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Beware of Orbitz.com Scams
Posted by Steve303 on 09/29/2009
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.
     
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Posted by MzDLBrand on 2009-09-29:
Quick question... did you bother calling Delta (Northwest) to check on getting seats together before you called to cancel? You probably would have saved yourself alot of headache by doing that.
Posted by Ben There on 2009-09-29:
Are you elite with Northwest or Delta? Chances are you picked a seat that the airline will only give to a very frequent flyer. The seats are most likely still empty, but the airline - not Orbitz - is the one who is not letting you get them. They would not let you get them if you had booked direct as well. They appear on seat maps as plenty of people are elegible to assign them, just not you. I doubt you will have any luck disputing the charges over seat assignments as no airline or site guarantees seats.
Posted by Steve303 on 2009-09-30:
Since I was dealing directly with Orbitz and not Northwest (Delta), isn't it Orbitz's responsibility to make sure the seats are really available before charging my credit card and confirming my reservations ? Orbitz is the travel agent, right? Don't they have at least the obligation to check with the customer before going ahead and charging the credit card account ? I would understand if I was dealing with some bureaucrats in the Government, but not a private company. The point is, I am being penalized for Orbitz's callous attitude towards its customers.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-30:
Steve, no because Orbitz has no way of knowin gif you qualify for those seats. They show availability because they are. However, you may not have the miles for a particular seat, or someone may have booked it before you. People don't realize these seats get bought by people all over the country doing the same thing you are. Orbitz is selling, but so is Priceline, Cheap tickets, The airlines themselves, travel agencies...

What we did when we went to Mexico with our two teenagers, is asked for seats together, and were not guaranteed them as most airlines go by a random seating these days. So when we boarded our flight and realized our youngest daughter's seat was in the back, we asked the man next to us to change seats. He was very willing to do so.
Posted by Ben There on 2009-09-30:
No airline or travel agent is under any obligation to get you an exact seat. Seat assignments are just requests, and yours was denied by Northwest. No seat is guaranteed - too many things change like flight cancellations and aircraft changes.

I have a feeling that free seat assignments for the average traveler will one day be a thing of the past. Pay more for your ticket, become elite, or pay an assignment fee if you want 22A.
Posted by Steve303 on 2009-09-30:
In response to LadyScot and others: Orbitz is a consolidator - they buy seats in bulk from airlines (at wholesale rate) and sell to consumers at retail. The difference is their profit margin. They know EXACTLY what seats are available to them. No need to be an apologist for this scam operation. If you do not believe me, read the other hundred complaints about Orbitz on this web site. No decent company has the same modus operandi as these guys.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-30:
Steve, for every complaint against a company, there are compliments. Alot of the time, the problem is the customer just doesn't read. They see PRICE and ignore everything else.
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Charged for Flight That Was No Longer Available
Posted by Jenn276 on 07/12/2013
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.
     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2013-07-13:
It sounds like the first transaction was not completely rejected, because you were charged for part of that itinerary even though you got an error message that one of the legs was not available.

I assume this is hidden somewhere in the site terms and conditions, because it sounds like a ripoff. It is stuff like this that validates my decision to never use one of these third party sites. The premise is you'll save money and it is easy, but there are way too many problems for my money.
Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2013-07-14:
I suggest contacting your credit card company to dispute the charge.
Posted by custrelguy on 2013-07-18:
Hi, jenn276,
This is Robert, and I am part of the Orbitz Customer Relations team. I am sorry for the disservice from Orbitz. Please forward the Orbitz Record Locator to 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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Lying About Refunding Me My Money
Posted by Qabiltu on 06/26/2013
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. Dont 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.
     
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Posted by Charlotte on 2013-06-27:
Hello,

My name is Charlotte, 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,

Charlotte
Orbitz Customer Relations
Chicago, IL
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Booked Flights Trusting Orbitz, but I Was Charged $450 Extra
Posted by Bmartik1 on 05/28/2013
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.
     
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Posted by naz on 2013-05-28:
Always, Always check multiple sites before purchasing anything.
Posted by John Nicholson on 2013-05-28:
You snooze, you lose. As Naz says above, always check multiple sites.
Posted by Orbitz CR on 2013-05-29:
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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A SCAM: Worse Policies and Customer Service
Posted by Nbrqt73 on 12/25/2012
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!
     
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Posted by Ben There on 2012-12-26:
Orbitz price assurance policy is slightly different than most of the airlines and travel websites.

Orbitz will refund you the difference if someone purchases the exact same trip as you - same flight #s, airlines, dates, etc... This does not mean just finding it for less, but someone has to buy it.

Everyone else - including the airlines directly - will refund if you simply find the same flights for less on another site... within 24 hours of your own purchase. After that time, you are stuck with your price regardless what the market does.

So the pro of Orbitz is that you might get a refund anytime between the time you purchase and travel - not just within 24 hours. The con of Orbitz is that someone else actually has to purchase the same trip through Orbitz.
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-12-26:
WoW - very helpful comment, Ben There, and voted as such!
Posted by At Your Service on 2012-12-27:
Good information Ben There.
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Orbitz No More For Me!
Posted by Erikadiaz on 12/24/2012
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- So, I booked tickets for my family of 4 on Orbitz. When I got the confirmation email, they had my husbands name as the passenger 3 times. I called the airline directly and they had all 4 of our names as I had originally input them. Now fast forward to the day before our departure. The seats I selected have all now vanished. They have all 4 of us all over the airplane. I chose seats for the sole purpose of keeping our two small children with us, not only that Orbitz is still showing my husbands name for 3 of the 4 passengers, and it get's even better. The time Orbitz is showing for the departure time is 10 minutes later than the actual departure time at the airline. On the return flight, Orbitz is show the departure time 30 minutes later than the airline. I will never, ever, ever use Orbitz again. Straight to the airline for me!
     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-12-26:
I've never used Orbitz, and I wouldn't. I always buy directly.

As for seat assignments, the direction of the industry currently seems to be to not guarantee seat assignments unless you pay a fee. OTOH, there is also a movement to require airlines to seat children next to their guardians, I believe.
Posted by custrelguy on 2012-12-26:
Hi,

My name is Shalon, 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,

Shalon
Orbitz Customer Relations
Chicago, IL
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Stay away from Orbitz!
Posted by Ccoyne1 on 09/08/2012
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.
     
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Posted by Ben There on 2012-09-08:
If you booked online then you probably did spell your own name wrong unfortunately. If you did it over the phone then Orbitz could have had a hand in it too.
Posted by bob932304 on 2012-09-08:
When you go through a 3rd party you do not get the same service as you do as if you book directly with the airlines. They know that your purchased 'discount' tickets.
Posted by Sinead on 2012-10-15:
Just putting my experiance in, I booked in my maiden name knowing thats what my passport stated and because my orbitz account was in my married name the computer changed my ticket into my married name without my consent I am currently battling with Orbitz customer service to reissue my tickets (after having paid them $50 for the name correction even though they admitted it was their fault). Airline are stating happy to reissue its orbitz that are dragging their feet. The concequence I will be unable to get the appropriate visas for my trip if they don't hurry up at this point in time really think people should avoid orbitz
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Orbitz doesn't care about it's customers
Posted by Christinmulligan on 07/26/2012
I booked a jumper flight round trip from Maui to Kauai. The flight from Maui to Kauai had been changed 3 times, and on the 3rd change, it was made for a time that I wouldn't even be on Maui. I called Orbitz to explain the situation, get options and found out that I was ultimately screwed. Orbitz contacted Island Air (another winning company) and Island Air told them that I had approved the change and that no refund would be issued. After complaining for over an hour, Island Air only offered a credit for a future flight. Fantastic, however, they only fly Hawaii and I live in New Jersey! Needless to say I will never be using Orbitz or Island Air ever again.
     
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Posted by CowboyFan on 2012-07-27:
Booking through a third party like Orbitz invites trouble, because everything has to be handled through them, instead of directly with the airlines. Use these third party services like Orbitz to find the flight, and then book directly with the airlines.
Posted by custrelguy on 2012-07-27:
Hi, christinmulligan,
This is Robert, and I am part of the Orbitz Customer Relations team. Please forward your Orbitz Record Locator to 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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Do NOT book flights on Orbitz!!!
Posted by Klarsen on 03/02/2012
Do NOT book your airfare using Orbitz. I booked 2 round trip tickets on a Sunday evening and logged on Monday morning to find that they were $80 cheaper. I called the customer service line and she told me that since it was within 24 hours she would refund my money free of charge and that I could go ahead and book the lower fare and expect to see the refunded fare in 7-10 days. Well 7 days passed and I called. The agent told me to wait until 10 days. 10 days passed and I called again. This time the agent told me that the money had been refunded and there must be an issue with my bank. I called my bank and they had not received any refund from Orbitz. I called Orbitz the following day and the agent told me that the airlines were not going to refund them the money so all they could do was credit my Orbitz travel account with the cancelled airfare. I told the agent that this was not acceptable and asked to speak with her supervisor. I was put on hold and the agent returned and told me that since I was informed that I would receive the money refunded NOT credited to my Orbitz account that they would refund my money within 7-10 days. Well it has now been 8 days and I have yet to see the $500 that I am missing. Lets just say I am one ANGRY customer and will NEVER use Orbitz again.
     
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Posted by custrelguy on 2012-03-02:
Hi Klarsen,

My name is Kristi, 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,

Kristi
Orbitz Customer Relations
Chicago, IL

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Name changed without permission
Posted by Signgirl769 on 02/25/2012
WASHINGTON -- When I received my itinerary the day before my flight I noticed they had my old last name not my new name that I had typed in the traveler information when booking my flight. When I called I was connected to a man I could not understand who after 20 minutes lost connection with me. I had to call back. After a long talk with the supervisor I then had to wait all day to get a call back from her (Kera) to find out they could not change my name. They put the blame on me saying their system is not capable of changing my name. I know for a fact I DID NOT put my old name. Their system automatically took my old information and changed it. Very Very unhappy and will not be doing business with them and I will tell anyone I know not to do the same.
     
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Posted by tnchuck100 on 2012-02-25:
Time and time again these third party booking sites prove they are totally incapable of handling any errors or problems. As I have said before: Your fault, their fault, nobody's fault; YOU are going to suffer the penalty.
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