CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- Let's call this post, how Orbitz is tried to steal $3600 from us.
My wife booked a trip for herself and our 4 year old son to Pittsburgh for my wife's grandmother's 90th surprise party. Unfortunately, the day before leaving our son developed a high fever (105 degrees). My wife called and "postponed" the trip. She was told she would be subject to a change fee ($360 total... okay, that's fair) and that all she had to do to use the "credit" was to re-book the travel on the same airlines with the same passenger names.
She received a cancellation e-mail that contained no specific instructions on how travel was to be rebooked, only that she now had a credit for the cost of travel minus the "change fees".
She rebooked travel on Orbitz.com and was careful to choose the exact same airlines (since it was a multiple airline flight) and even made sure to do her stops through the exact same cities.
Much to our surprise, 2 days later we weren't charged "the difference in fares minus the change fees", but, we were charged for a whole new fare.. an additional $3600.
We called customer service, ultimately getting to a supervisor who offered 0 help, but only tried to show us how hidden within the site (it took several clicks to get to this, NOT within the terms of service) that in order to use travel credit, you have to call a specific number and tell them you want to use your credit.. you can't just book on the same airline, with the same passengers as she was told on the phone when she cancelled.
After getting off the phone with this supervisor I wrote a letter to the CEO and head of customer service. Within several hours I received a phone call and thought the obvious flaw in their system would be resolved.
I was told that their hands were tied and there was nothing they could do.
WHAT?! They try to explain to me that this is all a "financial sleight of hand" and even though my credit card statements say Orbitz and my confirmation came from Orbitz and I booked tickets through Orbitz, Orbtiz really isn't involved in the process and there is nothing they can do. I explained to them that I was already disputing the charge through American Express (the American Express representative was so enraged by the story he suggested a class action lawsuit against Orbitz for this behavior). Still, their answer was the same... the "best" they could offer was to offer a "credit" for the $360 change fees towards future travel (as if I would EVER use that website to book anything again). However, the $3600... well, too bad... too sad... it will stay as a "travel credit" on our account for a year good only towards the travel of the same 2 people on the same airline to the same city, for which we already re-booked travel.
Lesson learned. You want to book a flight. Go straight to the source.. don't waste your time on "travel sites", because God forbid you need their help in resolving a simple problem they act as if you are trying to move mountains.
Luckily, our story has a happy ending. We called United Airlines directly (since Orbitz was trying to tell us that their hands were tied) and after I explained the story to a horrified United Rep, they explained it would have been very easy for Orbitz to call them directly and solve the problem. It took about 15 minutes (as we had to backtrack to find all the reservation information in their system which is slightly different from the stuff Orbitz's sends), but the representative was able to look up all the flights and issue a credit for the first flight. They told us that Orbitz didn't even have the right to charge us the "change fee" since United Airlines policy is that change fees are waived for illness. However, it seems Orbtiz would rather spend hours on the phone with me explaining why they couldn't help me, than take 10 minutes to call United directly and get it resolved. I guess whatever commission they were going to make on that flight was more important than keeping a customer. Well.. now they lost both forever!
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I've have been going through an awful experience for more than two years with Orbitz's customer service and refund department.
I bought a ticket from LA to Germany, Japan, and Malaysia two years ago to relocate my self from the States to Malaysia. However, I had to cancel my trip from Japan onward due to the Fukushima Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011.
Before canceling it, I made sure that Korean Airline assured 100% refund.
Therefore I cancelled the trip and booked a new ticket from Germany directly to Malaysia, believing that I would get the full refund within a week or two.
When I asked for my refund, I explained to them I had closed all my bank accounts and they won't be able to refund money back to my account. However they insisted that it's possible to refund to the used credit/ debit card account and that is their refund policy. So I believed what they said, thinking they've been dealing with lots of international customers and they must have experienced with similar cases.
I've received a few emails from the refund department about my refund schedule, which made me relieved. Back then I didn't know how long this would go on after these emails....
After a few months, I called my bank to made sure money was back in my account.
However they told me that it was impossible for Orbitz to make a refund to my closed account.
I called all my banks that I used in the States to whom Orbitz may make a refund just to make sure I didn't call up a bank from which my card wasn't issued. But all the banks said it was impossible unless I used a credit card. But I used my debit card.
So I called Orbitz customer service to explained what I was informed from the banks.
Orbitz customer service personnel insisted that that shouldn't be right. So I called back to all my banks and asked the same question again for the sake of Orbitz customer service. But the answers were all same: it's is impossible.
Again I called back to Orbitz customer service and got a manager of the refund department this time. She told me that she would investigate my case and notify me the result by email.
In a week, I received an email, which informed me that I needed to call Orbitz refund department during their business hours. This time I was already away from the States and it caused so much inconvenience to me with the time difference and bad connection through Skype. Because of that, my correspondences with Orbitz had to be prolonged by unacceptable period of time.
With the time difference and my intense work load, it took awhile for me to call them back during their business hours. But I'd never thought it'd be still taking a long time to complete the refund process from then.
A few months after I finally found time to call during American business hours.
What happened was I had to start from the beginning.
Even though I provided my incident number, they didn't track back my records of correspondences. This didn't happened only this time but every single time I called them.
So each phone conversation took so much time and so far those phone calls are just for nothing!!!!
At the last phone correspondence with Orbitz a few months back, the customer service was exactly the same.
They had no records of the past correspondences with me even with my incident number. I really wonder what the incident number for if they don't use it. They told me that they had to prove that my account received any refund from them. They directly called Citibank customer service to investigate the history of my account. It'd been long time already since I closed my account and the process took awhile. We were first on the conference call with the two parties and me. However, when the process was talking long a customer service personnel from Orbitz suddenly disappeared from our conversation! At least he could have said something to let us know and confirmed with the way forward before hanging up. Really terrible manner....
At the end of the phone correspondence with Citibank customer service personnel, he told me he had to do further investigation as its a closed account. So they would notify me via email and letter, and also Orbitz via email of their investigation's result. I found Citibank customer service very helpful and constructive unlike Orbitz customer service.
In a few weeks, the letter from Citibank arrived. It clearly states that there is no refund credited back form Orbitz in my closed account.
So I emailed at Orbitz's refund department directly with a scan of the official letter from Citibank to ask for a check with the full refund to my current address.
After all of time and efforts I put into the correspondences with Orbitz, their reply was this:
We refunded you back to the credit card used in making the reservation. That is Orbitz policy.
You will need to call Customer Service at 888-656-4546 or 001-312-416-0018. They will be able to assist you with a failed credit application.
Orbitz refund team"
I really can't understand what they are doing. I don't see any logic behind their customer service/ refund department because their policy is totally illegal if stealing my money is their policy!!!
When Orbitz, Citibank, and I were on the conference call, we together made sure that my account number and Citibank's transaction number that Orbitz has.
This is still going on after two years with the document that proves I haven't received my refund!!!
I will never ever use their service! and I do recommend not use Orbitz. I don't mind having some problems but I believe any problems can be solved with time and efforts from both sides.
However with Orbitz, now I can only see they are intentionally trying not to make refund.
Please advice me if anyone knows the best and fastest way to solve refund problem with them.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- We went to Italy this October, and I was stupid enough to book the hotel in Milan using Orbitz, and not check with the hotel's website. Read my email exchange with Orbitz below to see what happened, and what kind of trashy scam service Orbitz is. They add 50% to the original hotel rate, and then try to sell it as a higher star rating hotel. Then they tell you - but you agreed to pay that much. Orbitz is garbage, never, never use it!
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2012 4:53 AM
Subject: Hotel reservation with record locator PBORB049899****
I have a problem with the reservation for the hotel Rio in Milan with record locator PBORB049899**** below.
I paid $519 (401 euros) for 2 nights.
The hotel received 142 euros per night for my stay as I saw on my room statement at the front desk.
This means the price that I was charged was 58 euros per night more than the hotel rate for my reservation.
Based on the room rate and hotel rating given to me by Orbitz, we were under the impression we were going to stay at a nicer 3 star hotel, instead it was worse than a 2 star.
I would like to be refunded 116 euros ($150) that I was overcharged.
From: Orbitz - RRD Escalations
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2012 12:27 PM
Subject: Hotel reservation with record locator PBORB049899**** [Incident: 121026-00****]
Hotel reservation with record locator PBORB049899****
Response Via Email (Customer Service)
10/26/2012 11:27 AM
Thank you for contacting Orbitz.
I understand that this is concerning the hotel reservation you have booked. I apologize for the inconvenience you have encountered due to this situation.
After reviewing your account, I am seeing a past hotel reservation at 'Rio' in Milan last October 23, 2012.
After reviewing your reservation is appears that the hotel shared with you our contracted rate. Orbitz offers the lowest hotel rates possible to our customers but we do not sell rooms at our net rates and it is our hope you will understand this.
During the booking process you selected a pre-paid hotel property. The rates of the pre-paid inventory are negotiated by [brand] with the hotel and are intended to be confidential between the two entities. Just as with any retail provider, there is a difference between the wholesale cost and retail cost. The rate disclosed to you by the hotel is Orbitz negotiated rate, and is typically not available to the public.
A good example would be the price a department store pays for an item of clothing; if they buy the item in bulk they pay less per piece, they then sell the item at the higher rate to supplement the cost of the store's operating costs. It is true for the travel industry as well.
You can still view the amount you agreed to pay in your My Trips. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this causes but, unfortunately, we are not able to compensate you for the difference in costs.
And we apologize that the star rating at the [hotel name] set an expectation that was not achieved. Orbitz works closely with our hotel partners to ensure the star rating posted on our website accurately represents the quality of the hotel property. We look at customer reviews, similar properties, and our competitors to evaluate whether the start rating is accurate and reasonable. When we learn of a mismatch between reality and expectations based on customer reviews and our own internal investigation, we will review the specifics and, if warranted, change the star rating to match real world conditions.
We appreciate your business and hope you will give us another opportunity to fully restore your confidence in our products and services.
Orbitz Email Service Team
When you Orbitz, you know!
To: Orbitz - RRD Escalations
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2012 11:26 AM
Subject: Re: Hotel reservation with record locator PBORB049899**** [Incident: 121026-00****]
Orbitz site states: `` Orbitz earns a service fee on some online hotel transactions. The "Taxes and Fees" line includes a fee we charge and retain in exchange for the services we provide in facilitating your transaction with the hotel. There is no additional fee for booking a hotel reservation by phone. ``
According to this explanation, there is no "negotiated" or "retail" rates; Orbitiz earns it's fee per transaction. I would say a fair rate would be at most 10% per transaction, or 28 euro (36 dollars) for the room rate of 142 euro. This still leaves 88 euro ( $114) overcharge. (As I mentioned, the walk-in rate for these nights at this hotel was 130 euro, and hotel's website currently lists it's double room rate as 120 euro, or 102 euro with prepay).
I still believe this is just an accounting mistake, and Orbitz will do right by me. However, if this is not the case, I will have no choice but to make other travelers who may be considering using Orbitz aware of the details of this incident via online forums and reviews, as well as file a complaint with BBB.
From: Orbitz - RRD Escalations
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2012 12:10 PM
Subject: Hotel reservation with record locator PBORB049899**** [Incident: 121026-00****]
Hotel reservation with record locator PBORB049899****
Response Via Email (Customer Service)
10/29/2012 11:10 AM
Thank you for contacting Orbitz.
I understand that you were overcharged in the hotel rates. We are sorry if you feel this way.
Please be advised that during the booking path, our display showed the lowest rate available for reservation for the hotel and dates you requested. And you agreed for the total price of $519.56. You can still view the amount you agreed to pay in your My Trips.
We regret that we are unable to process any refund for the difference in the rates. We hope that you understand that our customer can only have the rate stated on our web site and not the rate that Orbitz and the hotel agreed upon.
We value you as a customer and look forward to serving you again in the future.
Orbitz Email Service Team
When you Orbitz, you know!
Dec 22 my biz partner tried ordering 2 tickets online. He had some issues so called customer service. After spending over and hour on the phone the rep gave him a confirmation number and told him there would be an email confirmation coming w/in 24 hrs. An hour later he got the email and did what many people do, he filed it away w/out reading it. Feb 8th he wanted to check our itinerary so he opened the email and noticed it said the order was canceled. The subject line didn’t mention anything about "canceled order". It did say "action required" but it was the last thing in a long subject line that was too long to fit in the subject quick view.
We both got online, right away, to look at other flights and noticed the cheapest flight was now almost double the price we thought we locked. This being unacceptable to us I got on the horn w/an Orbitz service rep. The first call dropped and no call back. On the second call I spoke w/a friendly agent. I told her my problem mentioning that there should have been a call made to us way back when the order was cancelled to let us know we needed to find another flight. In my opinion when dealing with limited flights and constantly changing prices an email is not a good way to let a customer know an order was cancelled.
I told the service rep I expected to get a flight close to the times we thought we had booked and for the same price. I had to escalate to a manager because the CSR didn’t have the power to satisfy us. It ended up that the manager didn’t have the power or was unwilling to take responsibility and pony up $400 for their lack of service. She offered a $50 voucher but that was not acceptable. She said that’s all she could do.
I am still very unsatisfied with Orbitz and will not do future biz w/them and I have made it my mission to spread the word. Be careful readers. Everything is fine until you have an problem. Good companies are able to build lifelong loyalties by taking responsibility for their weaknesses/mistakes. Orbitz had their opportunity but blew right over it.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I booked two airline tickets through the on-line travel agency, www.Orbitz.com. The first ticket was for my wife for a return flight from Los Angeles to Shenyang, China at a price of $961.80 for which I received a flight confirmation and it checks correct.
The second ticket is for my elderly mother-in-law, whom I will call Ella Mary Lou for reference purpose. This is for a return flight from Shenyang, China to Los Angeles at a price of $1,030.20 for which I also received a flight confirmation which is correct to how I entered it. The name on the ticket has to match exactly with the passport.
Please note that I am disabled (I am in need of a heart transplant) and I am unable to work. I try to survive on $986.00 monthly disability allowance. My wife is also my caregiver for which she receives an approximate allowance of $612.00 monthly. A little more than a year ago, my 74-year old mother-in-law was granted a Visa to visit the US and since then, my wife and I have tried to put money aside to buy her an air ticket. With only six months left on her Visa, we had to borrowed $1,200 from a friend to add to what we had saved so we could buy the tickets.
It was necessary for my wife to fly over to Shenyang so she could assist her mother during the journey back to Los Angeles as she is unable to travel alone. This included an arrangement for a friend of my wife who is a private nurse for elderly patients in a nursing home to take care of me while she is away, but of course with an agreed equivalent payment to that which my wife already receives. Please bear in mind that my disability allowance alone does not cover my $1,000 a month rent and we have to combine both of our income to pay our rent, utility bills, and if there's any left, some food.
My wife picked up her e-ticket at LAX and flew to Shenyang without any problems on Monday, September 8, 2014. She took advantage of her visit to spend a couple of weeks with her only son before returning on Friday, October 3, 2014 with her mother.
On the return, they went to check-in at Shenyang. Again, there was no problem with my wife's ticket and she submitted her luggage which included both her clothes and that of her mother in the same suitcase. However, when they tried to check my mother-in-law in, Air China refused to allow her to board the plane because of a discrepancy on the e-ticket submitted by Orbitz.com. The name I used to book the ticket was Ella Mary Lou. The name in her passport and Visa is Ella Mary Lou, but the name in the computer at the Air China desk was Ella Lou. Part of her name Mary was not in their computer on the e-ticket.
I received a phone call from China one hour prior to the flight departure. Air China told me that it was a simple fix but it had to be done by the "third party" which is the travel agency who made the booking, Orbitz.com. I had to call them and ask them to resubmit the ticket with the correct name of Ella Mary Lou. Once they resubmit, it would show up within minutes on their computers at Air China and they could then let my mother-in-law board the flight.
With an hour left, I called Orbitz.com and an automated message told me that "our representatives are busy with other callers" with a wait time of 21 minutes. They offered a call-back service which I accepted and exactly 21 minutes later I did get a call-back. I explained to the representative what had happened and what Air China said they needed to do to correct the problem so my wife/mother-in-law could board the plane. The representative confirmed that the name on their files from my original submission was Ella Mary Lou and couldn't understand why Air China only got part of the name. I told him that it was irrelevant whose fault it was and told him that the fix would only take a couple of minutes. Air China told me that all he needs to do is resubmit the information I'd originally provided and once it is in their system, my mother-in-law could board the airplane. I told him there is still 35 minutes left before the flight departure and Air China assured me that my wife and mother-in-law would be allowed to board as soon as the change was made. His immediate response was "I can't do that." I asked him why not? At that point he put me on hold. I thought he was doing as Air China had requested. I had told him there is still 35 minutes left and I was kept on hold for 45 minutes. He came back 10 minutes after the flight had departed to tell me that I had to cancel the tickets - for which they will charge a cancellation fee of $106 per ticket and I would have to purchase new tickets.
I was very perturbed as the error clearly occurred between Air China and Orbitz.com. Air China had asked for Orbitz.com to resubmit the information and everything would have been okay, but Orbitz.com absolutely refused to do this. On top of that, they wanted to cancel the tickets and charge me a total of $212 for something which is not my fault whatsoever. On top of that, the cost of new tickets for my wife and mother-in-law had increased by $565 each, not forgetting that my wife has already used a portion of her ticket to fly to Shenyang and still had the return portion to use. I tried to explain my financial position and told him that I felt Orbitz.com should honor the price I'd already paid and if new tickets were necessary, that they should transfer the refund from the canceled tickets to purchase the new tickets.
"We can't do that," he responded. It will take a minimum of 28 days to refund the money into my bank account. $1030.20 less $106 cancellation fee for my mother-in-law's ticket and $960.80 less $106 cancellation fee AND less the portion of the flight my wife has already used to fly to Shenyang which they need to calculate. I repeated that I did not want the tickets canceled, I simply wanted the tickets fixed by following the instruction given by Air China. I could not afford to buy new tickets. He told me I had two options. My family would have to remain in China until I could afford to buy the new tickets or I could call Air China and resolve the issue through them.
I called Air China. Again, they told me that the change can only be made by "the third party". I am worried because the flight has now departed leaving my wife and mother-in-law stranded at Shenyang airport. Air China assured me that they would honor the tickets and get my wife and mother-in-law on the next flight, but Orbitz.com needs to resubmit the information into their computers first.
I called Orbitz.com. This time, the "all representatives are busy" told me there is a wait time of 92 minutes. I took the call-back option, noted the time and exactly 92 minutes later the phone rang. This time I had a different representative and had to explain everything all over yet again. She confirmed that the name I submitted was correct and added that there is nothing they can do about it. She said that because my wife and mother-in-law never boarded the aircraft they are listed as a "no-show" and no refund would be due. I argued that they did show up, are still at the airport but were not allowed to board until Orbitz.com corrected the name in the computer, that Air China promised to honor the tickets and allow them to board the next flight as soon as Orbitz.com made the correction. Her response was "I can't do that." I pointed out that the error was made by them and it's their responsibility to correct it. She then told me she would call Air China and put me on hold.
I waited about 30 minutes before she came back and simply said "you need to speak with a supervisor. Hold while I connect you." After that she came back about every 15 to 20 minutes to tell me to continue holding, she was still "trying" to connect me to a supervisor. This went on for an astounding 7 hours and 45 minutes, but I was determined not to hang up. Unfortunately, the batteries on my cordless telephone died and I had no choice but to wait another six hours for the batteries to recharge.
Rest is critical for my heart condition but I was unable to get any. My next call to Orbitz.com was just after 8 a.m. and after the familiar "All representatives are busy with other customers" I was informed that the wait time would be 74 minutes. True to form, exactly 74 minutes later a different representative called me back. I had to explain everything all over again and he told me he would transfer me to a supervisor. Two minutes later a different person came on and I explained the problem to him. He told me that he had all the information on the computer in front of him and they'd already told me what to do. The "third party" could only correct the information. This remark left me very confused and I said "you are the third party. I booked the ticket through you and you need to make the necessary changes." He told me that I did not book the ticket through them. I had booked it through Orbitz.com and they had to correct it. I said that I am talking to Orbitz.com and he replied "No, sir, you're not. This is Air China office." Orbitz.com had transferred me to Air China.
I redialed Orbitz.com, this time with a "next in line" wait time of 83 minutes. When I finally got someone to answer I requested to speak to the manager. I was put on hold. Every 15 to 20 minutes he came back and told me that the manager would be with me shortly and put me back on hold. 6 hours and 17 minutes later, another male came on claiming to be the manager. I have my doubts that this was the manager but had to go with it. The first thing he told me is that he's already canceled the tickets. I told him I did not want the tickets canceled, I wanted the simple correction made by resubmitting to Air China. He refused to do that and said again he's canceled the tickets and I would get a refund after 21 days, less the cancellation fees, less the value of the portion of the ticket my wife had already used once they figured out how much that would be.
I explained my situation and that I could not afford to buy new tickets, which were now $565 more than what I had paid for them (total is $3,190 in addition to the $1,991.00 I've already paid). All that Air China wanted Orbitz.com to do was to resubmit the ticket information. He refused, saying he couldn't do that and if I didn't have the money to buy new tickets, they would have to stay in China until I could, exactly the same as what one of the reps had told me. He then tried to blame me for the error, saying I didn't put in the correct information. I responded by pointing out that I have the flight confirmation which does show the correct name and three of their reps prior to him had confirmed the information I submitted was correct.
I had been very patient up to this point, but I was now getting severe chest pains and worried I was going to end up in hospital. I asked him that if the situation were reversed and it was his family stranded abroad at the fault of the travel agent, what would his reaction be? Surprisingly, he told me that he'd expect the travel agent to fix the problem and make it right immediately. I then said, "Why don't you do the right thing, then and make it right." He replied. "It is what it is."
I then told him that tonight he might sleep well, but soon, I am about to become his worst nightmare as I will make sure this gets into the media for a start, and that I will be taking legal action against Orbitz.com. He did not answer and I thought he'd hung up on me. "Hello?" no answer. "Are you still there?" He finally said "yes, I'm still here." "Good, then you've heard what I just said."
My wife and mother-in-law remained at the airport for 10 hours before getting a taxi back to their own town taking a taxi back to the town they were staying more than 70 miles away. On October 4, 2014, she had to take a taxi back to collect their luggage again because it had already been sent to the aircraft the previous day. I now have to figure a way to get my wife and mother-in-law back home.
They were supposed to be back for a special double birthday celebration (my sister, who had specifically flown up from South America and myself) which would have been the first time we have been together for our birthday's in 42 years. Instead, I spent the entire time worried about my wife and on the telephone with Orbitz.com.
I spent a total of 14 hours 17 minutes left on hold and a total time of 34 minutes talking to the reps and manager.
I have already began proceedings to bring a class action lawsuit against Orbitz.com and anyone interested in being included should contact me as soon as possible. Can you imagine how much they are putting in their pockets with their illegal scams? It's time this is bought to a stop.
MANKATO, MINNESOTA -- I just hung up from Orbitz and I am very dissatisfied, very pissed as I am writing. They are not helpful, not understandable, and screwup company!!! Here's my case,
I have booked for an international flight on June 2012 that costed me 1855$, then a week after I was accepted for a summer job, so I had to stay in the United States to work. So I called Orbitz to cancel my ticket, they canceled it and told me there is no way to refund it, I can only use my credit within a year, and I can only use it with American Airline; I told them OK as long as I could use the credit later which is in the timeline of June 2012 to June 2013.
The agent told me that my 30$ rebooking fees will be waived. Christmas came and my family spent the time in the US which there is no point for me to use my credit at that time to go home. Finally, I have decided to use it in March 7th which is my spring break holiday and the only holiday that I have until the expiration of my credit it as I am a full-time student and work in the summer.
I called them today which is Feb 21st to book for March 7th and to return before school starts at March 15th and the agent basically told me, the other agent that waived your 30$ rebooking fees did not give us reasonable information to waive it so we did not waive it, I said OK! Whatever, let me just book my flight and use my credits. So he went searching for a flight and get back telling me that there is no American Airline flying in the Spring Break so I basically can not use it!!
They are telling you to use your credit whenever while you are not sure if they will fine the Airlines that "they want you to use", they will not extend the expiration of your credit, they will not refund your ticket?! What a rip off!! It is 1855 dollars have just went out of my wallet for nothing with this screwup company! They will not understand any issues that happen to their customers.
I will not use Orbitz whatever happens, I will not deal with them anyway possible, and I do not want anyone to be in my situation. It is easy for them to charge your card but they would not give you a cent back whatever issue that might occur, and expect surprise fees as you go into any process with them.
Anyone who have credit with them, use it manually through the Airline itself because if Orbitz do it for you, THEY WILL CHARGE YOU A REBOOKING FEES and 275$ FOR WHATEVER REASON THEY SAID its for. Use your credit, and never deal with them again because I assure you, you will have headaches if you change your mind on a flight!
Ripoff company, money all matter to them, screwed a lot of customers.
, ILLINOIS -- I recently booked my trip to India through Orbitz, a popular internet travel service. I have booked at least a dozen trips on Orbitz over the past decade, so the process was comfortable and easy. Orbitz found me connecting flights to and from New Delhi using a combination of airlines and I was pleased with the short layover between my domestic and international flight segments. I booked my November travel in July and paid with my American Express card.
In August, I received emails from Orbitz advising of flight changes. Unfortunately, the airlines rearranged their flight schedules which created a problem with my itinerary. My connecting flights, no longer connected. I called Orbitz and spent a lot of time on the phone attempting to resolve the issue, but because they could not find an itinerary acceptable to me, Orbitz said I could cancel and they would provide a full refund. "Expect a credit in 8-10 days," advised Bella, a supervisor at Orbitz. "Why so long," I asked? "That's just how long it takes" was her reply. Well, FORTY-ONE DAYS LATER the $1,653 credit was posted to my American Express Account.
For 41 days it felt as if my money was held hostage and I was forced to fight hard to gain its return. As an American consumer, my expectation was a refund in one day, not forty-one days. I'm not so certain that I would have ever received a refund had I not persevered. I spent countless hours on the phone and by email only to be put off or lied to. It was an extremely frustrating experience, but I did learn a few things.
First, I was reminded of the principle - he who holds the money, holds the power. I could grovel all I wanted, but I was powerless.
Second, because the airlines were the cause of the problem, I held a false belief that obtaining a credit from a large corporate Enterprise was a given. I found out that it's not like taking the defective vacuum back to Sears where you make an exchange or the clerk asks you a couple questions and in minutes you leave the store with a credit receipt in hand. No, it's more like the Sears store has relocated to Timbuktu and the clerk tells you over the phone that Eureka in Shanghai will process the refund in 8-10 days or maybe in a couple of weeks or sometime, whenever they get around to it.
Third, when calling Orbitz, you speak with customer service representatives based in the Philippines. But that's only after navigating though the computer prompts and waiting endlessly on-hold listening to melodies of static. And although the young Philippino's are pleasant, the combination of a poor phone connection and their accent makes for a real challenging conversation. The cultural differences don't help either. I just didn't get the feeling these folks really related to my problem. They're at best scripted telemarketers and sometimes liars.
In fairness to Orbitz, my refund did come from the Chicago office of Air India. However, Orbitz wasn't any help to me and Air India refused to talk to me directly. I was finally able to correspond by email with Archana, an Air India representative. I rank her level of service to what I would expect when visiting Mumbai or buying gas at my local 7-11.
So before you book your next trip on Orbitz, take pause and consider. If you encounter any problems with your travel plans you to will have the opportunity to experience third world customer service.
dwittkamp@cinci. rr. com
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- My review about our stay at the Bel Air Cancun through Orbitz.
I have nothing but nice things to say about the Bel Air Collection. However, I have been waiting to get home so I could tell everyone what a horror Orbitz has caused my boyfriend & our two friends at the very start of our vacation.
When we booked this hotel on Orbitz. it clearly said "All Inclusive" WHICH IS WHY WE BOOKED IT. (In January by the way.) When we got there on June 5th, the hotel staff tells us that we did not book all inclusive and would have to pay an extra $900. We were in shock. They told us we could call Orbitz and have it solved because to our surprise, the hotel told us that this happens all the time, only with Orbitz. People come in all the time thinking they booked all inclusive, but nope! Everything was wrong. So we called Orbitz, were on hold for over an hour in the lobby of our hotel, not being able to go to our room yet after a 4 and a half hour flight. When Orbitz finally answered, they put us on hold about 4 times for about 30 minutes each. When we finally spoke to them, they kept telling us we did not book all inclusive, when we know we did. That is the only reason why we booked the hotel. We are 20 year olds going to Mexico...WHY WOULDN'T WE BOOK ALL INCLUSIVE?!!?! When we told the woman on the phone that the hotel said this happens all the time, she denied it and said it was not true in the most rude way possible. After 3 long, hot hours of arguing with Orbitz, we gave up because they wouldn't even try to understand. Even though we told them the hotel said this has happened several times before, they did not care one bit.
Since Orbitz completely screwed us over, we tried to work out something with the hotel. We thought we booked all inclusive so we did not have money to pay for food AND to have fun in Cancun. Thankfully, one of the managers, Samuel, came to the rescue. He offered us to pay $225 for the all-inclusive deal, PLUS he gave us two honeymoon suites with a Jacuzzi and ocean view. We were ecstatic and agreed to it right away. My boyfriend & I had one room, & our two friends had another, right next to each other. The room was breath taking. We were all screaming as we entered, just like the movies. The staff were the nicest people I have ever met in my life. Such hard workers and overall kind. Maynor was the person who cleaned our room and he made designs our of our towels and curtains every day. Such a sweet man who clearly loved his job..so cute!!
Over all, I would stay in this hotel if I went back to Cancun and I have already recommended it to other friends who plan ongoing. The Bel Air was amazing but Orbitz, I will warn everyone I know not to book through them. I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER book through them again if they were the last travel website on the face of the earth. Not only did they screw us over, but they were rude about it and did not care that they kept us waiting on the phone in the heat during our first three hours of vacation..only to tell us they did not do anything wrong. Again, DO NOT BOOK THROUGH ORBITZ!!!!
ANY CITY, PENNSYLVANIA -- I hate Orbitz. They have screwed us over so much. We have spent over 900 minutes on the phone with them and additional costs that amount to almost the original cost of our vacation. We are STILL trying to resolve issues that started in October and every time we call we have to explain the situation AGAIN. So many issues with them I am just livid. I used to love Orbitz but I wouldn't recommend them any more.
They keep saying the hurricane was a voluntary reason for flight changes?! They charged our credit card without telling us and the receipt they sent us had an Orbitz credit card with Orbitz mailing address on it, so I didn't find out until we got our credit card statement. What if I had used my check card and that came out of my checking?!? Um, yeah.
We were flying for a cruise and they would not change our destination city so we had to buy an extra flight because our cruise ship wouldn't be there a day later- but they didn't care. It's just ridiculous. They promised us vouchers for future travel but now they are saying they never did and keep repeating "sorry, we can't meet up to your expectations". Seriously, I expect you to do what you say you are going to. That's all really... The best part is we have trip insurance for this entire thing. Over 2500 claimed to trip insurance and an additional 1600 Orbitz owes us. I would say don't bother with them!!!
Every time we call, we are on hold for a very long time and then we have to ask for the international department. Otherwise, we explain our situation and then they say you need the international department and we are on hold again. The customer service agents speak English but they don't really understand what we are saying and sometimes I don't think they understand the full meaning of what they are saying because they don't make any sense. Then if you get disconnected, instead of them calling you back, you get an email about the disconnection. And you can't speak to the supervisor you were speaking with before because they can't transfer you. So you are back to square one explaining your situation all over again.
We were supposed to fly JFK to FCO on October 30 but the Hurricane hit. We got a flight from Boston to FCO that ended up having a connection in Atlanta. We couldn't make it to Boston so we looked for a flight to Atlanta. We found one with the same airline but the airline told us Orbitz didn't actually issue our ticket from Boston to FCO so thank God we didn't drive to Boston. We called Orbitz a million times and they could get us on another flight to FCO but arriving in Rome on Nov 1 for our cruise departing Oct 31 really wouldn't do us any good. Can we get a flight to Athens and meet the cruise there on Nov 2nd? No, that's considered a voluntary change in itinerary. So we end up getting a flight to FCO on Oct 31 and we have to buy a separate flight from FCO to ATH on our own. Orbitz says, since you have to do that we will give you a credit for each ticket- $100 that you can use on future travel. And our new flight going to Rome on Oct 31 will not cost us anything additional? Right. We had the lady say it at least 3 times because she kept messing things up like having us on another flight from Boston to Rome instead of JFK or an airport near us. I get an email and it shows Orbitz paid some $3500 for our new flight on some Mastercard issued in a lady's name I don't know and I reverse search the address to find it is an Orbitz billing address. Okay, makes sense.
Then, we got back from our vacation and I got my credit card statement of two charges 1700+ and one refund of 1900+ for a net charge of 1600 or so. WTH? I call, again. And again. Oh My Goodness, my phone records from all the calls to Orbitz are out of control! And it's because I never get anywhere. So this time they have nothing for me, basically the refund takes 45 days and I should have it around December 15.
My husband also deduced that what they are probably doing is completely refunding the original flight and that is why they charges appear with a payment for the difference of the original flight and the new flight. December 15 and still no refund. Call today, on hold 20 minutes, ask for international department but the lady says she can help. explain the situation and she says you already got a refund of 1900... NO, that was because they charged for the new flight and agreed to pay the difference in cost. We need the refund from the original flight. Get transferred. Same thing- you already got a refund. No, and I explain it again. Oh, yeah they are still processing that. Okay, what about the $200 in credit for future travel? That's not in the notes. We don't do that and I can't honor that. Plus why would you get a credit in addition to a refund? Because you flew me to Rome when my cruise left the day before and refused to get us a flight to Athens which doesn't make any sense since you had to refund the original flight anyway.
I could write a book about the phone calls I have with this company. I wish I could not be so [snip] to continue documenting this play by play of a mess we are in but we need our money back and I'm tired of being on the phone with Orbitz and getting nowhere.
I just booked a Carnival cruise with Orbitz for a first time and have to tell you that Orbitz offer of "free shore excursion" is completely misleading to the customers.
I've been on many cruises before and booked several excursions but with other agencies and had NEVER been tricked like this.
First of all, the list of excursions is very different than Carnival offers (I found out it ONLY after booking a cruise with Orbitz, booking agent clearly told me to go on Carnival website (my reservation email clearly says the same) and pick a excursion I want and I did and it wasn't included in this offer). Second of all, it is not "free" it's $70.00 off, so if the excursion costs more than $70 you would have to pay extra. That I found out AFTER booking the cruise as well. And after I finally booked the excursion I wasn't really interested in because Orbitz didn't have any similar to what I've seen on Carnival: the ride to the place was NOT included. YOU MUST BE KIDDING ME! You couldn't organize a ride for $70 excursion? I go on the cruise by myself and I simply don't feel safe to get a taxi in a foreign county I don't speak the language. And you call it "free" excursion? Who knows how much more taxi ride is going to cost? It makes me wonder: if I get to the place who knows what other "surprises" I might experience? So I have to make a decision not to go at all.
Like I said I've booked several excursion with Carnival before: everything was VERY well organized, from the start to finish, no gimmicks, no hidden costs, to tricks and transportation was ALWAYS included in the cost of excursion!
If someone new will have this experience he/she might think that all cruises are so poorly organized but that's so not true. I wouldn't be coming back! No wonder Orbitz advertise that their excursions are less crowed. Who wants to experience this? Keep finding out what is not included as you go and you can't do anything about it?!
Thank God I haven't actually paid that $70 dollars, but I'm sure I'll NEVER book a cruise with Orbitz again! I have been completely fooled! This is how I feel about this experience!