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 sleight of hand" and even though my credit card statements say Orbitz and my confirmation came from Orbitz and I booked tickets through Orbitz, Orbitz 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 Orbitz 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!
PORTLAND, OREGON -- Orbitz.com is the worst company I have ever dealt with. They scam you into thinking you have a credit, but this is actually just a credit to THEIR fees if you rebook with them. Don't let them fool you, it is NOT toward your plane ticket.
I also got hung up on twice, finally connecting someone after the third time. They were 'briefly' transferring me, and two hours later they answered my waiting call saying the same thing as the person before. They were not consistent on what they said, and will continually switch around words to clear them from giving you anything they previously promised.
Customer service is no help, and is either the money you 'SAVE'. Anyone I care about I will tell not to use Orbitz because they are so money hungry, even the people I don't care about I will still tell them to avoid Orbitz at all costs.
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Flights booked 8 months in advance Sydney AU to Houston. Fiji Air to Fiji, Fiji Air from Fiji to Los Angeles, American from LA to Houston. They changed our flight times five times. Now in Australia to fly on Saturday, we have no airline locator codes, cannot check in, no seats, and not sure we even have flights. All we have is the useless Orbitz locator. The Orbitz call number is a US number (did I say we were in AU?) so the call and on hold for 30-60 minutes will be very expensive. We have done this once and they seemed to fix it, but NO, still FUBAR.
We have e-mailed Orbitz but of course no answer. These guys suck. NEVER, NEVER AGAIN. All of our contact lists (1500 or so) will hear of our crappy Orbitz experience. Oh, did I say these were business class/first class tickets. Yeah, if we get on a flight- steerage I bet. This is an $8,000 transaction and we have zero confidence.
I booked flights for my son and I 6 weeks in advance. I recently rang the airline to check flight details to find my tickets had been canceled... So now no tickets and no money... I have been on the phone to customer service (what a joke) for 3 days and every day they promise to get it sorted and call me back.
So today when I called they told me it would be an extra $1300 to rebook the same flights that they canceled without my knowledge. I told them "not my mistake, I am paying not a cent more". So I have given them 24 hours to sort. They can rebook me on the original flights that I booked and paid for, refund my money, then I will claim for the extra I have to pay, or I'll see them in court, to recover my costs. Don't ever use them, It's just too much trouble if there's a problem. BUYER BEWARE!!!
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 taking 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 from 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."
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.
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 cannot use it!!
They are telling you to use your credit whenever while you are not sure if they will find 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 **, 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 through the computer prompts and waiting endlessly on-hold listening to melodies of static. And although the young Filipinos 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 **, 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.
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 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.
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 ** 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.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I recently had two terrible experiences with Orbitz. The first one is when I booked a flight with them on AirTran. Orbitz fools you into believing that if you book with them you have 24 hours, starting from the time you book and pay for your ticket, for cancelling a ticket free of charge (not including their handling fee). I trusted them and booked 4 tickets while not completely sure about the hour and day of departure as one of our party was awaiting for some school results before being able to fly.
Fourteen hours later, I was informed that this person would have to fly later as she had to undergo an additional examination. I then called Orbitz to cancel my tickets and make another booking. However, their customer representative who spoke a barely audible English informed me that it was not possible. I told her that I was cancelling within the 24 hours that were allotted to me under their policy. She answered that with AirTran, it was 4 hours and not 24 hours.
I was incensed and told her that I had never been informed about this and that nothing in my documents alluded to this particular detail and that they should have mentioned this to me beforehand, in which case I would never have booked the tickets. She was very insolent and told me that the 24 hours awarded to me were normally a courtesy measure and that I could not do anything about it. I tried to talk with her supervisor who was as rude and unhelpful as she was. I then wrote to their customer service to protest against this absence of transparency in their policies and advertisements.
They wrote back telling me that they could not do anything about it, that it was the AirTran policies. I was so incensed that I told them it was the last time I was dealing with them. On my flight back I spoke with an AirTran agent who told me that Orbitz had a very bad record with them, that they changed passenger's reservations at the last minute without due notification and that I would be better off booking directly with the airlines and thus avoid the unnecessary fee charged by Orbitz. Another passenger who was nearby told me that she too had had a very horrible experience with Orbitz.
Finally I called Orbitz to ask them to cancel my account with them and to erase all the information they had on me (name, address, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, travel patterns, previous flights and reservations, hotel booking, car reservations etc.) and which, I know very well, they sell to marketing companies. They refused and told me the only thing they could do was to freeze my account and argued that technical (computer-linked) problems prevented them from erasing all my personal information from their files.
I was furious and am now writing to the Bureau of Consumer Affairs of my home State to protest against this violation of my individual rights. I cannot understand how a company which has failed you can retain your personal information for its profit. So beware of Orbitz, a totally unethical and deceitful company!