Fareportal The 3rd Largest Online Travel Agency You’ve Never Heard of
Fareportal combines the best of the traditional world with the ease and convenience and technology of our new digital world.
Here at Media Jobs we’re always looking for employment opportunities that are under the radar, those up and coming companies that the average job seeker wouldn’t even know to send a resume to. Today we’re taking our search into the world of travel agencies, specifically online travel agencies, or OTAs.
You might be surprised to find out what a small world that is in terms of major players. Let’s see, first there’s Expedia of course. Then there’s Travelocity. No wait, Expedia owns them now. Okay, so there’s Orbitz. Except Expedia owns them too. Ah, Trivago. Owned by Expedia. Hotwire? Yep. Hotels.com? Ditto. Expedia has pretty much swallowed up almost every major OTA out there, with a few exceptions. The first exception is Priceline, because no one owns William Shatner. The second is…
Fareportal. Who, you ask? Fareportal, I repeat. They are now (since Expedia bought Orbitz) the third largest OTA in the world, and you’ve probably never heard of them. Of course the first thing that would probably jump to mind is that this fact illustrates what a mega-giant Expedia has become in the business, and that’s correct. But that doesn’t discount Fareportal in any way. In fact, they’ve got a lot going for them.
Fareportal was started by Sam Jain in 2003, about a decade after starting his offline version, FareBuzz, in 1994. In 2006 the most well-known entity within the Fareportal empire debuted, CheapOAir, which has done quite well in the airline booking business. Since then they’ve chugged along at a steady pace, until they were suddenly thrust into the number 3 spot in the industry thanks to Expedia’s insatiable appetite for acquisition.
They’ve just bought TripCombi, a German travel search engine which was part of the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator program and claims that it saves its customers up to 80% in airfares thanks to its unique technology. That should make for good business in Europe. But the real thing that sets them apart, which people will love once they’ve discovered it, is their hybrid model.
You see, Fareportal not only sells travel accommodations online, they also have a rather large call center. That’s right, you can actually talk to them on the phone. Try getting someone from Travelocity or Orbitz on the phone. Go ahead, we’ll wait. No, actually we won’t, because the world will have ended by then. Seriously.
It’s this combination of high-tech and high touch that makes Fareportal a force to be reckoned with in the future, as people get more and more fed up with purely automated services that do nothing but disappoint as soon as some unforeseen bump in the road appears. And Fareportal wasn’t some far-distant also-ran before the Expedia machine kicked in. They actually passed Travelocity for third place back in 2012, although they fell behind again afterwards.
The bottom line is that if online travel is your bag, Fareportal is probably where you should be looking right now. They’re still mostly under the radar, but they’re a very strong competitor. And jobs at Fareportal are probably a lot less sought after than those at Expedia.
If group travel is your thing also check out Travefy.