarcken.org/carl/papers/ITA-software-travel-com...

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