Expedia's unannounced fee cuts, which analysts noted in spot checks of key markets, follow this week's pledge by Orbitz that it is trimming fees on bookings made by July 15. Travelocity's Noreen Henry, meanwhile, says her company is "consistently monitoring hotel pricing. There are going to be places where we are lower, some where we match, and some where we don't."

As of this week, Orbitz also shows the final price for a room - base rate, plus combined taxes and fees - on the first screen of search results, rather than later in the booking. Though many travel websites display a "fully loaded" rate for airfares and cars, Orbitz is the only agency to do so for hotels.

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