GoNOMAD Associate Editor Stephen Hartshorne  joined fellow travel bloggers at the Orbitz first annual Blogger Day at the company’s headquarters in Chicago this week.
 
Along with bloggers from around the country, Hartshorne met president and CEO Barney Harford and many other members of the Orbitz team and learned about a wide variety of initiatives at the company from what Harfford called the company’s “obession” with hotels to a new website collecting signatures in support of lifting the Cuban embargo.
 
The group also toured the company’s TLC Center where they met former air traffic controller Chris Hills and the Orbitz Air Traffic team, which monitors flights all over the world so they can tell where Orbitz customers might be affected by flight cancellations and get to work right away changing hotel reservations and finding alternative flights for them.
 
Bloggers and company officials also discussed many new developments in the travel industry including technology, business travel, customer service, and partnerships with tourism boards around the world.
 
They also reviewed statistics that suggest things just may be turning around in the travel industry. Orbitz is seeing an uptick in bookings that may be the first “green shoots” that indicate the recession is nearing an end.