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Why you should NEVER use Orbitz
Posted by Scottk19691 on 09/24/2012
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.

NOPE.

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 slight 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!

     
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Posted by Bee on 2012-09-24:
Once again, another reason not to use a third party site and to book through an accredited travel agent.
Posted by CowboyFan on 2012-09-24:
Orbitz website seems pretty clear to me. I put in "using credits" in their website search engine, and there the steps out spelled out 1-2-3. The mistake pretty much seems to be your wife's. Her mistake does not make Orbitz unreasonable.

Myself, I would never use these third party sources for anything other than to find the best deals and then book directly with the airlines, hotel, etc.
Posted by R. Kelly on 2012-09-28:

Sorry for your frustration but thanks for passing it one. were seniors who travel six months of the year and i can guarantee Orbitz wont be involved in our travel plans.......nor that of our extended family and friends. thks R. Kelly
Posted by mcarthurdw on 2012-09-28:
I have yet to see where Orbitz or any of these third party sites have saved anyone a dime. Use them to fine the best fare and them book directly with the airline.
Posted by LuvBreathing on 2012-09-28:
Seems like another case of blatant fraud. Unless the instructions are in plain view on the main page, it is deception, plain and simple. You shouldn't have to DIG to find things. Shame on them. For that person to blame the wife, is inappropriate.
Posted by Chrissiann on 2012-09-28:
with the number of Orbitz complaints, I will make sure to NEVER use them for ANYthing! I will also warn my family and friends to avoid them. Orbitz seems more interested in keeping a few hundred dollars over losing thousands of customers. they have no business acumen obviously.
Posted by Lesson Learned on 2012-10-28:
The rules with the airlines are set in stone, and the only way the waiver is issued is by the Airline. In your case they were understanding GOOD FOR YOU! Try devolping a relations ship with a Travel Agent you can speak to in person, have access to while traveling!!! You are not just a number to a TRAVEL AGENT!!! you are important for many reasons... They do not work as an agent for the Big BUCKS.. but it is a passion that many spend thier lives in the Industry.. They Simply love booking dreams and helping others travel and gain live long memories!!! GET YOUR SELF A TRAVEL AGENT!!! they are here to stay.. if for no other reason than what you experienced.. And next time look through what your are buying and understand the rules..
Hope you make it to Pittsburgh!! A city of one surprise after an other..
Posted by Bruce on 2013-06-25:
I agree
Posted by custrelguy on 2013-10-04:
Hi, scottk19691,
This is Robert, and I am part of the Orbitz Customer Relations team. We want to learn more about your experience so that we can address the issue. Please email us at socialnetwork@orbitz.com. Please use my name in the subject line, so that I can investigate further.
Thank you for your patience, I look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely,
Robert Woyach
Orbitz Customer Relations
Posted by Engracia Goco on 2013-10-11:
After two weeks vacation from Los Aneles, My husband and I were scheduled to go to Chicago to visit my sister via Spirit Airline someone from the airline assisted us to check in our small baggage and we were surprised that the small baggage for our check in were not accepted and they charged us for 90 usd, our auntie went back to Kansas via Delta and she was charged for an extra baggage check in for only 25 usd..my sister told me that this airline is known for that negative reputation.. This is really too much.
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Bait and Switch With Package Price
Posted by Ozer14 on 09/11/2012
Tried to book car, air and hotel together. Gave one price and when I chose everything, price rose by 40$ Tried again an hour later. Same thing happened. Lured with one price, then swiftly, not seconds had gone by, I again got an "alert" that the price rose by 40$ due to a change in availability. BS!!!

Tried the next day, and AGAIN the same thing happened. Package lured with with the same EXACT price, seconds later when I chose to book the trip, price went up by $40 to the same EXACT price it was twice yesterday. I then chose the option for a $21 less expensive car, but guess what? Again, price alert, price jumped to the same price it was before I chose a $21 less expensive car.

If they were hell-bent on the fixed price, I wouldn't have settled for the economy since I had to pay the same price no matter which car I chose. Very unsettling and I believe I was had.
     
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Posted by DELL Hell on 2012-09-11:
Just about everyone of these 3rd party travel sites is a con job of one sort or another. Priceline leads the pack for grabbing your money and seeing how little if anything they can give back for it.

Book direct and let these 3rd party travel sites go the way of the Dodo Bird (Raphus cucullatus). Extinct, if people would stop giving them money.
Posted by love them bassets on 2012-10-05:
I, for one, was always skeptical of these vacation deals and travel specials and had always used AAA for my vacation planning. After being very unhappy with AAA, I thought I would try one of these sites, namely Book-It, and set up a trip to Aruba. The prices were much better, I had a choice of payment plans, and the entire vacation went off without a hitch. I was very pleased and would definitely use them again. The prices they posted were not inflated at any time, and I felt that I got a great deal for my money with no surprises either at the airport, the hotel, or any added "extras" that we paid for. Sure, I have heard some horror stories about some of these travel sites, but at least if there is a problem, who have someone to file a complaint with because if you personally schedule and find your own deals, if anything goes wrong, you only have yourself to blame. I couldn't have asked for more on my vacation and everything came off as planned.
Posted by maoblackirish on 2012-10-05:
I agree. The same thing happened to me.
Posted by custrelguy on 2013-10-04:
Hi, ozer14,
This is Robert, and I am part of the Orbitz Customer Relations team. We want to learn more about your experience so that we can address the issue. Please email us at socialnetwork@orbitz.com. Please use my name in the subject line, so that I can investigate further.
Thank you for your patience, I look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely,
Robert Woyach
Orbitz Customer Relations
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"Free" shore excursion for the cruise is not free
Posted by Rus_julia on 04/05/2012
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!
     
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Posted by Alain on 2012-04-07:
I never trust third party contractors like Orbitz largely due to seeing many reviews very similar to yours. Thanks for sharing your experience!
Posted by Maggie on 2012-04-27:
I was going to book a international flight from Orbitz, which is about $300 cheaper than other travel agencies. But after reading those reviews I decide not to. $300 is quite a lot of money to save. But bad travel experience cost a lot of more than just money.
To Orbitz: please improve your service or you will out of business soon. Good reputation is always the key to a successful business.
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Review Your Itinerary Before and After
Posted by JRMENASHE on 02/20/2014
CHICAGO, NEW YORK -- Advertised fares for flights with stopovers were $685 - the stopover happened to be appx 3.5hrs, so I opted for the $785 fare with a 2 hour layover as I had flown this leg before & chose not to put my daughter traveling alone on such an arduous journey. SOMEHOW - we were given the 3.5hr layover at the the higher price. Orbitz refused to stand behind the advertised prices and explicitly said there was NO GLITCH in the system... well, the glitch is there - and I am being charged for flights I am now being told never existed - so why would I spend the extra $100??? This was my 2nd and LAST negative experience with Orbitz. There are plenty of other travel sites and apps or engines that can do a much better job...

     
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Posted by Sarah on 2014-02-25:
Hi,

My name is Sarah, and I am part of the Orbitz Customer Relations Team. We want to learn more about your experience so that we can address the issue. Please email us at socialnetwork@orbitz.com and enter my name in the subject line, so that I can investigate further.

Thank you for your patience, and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Sincerely,

Sarah
Orbitz Customer Relations
Chicago, IL
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Spent 3h on phone and got offered $30 voucher for $800 losses on flight
Posted by Andrei.danielyan on 01/20/2014
The Frontier airline screwed us with the flight, which I booked through the Orbitz. I spent 3h on phone with customer support and instead of standing by their customer, orbitz's customer support offered me $25 voucher, and when I told them that its ridicules, manager gave me !!!!! $30 voucher. Never book anything through the Orbitz and never fly with Frontier. Even though it looks cheaper you'll end up paying much more. And the service is horrible.
     
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Posted by customerrelations@orbitz.com on 2014-02-10:
Hi Andrei,

My name is Lynne. I’m a member of the Orbitz Customer Relations Team. I’m sorry you’ve had such a difficult experience.
Please email us at socialnetwork@Orbitz.com and include the Orbitz confirmation number, so we can look into your specific situation. Thank you for reaching out. We look forward to receiving your information.

Sincerely,
Lynne
Orbitz Customer Relations
Chicago, IL
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Do Not Book Flights With Orbitz
Posted by Laura.rebecca on 01/03/2014
I researched flight from Australia to Thailand on an Australian flight compare website and found Orbitz to be advertising the cheapest flights. I then provided to book these flight to then find out they were actually quoting in US dollars therefore not the cheapest flights. I only found this out when my credit card bill came in. I needed up paying over $200 aus extra. I contacted Orbitz and suggested it was not fair to advert their flights as being cheaper as they were selling their flight in US and the other companies were selling in US dollar. Therefore the comparison was not valid. They did say they didn't indicate the prices were in US but in the FAQS section you could find this information. I argued that this was not clear or transparent business practices and wanted some Compensation for the hidden costs I experienced. They refused to offer me anything. I feel ORBITZ operate dishonestly and want protect others from being RIPPED off!!!
     
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Bad Customer Service
Posted by Chenli62890 on 12/21/2013
PITTBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA -- I'm a recent college grad currently applying to medical school. I have been traveling a lot recently due to multiple interview offers. All my flights and hotels have been booked through Orbitz.

The pros of Orbitz is that their website and cell phone app is very user friendly and convenient. Their price is decent. I was pretty satisfied with their service at first. However one of the drawbacks of Orbitz is their terrible customer service. They are extremely understaffed, I had to wait for over an hour to get somebody on the line. And when I finally did get a person on the line he was rude, condescending, and straight up disrespectful. Their cancellation policy is far from the best, but this only applies to frequent travelers. I'm considering switching my traveling agency even with all the reward I saved up. The bottom line is if you are just booking a vacation and you don't plan on making any changes to your flight or using the customer service it's a pretty good website.

However, if you do are frequent fliers there are more generous reward programs, cancellation policies, and with better customer service out there.
     
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Posted by Sarah on 2013-12-24:
Hi,

My name is Sarah, and I am part of the Orbitz Customer Relations Team. We want to learn more about your experience so that we can address the issue. Please email us at socialnetwork@orbitz.com and enter my name in the subject line, so that I can investigate further.

Thank you for your patience, and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Sincerely,

Sarah
Orbitz Customer Relations
Chicago, IL
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No Human Beings Home - Ever - Good Luck!
Posted by Ggden2 on 12/08/2013
CHICAGO -- ALTHOUGH I have been using Orbitz pretty much since they've had an online site, I think I've finally had it with trying to reach a human being through customer service, any branch, any time of day, any time of the year.

Every now and again there is something that has to be done by a human being e.g. adding frequent flier # to trip that is booked but not yet flown, bereavement fares etc. They have the worst customer service, bar none. Once you GET someone, they are fine, but I have been trying for 3 days, probably 5 hours on hold, disconnected 4 times after interminable holds, UNBELIEVABLE. I have stayed with them all these years only because it's convenient to have a historical record of our family travels in one place. Every time I have to contact customer service - the same thing.

Oh, and by the way, customer service does not respond to emails either. That's it for me!

     
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Posted by Sarah on 2013-12-24:
Hi,

My name is Sarah, and I am part of the Orbitz Customer Relations Team. We want to learn more about your experience so that we can address the issue. Please email us at socialnetwork@orbitz.com and enter my name in the subject line, so that I can investigate further.

Thank you for your patience, and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Sincerely,

Sarah
Orbitz Customer Relations
Chicago, IL
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Horrible, Awful, Rip Off With Terrible Customer Service.
Posted by Tom_hertz on 11/20/2013
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- Horrible, awful, shysters, rip off.. what other adjectives could I use to describe my disgust with this company?

Let's see. Made a reservation, can't get my money back. The original reservation stated a 24 hour cancel policy. Orbitz charged my card and won't give me my money back.

Let's also see.. how fun it is to sit on their customer service line in which the automated responses never work?

Perhaps my favorite is the fact that nobody on the line SPEAKS ENGLISH.

I will NEVER use this company again as it completely does not honor the cancellation policies. I will also make sure to educate anyone I know as to why it's best to avoid this particular company when making travel plans.
     
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Posted by custrelguy on 2013-11-22:
Hi Tom_hertz,

My name is Lynne. I’m a member of the Orbitz Customer Relations Team. I’m sorry to hear of this disappointing experience. If you’d please email us at socialnetwork@orbitz.com and provide the Orbitz Locator/Confirmation number, I’ll be able to investigate further and address the issue.

Thank you for your patience. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Sincerely,

Lynne
Orbitz Customer Relations
Chicago, IL
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Orbitz Put Us Through H*ll
Posted by Sarahsmiles on 11/19/2013
?, ILLINOIS -- I pre booked my family a trip to Orlando only to be stuck at the airport with my wonderful kids. After a while when we were told we could not retrieve our car because my bank Visa with well over enough money on it did not qualify - even with round trip tickets. Which made no sense since I have traveled and rented well over enough cars to know the requirements. Was told to call Orbitz. Long story short my kids became tired hungry and crabby after 4 hours of being put on hold I spent triple paying for a car I already paid for. You know what Orbitz said when I finally got in contact? Were sorry to hear that. No compensation offered!

Bad business tactics. Bad customer service! Read all fine print and that might not be enough to keep your trip hassle free or destroyed!
     
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