HARD to believe but Orbitz has become the first major US travel website to display the full hotel cost in its initial price display. It looks like the start of a repositioning campaign by new Orbitz boss Barney Harford, no doubt keen to turn the company into a market leader rather than follower. All the other big US names – Expedia, Priceline, Travelocity – do not reveal taxes and fees (often around 15% of final cost) until later in the booking process. Will they follow? Yes, but it could take a while for the dominoes to fall. Australian websites have been displaying the full price since year dot.

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