That's because Orbitz got a huge chunk of its profits from those air-booking fees, and I knew there would be great pressure on Orbitz to match Expedia's move, which Orbitz did in April.
But, alas, analysts and pundits sometimes tend erroneously to view companies statically, as if they don't have the capacity to change.
After releasing its second quarter results this morning, Orbitz Worldwide had a heady day on Wall Street, with its stock price rising some 23 percent to $4.60.
Orbitz bested analysts' estimates. It cut and optimized its marketing spend, continued with other cost reductions, focused on organic, unpaid marketing through search engine optimization, and saw domestic air transactions rise 23 percentage points quarter-over-quarter.
Orbitz is not out of the woods, by any means. It still has a huge amount of debt and its ongoing challenge is to convert its rhetoric about growing its hotel business into concrete gains.
But, Orbitz indeed is a company in transition.
And, just as Orbitz seems to be handling its loss of booking-fee revenue, the online travel companies (OTCs) one day may be forced to cope with a hotel merchant model that is just too much of a hassle to retain because of the tax issue.
But, we would be wrong to think that adverse court rulings on the hotel tax question would spell the demise of the OTCs.
They are not static creatures and they have the capacity to adapt.
New business models for selling hotel rooms are possible and indeed are emerging.
Don't think for a moment that the OTCs are down for the count.