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A Sea of Change for Air Travelers

Microsoft's Expedia.com travel service launched a new service called the Exchange Calculator, an app that provides customers with estimated costs for changing previously purchased tickets.

Calling it "an industry first," Expedia said the calculator is designed to eliminate the time customers would spend talking with an agent, and instead gives them the power to make informed decisions as they consider changing travel plans on the Web site.

"Our top customer service request is how a particular traveler can change his or her ticket and how much that change will cost," said Seth Eisner, senior vice president of operations and supplier technology at Expedia Inc. "The Expedia Exchange Calculator answers that question, identifying the cost to change and greatly easing the ticket change process"

Travelers will find a link entitled "To Change Or Cancel This Flight Purchase" in the personalized travel itinerary they receive via e-mail when they book a flight, as well as in their Web-based personal travel itinerary found in the My Trips area of the site.

On the Exchange Calculator page customers may enter the new dates and times they prefer to travel and are stepped through a search of the available flights and their costs. After the customer selects a specific flight, the Exchange Calculator displays an estimated cost or airline credit, as well as any penalty fees charged by the airlines.

Once a customer is ready to change a flight, the actual change is made by calling 800-EXPEDIA and completing the transaction with a customer service representative.



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