In 1986, a classified advertisement appeared in a local Honolulu, HI newspaper. "Inter-Island Coupons, Cheap Tickets, Discounted Airfare." Twenty years and millions of happy customers later, CheapTickets is still bringing together discounted fares and travelers who know, "the less you pay, the better it feels."

CheapTickets celebrates its 20th anniversary and kicks off the party by going back to its roots and launching a sale to Hawaii as well as an onsite "CheapTip of the Day" sweepstakes for its customers.

"CheapTickets is the fastest growing major domestic online travel agency in terms of gross bookings for two consecutive years," said Mitch Truwit, who in January 2005 was named president and CEO of Orbitz Worldwide, the consumer group of Travelport. "Our above market growth comes from continuing to give our customers the same great value they've wanted since 1986, now via the very best technology."

For two decades, CheapTickets has proven to be one of the most resilient brands in travel by adapting to the evolution of technology. Following the overwhelming response of the classified ad, between 1986 and 1997, CheapTickets opened retail stores throughout the continental United States and Hawaii.

The stores led to a successful telesales business, an 800-number allowing bargain hunters to dial their way to great travel deals. Then came the Internet and, in 1997, CheapTickets.com was born, becoming one of the first online travel agencies to offer discounted airfares online.

In October 2001, CheapTickets was acquired by Travelport, Inc. (formerly Cendant Travel Distribution Services). Orbitz Worldwide includes other leading brands like Orbitz ( http://www.orbitz.com/ ) in the Americas, ebookers ( http://www.ebookers.com/ ) and OctopusTravel ( http://www.octopustravel.com/ ) in Europe, and HotelClub.com ( http://www.hotelclub.com/ ) and RatesToGo.com ( http://www.ratestogo.com/ ) globally.

An Old 'Young' Brand In Online Travel

CheapTickets.com began as a traditional travel agency and has stood the test of time in the lives of customers by changing, transforming and hitting great milestones along the way.

1986
- CheapTickets places ad in the Honolulu Advertiser selling discounted airline tickets reading, "Inter-Island Coupons ... Cheap Tickets ... Discounted Airfare."
- First CheapTickets retail store opens in Honolulu, HI.

1987
- The company launches toll-free number, 1-800-OK-CHEAP.

1997
- Unveils e-commerce site, CheapTickets.com.

2001
- CheapTickets is acquired by Cendant Corporation (now Travelport Inc.).

2005
- CheapTickets moves its headquarters to Chicago.
- The company's backend technology migrates to the Travelport platform, greatly improving speed and conversion.

2006
- CheapTickets rolls out "Real People" advertising campaign promoting "the less you pay, the better it feels."
- Cheap of the Week was launched to deliver weekly travel deals to customers.

"When my wife and I started CheapTickets in 1986, the business took off and grew at a phenomenal rate," said Michael Hartley, Founder of CheapTickets. "It's wonderful to see that the growth and popularity of the brand still exists after 20 years."