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Expedia hits brief downtime

Online travel site Expedia says it experienced an hour-long outage this morning, preventing customers from ordering plane tickets or reserving hotel rooms.

    Online travel site Expedia experienced an hour-long outage this morning, preventing customers from ordering plane tickets or reserving hotel rooms.

    CNET News.com first noticed problems with the site around 10:35 a.m. PST, but at least one Expedia user reported problems beginning around 9 a.m. The site's plane, hotel and car booking services were unavailable, but consumers could still access the site's home page and cruise and vacation services.

    In a message to users, the site apologized for the outage but provided no details about it. "Please check back with us soon. We apologize for the inconvenience."

    Expedia product manager Suzi LeVine said the booking services were down for "at most an hour." LeVine attributed the problem to a third party that Expedia uses to provide its booking services. The booking services appeared to become available at 10:55 a.m.

    "We have a tremendous record of uptime in light of the complexity and age of our supplier's systems," she said.

    Expedia's downtime comes during a year of unplanned outages and other site problems at various e-commerce sites. eBay, which has struggled all year with downtimes, suffered two outages earlier this month. Meanwhile, Toysrus.com was unavailable to thousands of users last month when consumers flooded the site after a direct mailing.

    Expedia, which Microsoft recently spun off in an initial public offering, suffered a nearly 24-hour outage last year.