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Priceline Spiffs Up Air Ticket Service

Troubled Priceline.com, following through on its plan to re-focus on the basics of its core business, said it has added enhancements to speed customers through its leisure airline tickets service.

The company also named nationally known travel expert Pauline Frommer as a special adviser for its travel products. She will review and provide feedback for the Priceline's travel initiatives

Frommer is a consumer travel expert who is editor-in-chief of Frommers.com and contributing editor to Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel magazine.

Priceline, whose stock was up 9 cents to $3.06 in mid-day trading, said the airline ticket service now features an enhanced order processing system to deliver results faster. Now, when you make a purchase offer through priceline.com, in almost all cases you'll get a response in 15 minutes or less, the company said.

Also, approximately 85 percent of all connecting flights purchased through priceline.com for domestic travel now have connections of two hours or less. Priceline.com also has enhanced its ticketing system so that the maximum scheduled connection time for a domestic flight is three hours for each half of a customer's trip. The online order form also has been made shorter.

"As we announced earlier this month, we are listening closely to our customers in order to make meaningful improvements to priceline.com," said Daniel H. Schulman, president and CEO of priceline.com. "Our customers have told us they want our travel service to be faster and more convenient. We listened and are pleased to introduce these latest enhancements."

Earlier this month, Priceline settled a patent infringement case relating to the software giant's Expedia Inc. subsidiary that dated back to October 1999.

Last December the company cut its workforce and announced a back-to-basics strategy.