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Priceline.com Upgrades Airline Ticket Service

Building on its popular name-your-own price system, priceline.com Inc. Thursday updated its airline ticket service.

All major U.S. carriers and most major international airlines have signed on with priceline (PCLN) and as a result, version 2.0, named Priceline2000, features a more comprehensive search options and a guide to help users choose the best travel days to save money.

New services set to launch by June include a vacation planner, weekend travel packages, retail price look-up and a choice of flex days to purchase tickets. All services are the result of customer input after launching its original airline ticketing service in April 1998, said Daniel H. Schulman, priceline.com's president and chief operating officer.

"We've listened closely to our customers and our partners as they've told us about numerous service enhancements and new products they wanted to see," he said. "We're pleased to respond by beginning our rollout of Priceline2000, the 2nd-generation of Name Your Own Price airline services."

In addition, priceline Thursday signed a deal with Travelocity.com and Preview Travel (PTVL) to form a broad-based travel alliance to share the Web's largest combined base of more than 20 million travel customers and promote and offer access to each other's products and services. Travelocity purchased Preview Travel in October for approximately $50 million.

Besides airline tickets, priceline offers name-your-own hotel, mortgage, new car and grocery plans. Competition in the online travel space is strong, and priceline is currently involved in a legal dispute with competitor Expedia (EXPE) for patent infringement of its name-your-own price hotel service.