Orbitz.com today launched Hotel Price Assurance, which promises customers the best Orbitz rate for their hotel.

Here's how it works: you book any pre-paid hotel on Orbitz, another Orbitz customer subsequently books the same hotel stay at a lower rate, and Orbitz automatically sends you a check for the difference. Hotel Price Assurance provides peace of mind to consumers who want to book early but be protected in case rates drop later - and it's completely automatic.

The launch of Orbitz Hotel Price Assurance follows the introduction of Total Price hotel search results in April. Orbitz is the only major online travel company to show base rate, taxes & fees, and Total Price per night upfront in the initial search results, making it radically easier for consumers to search for hotels. Competitors don't show Total Price on the initial search results page, meaning that customers have to select a hotel before knowing how much it will cost to book.

In April, Orbitz also significantly reduced hotel booking fees on all hotels around the world for rooms booked by July 15. Of course, lower hotel booking fees mean a lower Total Price.

"At Orbitz we have a laser-like focus on improving the customer experience when booking hotels online," said Barney Harford, president and CEO of Orbitz Worldwide. "With the introduction of Total Price hotel search results, dramatically reduced hotel booking fees and now Hotel Price Assurance, Orbitz is leading the industry and delivering unparalleled value to consumers."

"These recent innovations in hotel complement the strong competitive position Orbitz has established in air, where Flight Price Assurance and the recent removal of flight booking fees have clearly established Orbitz as the place to book flights online," continued Harford.