I booked an international flight on Orbitz 5 months before my actual trip. About a month after I booked and PAID FOR the ticket, I got an email from Orbitz saying there had been a change to my itinerary. When I called customer service, they informed me of my new flight times. Only after I questioned the new flight numbers did they realize they were giving me flight numbers for an entirely different airline. I told her that this was not the airline I booked, and she told said oh, we forgot to ticket you on the original flight you booked so we switched you onto these flights on this airline. I was OK with it as I was now on direct flights in lieu of stopovers, but found it pretty incredible that they could just forget to ticket you after you've booked and actually paid for a ticket. So I received an updated confirmation email, with ticket number, confirmation number for the airline, and updated flight information, as well as a reminder email with all of this information before my trip.
When I went to to check in the evening of my flight, the lady at the ticket counter told me that while I had a confirmation number, I didn't have a ticket as I'd never actually been "reticketed" for my flight. I was obviously very confused as the charge had gone through on my card 4 months before, and I didn't know how I could be "re" ticketed when this was the only ticket I'd ever had. upon calling Orbitz from the airport, now an hour and a half before my flight, the customer service representative put me on hold for 10 minutes before returning to the phone and telling me that what had actually happened was that the original flight I'd booked had been cancelled by the airline, and the new airline agreed to take on all of the passengers from that original flight. and that it had been my responsibility to call the original airline and have them reticket me for the new flight. she told me my only option at this point would be to go to the ticket counter for my original airline, get them to reticket me, then come back to the new airline, and check in.
first I explained that I was told I'd never even been on the original flight that I booked, so how on earth would I have ever known to call them to get reticketed. then I explained how it was now an hour and a half before my flight, and that there was no way that I was going to make it back to their counter in a different terminal to get reticketed, come back, check in and get through security on time. to which she replied "Well then in that case, you would miss your flight". She had no one other bit of advice or apology for what was going on. Thus I asked to speak to a supervisor, as my flight time was now getting closer and closer. The supervisor got on after a few minutes, and told me the exact same thing that the previous woman had told me. When I responded again that there was no way I could do that, she huffed and with a major attitude asked to speak to the woman I was with at the ticket counter.
at this point the woman at the ticket counter put me on the phone with the original airline, while she took the call from the Orbitz supervisor. After a moment while the airline I was on the phone with was telling me there were no more seats available on the flight I was meant to be on, the woman at the ticket counter handed the phone back to me basically saying the Orbitz representative had just said the same thing she said to me, to her, and was of no help whatsoever. I took the call back and told the Orbitz representative I was going to get myself rebooked (since they were obviously not going to help me do so), and that Orbitz could cover the difference in whatever ticket I had to book, at which point she told me oh no they would not, and they were not responsible in any way shape or form. At this point I hung up and didn't bother with them anymore, and the original airline helped me get booked on alternate flights. I ended up leaving for my vacation a full day later.
I contacted customer service the next day, each person that I spoke to giving me a different story about what happened and why they were not responsible. I wrote a long note to customer service on the website, and after 2 weeks of not hearing from anyone, I went back on and said that I was going to write all about my experience on travel sites if nobody got back to me. Of course then they write me back, saying they were sorry and offering me $100 credit to use on Orbitz. I said this wouldn't even cover the cost of the transportation to and from the airport twice. She then offered $150, after I forwarded her copies of all the confirmations I'd received from Orbitz concerning my original flight. Still not satisfied as they had not taken any sort of responsibility for what happened, despite offering the credit, I refused and basically said please explain to me how you are not responsible. at this point they offered me $200 to be charged back to my credit card or a credit on Orbitz, which was not even a quarter of the cost of the ticket that I booked, and never even got to use. they also included a note saying that was their last offer and they would no longer be responding to me. I asked them to charge my card back and that I would never be using Orbitz again.
I would suggest never using orbtiz, ever. book directly through the hotel or airline, or use a trustworthy site with some sort of customer service department that respects their customers.
I just used Orbitz for the first and last time in booking a round trip flight to Disney in Orlando. They misspelled my last name but got the other members in my family correct. With TSA security these days - the boarding pass needs to have your name as it appears on your ID. The dope at Orbitz proceeded to tell me I misspelled my own name but that he'd 'try and help me out'.
After 90 minutes (no exaggeration) the night before my flight, I finally got a new boarding pass printed out with my correct name - for only getting there. As a result, I did not have time to adequately pack and left some items at home which led to spending extra money for items there - $90 worth. I then tried calling Orbitz during vacation for same thing - get my name changed so I can come home with my family. That dope informed me that 'all the gate agents went home for the evening' even though we did this much later the first time before I left. That was another wasted 30 minutes.
Luckily the resort I was staying at had a TSA agent for resort check-in and he told me this happens sometimes with people getting married / changing names, long names leading to letters being cut off, etc. So I decided to not call Orbitz a 3rd time and waste more time away from enjoying vacation and just worked it out at the airport - took a little more time, but much easier than spending hours on the phone with Orbitz.
Orbitz also charged a $28 fee for arranging the flights. I will never use them again for the reasons above and as another reviewer pointed out, they cannot lock your seats in and if you're traveling with small children, you do not want them sitting alone. I will gladly spend more money next time and book direct with an airline.
Orbitz has the WORST customer service department, and they completely ROBBED $1400 from me. I purchased my ticket in September of 2012 to go to Brazil. Due to extenuating circumstances, I was unable to go and I had to cancel my ticket about 2 months later. Mind you this was still 4 months before my scheduled flight.
I contacted customer service and asked to cancel my flight, which they did and they mentioned I will be changed $250 cancellation fee, despite buying the cancellation insurance". Later during that conversation I was told I had to contact COPA airlines to get my refund;. And when I contacted COPA they bounced me back to Orbitz..
Needless to say this back and forth bouncing went on for about 3 months, where I call either companie and would have to wait an average of 30-40 minutes (with Copa Id wait for more than an hour), be transferred between 3-4 agents till finally someone would speak with me, and finally I'm told that I should call the other company?.
Finally I decided to write to Orbitz' claims department.. After a number of emails (about 2 weeks) they said they will refund me my money, and this should take a few business days.. I mentioned to them that the CHASE CC which I bought the ticket with has been cancelled, and I would need the money to be refunded back to me in a different way|. They replied, "we can not do that, we can only refund the CC which you bought your ticket with. Don't worry, banks still have your information and will send you your money."
I waited about 2 weeks, then I called chase CC, which denied receiving anything from Orbitz. I asked them to send me all my CC statements, detailing every transaction with them. I also ran my credit report with both TransUnion and Equifax. The last transaction I had my statement was 4 months before Orbitz alleged their refund occurring. And the credit reports showed the LAST ACTIVITY on that account was also AT LEAST 4 MONTHS prior their alleged "transfer".
I shared all these documents with Orbitz customer service, and they STILL allege that they did the transfer, and I need to go figure it out on my own. They said they needed the May 2013 CC statement (the month of the alleged transfer), I pointed out to them the Chase document (dated June 2013) had ALL transactions that were made on that credit card. And the reports proof there are no activities on that account.
Despite sharing with them my most private information to proof my case to them, they refuse to give me what is rightfully mine, my money.
Do yourself a favor - save yourself the headache that I have been going through the past 7 months, and STAY AWAY FROM ORBITZ.
LANCASTER, CALIFORNIA -- My mother had a hip replacement, in Illinois. I live in southern California. I bought a round-trip ticket on an American Airlines flight, THROUGH ORBITZ.COM, from Los Angeles to St. Louis, knowing well at the time of purchase that I might need to change the date on which I used it.
Before buying the ticket, I carefully reviewed the Orbitz Terms and Conditions Web page, and even went so far as to send an email to their customer service department asking them to verify via return email that the ticket I was purchasing could be applied as a credit should I need to change the travel dates. I received a return email - which I still have - verifying for me that I would, in fact, be able to do so. So I bought the ticket.
I did not use the ticket on the original travel dates, and upon contacting Orbitz to book a new flight and use the credit, I was told that since I hadn't "cancelled" the ticket by calling Orbitz or the airline, I had forfeited it entirely. The agent said it "varied from airline to airline" as to whether they would honor credits for tickets that had not been officially "cancelled" anywhere. The fact that Orbitz could not change my ticket for credit was specifically due, that first Orbitz agent said, to an American Airlines policy, not Orbitz's.
I then called American Airlines, only to be told by the AA agent that they would not be able to honor the ticket because it was an Orbitz policy that prevented doing so. I called Orbitz AGAIN, explained the situation, and the female agent (who, while polite enough, was impossible to understand because of a heavy accent) said she would call AA herself and intervene. She seemed particularly interested in the name of the AA agent that had told me the Orbitz policy prevented a reissue, and reiterated several times that if I'd had the AA agent's name, it would have helped the situation. (Why that is an issue, I'm still not sure, but be assured that I'll never again forget to get that information.)
So the Orbitz agent put me on hold, came back some time later to get from me the flight information for the new AA flights I wanted to book, and put me on hold again. After another long wait, she came back on and said she'd nearly had the ticket booked but the AA agent had hung up on her, as if that was some sort of explanation - for what, I don't know. And so I said, "Well, okay. So call AA back then. I'll wait."
Wait I did, even longer this time, only to have her finally return and say a NEW AA agent was unwilling to make the change, and did I want to talk to directly to AA? Furious, I then asked to speak to the Orbitz woman's supervisor and got a rude, infuriating jerk named Marcella, who essentially blew me off. I asked him to a) show me specifically on the Orbitz Terms and Conditions page where ANY of this business of, depending on the airline, being required to "cancel" a flight appeared (it did not; nothing even close); and b) to consider what it must be like to be in my shoes and hear first, from Orbitz, that the problem was an AA policy, then, from AA, that it was an Orbitz policy, and THEN that the rebooking had "almost" taken place only to be abruptly ended by someone at AA mysteriously hanging up on the Orbitz agent trying to handle my problem.
My complaint, specifically, is this: Why is this sort of B.S. even legal? If, when buying a ticket on Orbitz.com, it "varies from airline to airline" as to whether or not a credit will be issued for an unused ticket, depending on whether either either Orbitz OR the airline has been contacted by the ticket buyer to cancel the original travel dates, then why the hell doesn't it SAY THAT someplace obvious when you're buying a damned ticket? In my case, I had gone to some lengths - verifying the Orbitz Terms and Conditions, requesting an email verification - to be certain that the ticket would be reusable because the situation involved my mother and her post-surgery condition. Had I known I needed to actually "cancel" the ticket, by phone, email or any other means, I most certainly would have done so. I was certainly prepared to pay the $100+ in charges to change the ticket - why would I not have done whatever formal "cancellation" notification was required?
Moreover, I had a very similar experience in 2006 - again due to my elderly mother's health - involving Orbitz and an Alaska Airlines ticket that I didn't use and didn't do anything to formally "cancel," and the credit was accepted on a rebooking by Alaska Airlines without issue.
So. Why is this sort of ambiguity permitted? Why is Orbitz not required by law to clearly state in easily locatable terms that the circumstances surrounding a ticket's exchangeability (if there is such a word) vary SIGNIFICANTLY from airline to airline? And why a gray area in whether or not an exchange goes forward, depending on which airline agent or which Orbitz agent the latter's customer-service-line lottery decides will be dealing with you?
This should be a simple matter of stating basic contract terms on the Orbitz Web page. Among the first rude comments I heard from that Orbitz jerk Marcella was that I should look at my bank statement and see that Orbitz hadn't sold me the ticket - that the ticket charges came from American Airlines, not Orbitz. Why was he so quick to want to point THAT out?
This whole thing has been beyond unacceptable and I cannot believe there aren't regulations somewhere that would prevent this sort of robbery. I am out $401.69 and seemingly have no recourse, anywhere. I never asked for a refund, only a rebooking in the EXACT same dollar amount on AA, and was fully prepared to pay the usurious change fees without question.
Is there NO way to make the damned airline ticket-buying process a transparent, fair and legal one on Orbitz.com?
I had used Orbitz on and off for years without incident until last month (November 2009). I had booked a flight to my mother's for Thanksgiving week (my tickets were booked for leaving the Saturday before Thanksgiving and returning the Saturday after). Ten days before my trip, I returned home from work to a voice mail--a voice mail given in an accent so heavy that I had to listen to it three times before I could figure out who it was from (they had also sent me e-mail, but I had been in a meeting for the last two hours). The message said that there had been a major change to my flight (didn't specify which flight), and that I should call them. I promptly did, and got one of those annoying automated menus--but this one was more than annoying. It asked me if I were calling about a specific flight. Since the message had not referenced a specific flight, I was in trouble, because the automated menu would accept only "yes" or "no." I tried hitting zero to get a person, but to no avail. I wound up screaming "I DON'T KNOW" into the phone, and finally was transferred to a person. Turns out that Orbitz had indeed made a major change to my flight, one that lopped off the last leg of my trip, stranding me about a six- or seven-hour drive from home. In all fairness, the customer service representative I dealt with was great--she put me on hold several times, but only to contact the airline to see if anything could be done. It wasn't her fault that being put on hold meant that I was subjected to the world's loudest Muzak, which had a one-tune repertoire. Since I was on hold about an hour total, this wasn't pleasant. The only thing that she could do for me was rebook my return flight for the day before I had originally been scheduled to return--my other option was to cancel entirely and rebook (a Thanksgiving trip--ten days before).
I thought that chapter was over until two days later, when I received an e-mail from Orbitz, telling me that there had been a major change to my flight. My heart almost stopped. I called them immediately (I didn't get the hideous automated menu--perhaps my screaming two days before had permanently damaged it, or perhaps the customer service reps had threatened to strike if it wasn't disabled, since it was making their customers even more upset than they already were). Again, I got a perfectly fine customer service representative who checked my reservation. There was no change since the big change had been made Monday night--not a flight number, nothing. Apparently Orbitz was just noticing the change that their own customer service representative had made on Monday--American Airlines had sent me an e-mail itinerary Monday night.
I have another trip booked on Orbitz. I've rebooked the trip directly with the airline, at more than twice the original cost of the ticket (booked three months ago). When I went to Orbitz to cancel the trip booked there, it wouldn't let me cancel it. I have to call to get that done. I'm not thrilled about the pricey cancellation fees, and I can't imagine a trip that would be so unimportant that it wouldn't matter what days they changed my trip to, but I do want to get the little credit that remains. The loss of money is nothing compared to my peace of mind, let me tell you. I cannot imagine the circumstances that would have me use Orbitz again.
I booked airline tickets for my family of four (including two minors) from Los Angeles to Rome via Detroit. There were four flight segments (on Northwest) : Los Angeles to Detroit, Detriot to Rome, Rome to Detroit and Detroit to Los Angeles. Orbitz.com displayed the seats "available" on all four flight segments and asked me to select my seats. Traveling with minors, I selected contiguous seats. I also booked a simultaneous transfer through Orbitz from Rome airport to city center. Once I gave Obitz my credit card number, they came back with my confirmation. The problem was I did not get the seats I had selected. So the seats that were advertised as "available" instantly became "non-available" as soon as they got my credit card number. Not just that, on all four segments my family got seats that were spread all over the plane (mostly middle seats).
I called Orbitz right away and canceled my reservation, including the transfer. That should have been the end of the matter. However, I got a charge of $125.00 on my next credit card statement. Orbitz claimed that I was not due any refund for transfer at Rome airport since the transfer was non-refundable type. That is not withstanding the fact Orbitz was trying to scam me in the first place using the classic fraudulent bait and switch tactic. Besides the transfer was tied to the arrival time at Rome based on the Orbitz booking and pretty useless when I book through someone else.
What are my options at this point? I have decided to fight these shysters.
First I am disputing the charge through my credit card company. I booked through Orbitz using my credit card. Any card holder is afforded some protection under consumer laws against substandard service and products once he has made a "good faith" effort to resolve this with the merchant. This may or may not work, depending how aggressively the credit card issuer pursues Orbitz.
If the credit card issuer fails to deliver results, there is always the option of Small Claims Courts. Small Claims may sound cumbersome and time consuming but they work. It is a level playing field where you do not need a lawyer and can represent yourself (in contrast a company like Orbitz has to get legal help costing hundreds of dollars an hour). The mere filing and proper service of summons usually results in a happy outcome where you can recoup your disputed amount, filing fees and then some. I have prevailed several times against large corporations in small claims. You will be surprised to see how much attention you get once you file these suits. All you need is a little patience. In California you can claim up to $7500 plus costs in a small claims suit. Collection is very easy when large solvent corporations are involved.
This is a copy of a comment I left for the CEO of Orbitz:
Mr. Harford, CEO of Orbitz,
I have a serious problem with your company. I had previously purchased a ticket for use in November of 2008, however was unable to Make My Trip. I called your company who assured me that I would be able to use the credit to purchase another ticket with the same airline if I used it by September of 2009.
Two days ago on February, Friday 13, 2009 I called and booked a flight from Anchorage Alaska to San Francisco through Salt Lake city and back, paying the difference in the ticket cost and other associated fees at that time.
I got the flight booked and even picked seats for the flight and was assured an itinerary would be sent out at once so I could make arrangements with other parties I need to contact in San Francisco. Upon checking my email the next
day I noticed the itinerary was still not there, so I called again and was assured the flight was booked, and that the itinerary would be sent out as soon as your customer service representative hung up on their end of the phone.
Well, I went about my business trusting that your service reps would be true to their word, however I later checked once more, and it was still not there so I called again and was assured that by Sunday morning it would be in my email. Sunday arrived and still no email from Orbitz. Sunday the 15th is the day I was supposed to contact several people in the San Francisco area in order to make arrangements for specialized equipment related to my visit to the area. I called a total of four times on the evening of the 15th with the following results.
Call #1 - I was told that there was a ticket but that the ticked had not been fully booked. (How is that possible? I also had a very difficult time understanding the very heavy accent on the other end of the line as well as problems with the phone lines cutting in and out.) As I was trying to sort out the problem I was hung up on.
Call #2 - I was referred to three different people, none of who I could understand well, who informed me that there was a ticked booked, but that it takes up to 48 hours for me to get an itinerary. I explained that I had been waiting for 48 hours. Then your representatives tried to tell me that my email account was not working, the very same email account that I had just been reading recently received emails on. I assured her that my email was working, but also when I commented to my wife that I was no longer going to do business with your company in the future, I was then abruptly hung up on by her.
Call #3 - I was told by another customer service representative that I could barely understand or hear due to bad phone lines, that now there was no ticket on my record at all. And that there was no record of me booking a flight. I asked to speak to a supervisor, whereupon I waited on hold for ten minutes and was hung up on before being able to speak to one.
Call #4 - My wife actually made this call as by this time I was in no mood to deal with the substandard customer service and mistreatment I had received thus far. She called the number provided on your website, asked for a customer service supervisor and had been held on hold for over an hour with no one even coming on to the phone lines to tell her that she will be taken care of sometime in the near future. When someone finally came on the phone my wife was informed by "Corrine" that the itinerary was posted on a third party site not even affiliated with Orbitz, which I had not been informed of, by either your companies website or your customer service representatives which I had tried to deal with previously.
There had been no attempt to solve the small problem I had originally by your regular customer service representatives, which, was just wanting a copy of my flight itinerary. And the fact that my Itinerary was posted to a third party website without my knowledge or permission is inexcusable. I am beyond incensed at my treatment by your company, your lack of accountability for your poor customer service and to be sure that this is not something that happens to others I will be posting copies of this message to you, the CEO of Orbitz to the local and National Better Business Bureaus, as well as all of the many sites now available on the internet which detail your companies long history of substandard customer care and lack of business ethics.
Should you care to respond to my complaints you may do so at EVBranscum at yahoo.com
Rest assured however that whatever you send will be forwarded to all my friends, acquaintances, business relationships and again to the many websites which have detailed your companies history of bad business practices toward your customers.
Edgar V. Branscum
ILLINOIS -- I attempted to purchase two round trip tickets from Washington DC to Cancun, Mexico, but before the online transaction was completed, I received the following message: "We're sorry. That flight is no longer available." I immediately booked another flight that nearly matched my first attempted purchase, except for the last leg which terminated in Baltimore instead of Washington DC. I was charged for both flights.
I called Orbitz customer service and was told that I could get a credit for one of the flights, but not a full refund. The explanation was that the flights had to be exactly the same before Orbitz would consider the issue a website issue. I asked to speak to the complaint department and the representative told me that she was going to put me through to her supervisor. I was left on hold for 40 minutes and then the call was dropped.
CALIFORNIA -- I booked two flights to Europe on Orbitz website yesterday without checking other sites. Today I checked Expedia and found out they offer the same flight at $450 lower fare. When I called Orbitz, they said it has been 27 hours since I made my reservation and I cannot ask for any refund.
When I asked them about the commercials that they are running saying they guarantee the lowest price, they said what that means is if someone else uses Orbiz website to make exact same reservation within 24 hours and their reservation cost is less, then Orbitz will give me 110% of the difference. This requires believing in Orbitz doing the right thing, after they screw their customers. I will not use Orbitz website again.
I bought a ticket to Cabo on Orbitz and subsequently the price dropped by over 300 dollars. On their website, their PRICE ASSURANCE POLICY say they will match a lower price if someone books the same flight at a lower rate. THEY LIE! I spoke to the customer representative AND supervisor and their policy continued to get more complicated as we spoke adding layers of conditions until it rendered the policy useless to their customers. The bottom line is they did not reimburse me even though on their own website the same flight, on the same days and times is advertised for $300 less. IT IS A SCAM! DO NOT BOOK THROUGH ORBITZ! I WILL NEVER USE THEM AGAIN! THEY ARE A SCAM!