Computers and Travel

Overview Travel agents once had exclusive access to the  computers used to book tickets, reserve flights, and display flight information. Today, the World Wide Web provides the same access to consumers, too. In addition, armchair travelers can find destination information, reserve hotels and rental cars, and even book tours or activities on line. Follow the links below to find out more about how computers are used in the travel industry.

General Information SABER (Also called SABRE) is one of the oldest and largest computerized travel networks. Check out its Web site at this link. Also check out www.travelocity.com, www.expedia.com, and www.orbitz.com for travel information including ticket prices, destination information, and flight schedules.

Specific Links

  • Check out Ramon Stoppelenburg's Web site at www.letmestayforaday.com.
  • Read an article about GDSs at this link.
  • Check out this Yahoo listing of on-line travelogues.
  • Read an article describing how a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee investigated claims that Orbitz was anti-competitive at this link. A related story can be found here.
  • Read a history of American Airlines, including the chance meeting between American Airlines president C. R. Smith and IBM Sales Representative R. Blair Smith, at this link.

Consumer Travel Links The following links lead to Web sites that contain destination information and travel tips.

  • Visit www.frommers.com for low-budget travel advice.
  • www.fodors.com can help you find lodging and restaurant information in hundreds of cities around the world, as well as recommend tours and activities.
  • www.lonelyplanet.com includes information for independent travelers. Check out the Thorn Tree for ordinary travelersí comments and travelogues about specific destinations.
  • www.letsgo.com specializes in information for student travelers
  • www.tripadvisor.com and www.epinions.com have reviews and ratings of specific hotels, restaurants, and tourist activities.
  • www.mapquest.com maps any address in the United States, and can even display point-to-point maps that lead you from one location to another.

Additional Links Want to learn more about different types of distribution systems? Check out this link. Read the US Department of Labor's description of Travel Agents here.