PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA -- I called Orbitz today to add one more day to my vacation which would require an additional rental car day and a change in flight. I was told that my car rental would be cancelled and rebooked for a new higher price. I said OK for that. My original cost was $607 for the whole trip then it went to $749.
The representative spoke about a $400 flight change. So to reassure what my total cost would be I asked if I would be only paying the difference of $607 and $749 and she said yes. I asked twice and got attitude for asking the second time. I thought the $400 dollars was the total of my entire flight not for changing. That's why I asked multiple times if my total was only going to go up to $749.
Well the second I checked my bank account I noticed that I was charged that $400 taking me to over a $1000 on the whole trip. That's why I asked multiple times about my total. The customer service desk won't help me when I tell the situation. All I did was sit on hold the entire time. If they listen to the recording they could clearly hear me ask multiple times about my total charges and the representative clearly state that I will only be paying the $749 total. I did not want to double my charges for only one extra day on vacation.
Orbitz is horrible. I have used them for many years, but this is the end. I booked two tickets to Europe, then never received a confirmation or itinerary. I called Customer Service, and they couldn't find one either so I re-booked. Then I get my Visa bill with TWO charges for $2,600!
I call the airline and sure enough, I've been booked twice on the same flight. I call Orbitz and after a half an hour on hold, I'm told that I have to call back when the airline is open. "Why can't they just take care of this?" I ask. Oh no, it only works when you're on the phone. This is when I slam the phone down on the representative (which I never do this kind of thing) because I am so angry. Screw you, Orbitz. I am taking my thousands of dollars of annual travel someplace else.
Dec 22 my biz partner tried ordering 2 tickets online. He had some issues so called customer service. After spending over an hour on the phone the rep gave him a confirmation number and told him there would be an email confirmation coming w/in 24 hrs. An hour later he got the email and did what many people do, he filed it away w/out reading it. Feb 8th he wanted to check our itinerary so he opened the email and noticed it said the order was canceled. The subject line didn't mention anything about "canceled order". It did say "action required" but it was the last thing in a long subject line that was too long to fit in the subject quick view.
We both got online, right away, to look at other flights and noticed the cheapest flight was now almost double the price we thought we locked. This being unacceptable to us I got on the horn w/an Orbitz service rep. The first call dropped and no call back. On the second call I spoke w/a friendly agent. I told her my problem mentioning that there should have been a call made to us way back when the order was cancelled to let us know we needed to find another flight. In my opinion when dealing with limited flights and constantly changing prices, an email is not a good way to let a customer know an order was cancelled.
I told the service rep I expected to get a flight close to the times we thought we had booked and for the same price. I had to escalate to a manager because the CSR didn't have the power to satisfy us. It ended up that the manager didn't have the power or was unwilling to take responsibility and pony up $400 for their lack of service. She offered a $50 voucher but that was not acceptable. She said that's all she could do.
I am still very unsatisfied with Orbitz and will not do future biz w/ them and I have made it my mission to spread the word. Be careful readers. Everything is fine until you have an problem. Good companies are able to build lifelong loyalties by taking responsibility for their weaknesses/mistakes. Orbitz had their opportunity but blew right over it.
I looked at several places to book online and have accounts with both Orbitz and Expedia. For the trip I was booking to Nassau, Bahamas January 23 - 27, 2012, and I was booking it on 12/24/11, Orbitz was offering a $250 Bahamas Instant Promotion Code discount on air/hotel packages. I selected air through Delta and Comfort Inn Suites in Nassau (Paradise Island). The package came to $1472 for my wife and I LESS $250 Instant Promotion Code that it said this package qualified for.
Upon purchasing, I was prompted to enter the "promotion code" and when I entered each of two codes provided, neither worked. So I called Orbitz customer service right then and told them of the problem I was having with the codes and they said it must be a computer problem and they would look into it and get with me. I told them that since I had purchased the "last two air tickets with Delta" and at a very good price, I didn't have the luxury of waiting till they figured it out. They said they would get back with me and I purchased the package believing they would figure it out and make good on the problem I was experiencing. Boy was I WRONG.
We just got back from the trip and I called customer service today and was escalated a few times finally to a supervisor named ** (said his supervisor id is **) and this supervisor gave me three different stories, all bogus, and not willing to provide any documentation for his statements. First he said that "Instant Discount codes were for a future Bahamas trip I need to book and use", then I argued with him and he said, "your $250 discount was already taken off your total package."
I then proceeded to request a copy of the details showing me $250 taken off my hotel portion or the package and he said "he couldn't show it to me but it was there"… I called him a liar when he said he couldn't or wouldn't provide the details and third, he told me that "the $250 was taken off when Orbitz and Comfort Inn Suites negotiated a special price between them and the $250 was taken off before I saw the $1472 total price" and I told him, "then why do I get a promotion code when I go to pay." This supervisor and the culture of everyone I spoke with is incompetent and not only that, willing to insult my intelligence with stories that make no reasonable sense.
I asked ** if he is willing to have Orbitz lose me as a customer for $250 and he said, "do what you have to do, we respect that". I told him I hope Orbitz fires him… he's a liar, he gave me three different stories, and either he is to blame or Orbitz is to blame for creating a culture of lying to the public, first with the deceptive ads and then with customer service that is told to tell the customer whatever they want to get them to go away.
I HAVE RARELY BEEN SO MAD IN MY WHOLE LIFE. I have been self employed for more than 25 years and cannot understand how a company can stay in business with these kinds of practices. I welcome a competent Orbitz representative providing proof of the $250 discount given in a line item receipt or giving me the $250 they owe me and compensation for future travel for the hassle and half day wasted with their customer service personnel and my having to file these complaints.
This could be a very long story as I was on the phone for over 5 hours total.( I am not exaggerating!) I booked a round trip from Phoenix to Calgary for two of us with Orbitz. When we arrived at the airport I was denied boarding as I did not have my passport, just the passport card. Lesson one learned is you cannot use the passport card for flying. This part is totally on me!
United Airlines, after about an hour and half was unable to help me at the airport (they tried very hard) because I booked through Orbitz they could not separated the two person itinerary so I could rebook. OK so I go home to call Orbitz. They do their thing and I am told I have a confirmed reservation the next day with United Airlines.
Now the saga begins: I waited about two hours and went to the UAL site to check in and print a boarding pass. There was no record on their site. I went to Orbitz where I found my revised itinerary but there was no way for me to check in. I called Orbitz and after about an hour of who knows what they were doing the assured me that my flight the next day was confirmed and it would show up with United later tonight or by the morning at the latest. LIE #1.
The next morning there is no record, no email, no nothing about my flight. I called Orbitz. They again assured me that I had a flight and to just go to the airport and pick up my boarding pass there. LIE #2. While I was talking to Orbitz I checked online at United and there was no record of me. I insisted with the Orbitz representative that things were not as they were telling me and that I would not get off the phone until I had a boarding pass printed.
Now it really got interesting. After about a half hour the representative came back on the phone and informed me that indeed my ticket was NOT issued and there was no longer any space on the flight for me. After regaining some resemblance of composure I asked to speak to a supervisor. ** got on the line and again informed me that I was not issued a ticket and there was no room on the flight they told me I had the previous night. I had the itinerary sitting in front of me.
** then proceeded to spend about an hour and half looking for another flight. He came back on and had a couple of flights for me and all it would cost me is $1100 additional. Again it took a couple of minutes to regain composure and lower the blood pressure. After a little negotiation and reasoning, ** found a flight that I think he said would not cost me anything but would get me into Calgary at midnight. I figured I had not choice but to accept.
After another hour on hold, he gets back on and informs that I would have to call United directly to make the change but that all was well. I told him I did believe that and that I wanted a confirmation and boarding pass before I hung up. He insisted that my only recourse was to call United that he could not make the change. LIE #3.
I called United and they had no record of what ** was talking about. (Imagine that) They did have the flight ** had told me would be free. Unfortunately it would cost me $2300. (Again imagine that) The United representative heard my story and worked very hard. In about a half hours time I was booked on a US Airways direct flight for... $82!!!
There are many more details I could include (I think I have already rambled) but the moral of the story is… DO NOT USE ORBITZ. They lied to me and certainly did not have any form of customer service. I heard at least 5 times that it was my fault because I had missed my original flight.
On Monday night I tried booking a flight from Seattle to Ontario California on Orbitz. For some reason my card was declined (I'm thinking address issues?) so I tried again and then again, for a total of 3 times. When it didn't go through I used my friend's debit card and planned to give her the money for the ticket. No problems, ticket booked, excited about my trip!
Until yesterday (April 26) when I found out my friend had been charged DOUBLE the ticket cost. She called and was told the second charge would fall off within a few days, which was upsetting to say the least. If they are going to hold two times the amount of the ticket they need to put that in BOLD where it is visible before purchasing a ticket. I would have booked elsewhere if I saw it, which is probably why its somewhere in the fine print but regardless, we were less than thrilled.
THEN, I checked my account and found out I had ALSO BEEN CHARGED for the same ticket!!! Seriously, you ask? Oh yes. So by declined they meant "this will look like it's not being processed so you continue on in another way but we are actually in the process of manhandling your financial life. Thanks." The incredible part is that because I was charged this amount without knowing the other items that hit my account caused it to be overdrawn, causing hundred of dollars in fees to be assessed before I had my morning coffee.
Of course I called and spoke to a woman who didn't understand that my problem was not that the money would be put back in my account. It was explained to me that within 3-5 days the charge would "fall off" because it wasn't attached to an actual reservation. However, my problem was that I was incurring fees as a direct result of their substandard system and would have multiple bills returned, incurring more fees AND damaging my history with these companies. I explained this to the woman at least 5 times and was told that I should contact my bank. So I did.
My bank informed me that the only thing I could do is file a claim which would take about 10 days to resolve. So I did so and then per my bank's instructions, called Orbitz back. This time I was able to talk to a fantastic gentleman named **. He did a truly great job of keeping me calm and listening to my ACTUAL problem and offered to call Alaska Airlines on my behalf to have the charge reversed. Unfortunately, there was no code listed with the transaction on my bank account so he was told Alaska couldn't do anything. Back to square one after more than 5 hours on the phone.
I called my bank to get the code and it wasn't there - the transaction simply said something to the effect of "Alaskaairorbitz" - not what we needed. I called Orbitz again and was accidentally hung up on during the initial "can you verify your account" thing which I know was accidental, but now on my 6th hour, I was getting upset. That didn't help. Maybe they need a new phone system too?
This time I encountered a less than accommodating woman who was obviously trained to ignore a customer's request to speak with a manager and continued to waste my time informing me of the same irrelevant details that were becoming a redundant song blasting my ear drums!!! I was extremely frustrated and asked yet again to speak with a manager. The woman I was transferred to couldn't help and sent me to yet ANOTHER woman who was reasonable but not at all kind or comforting through this process.
After another 30 minutes of the runaround of what the problem was, whom I had spoken to and what they said, how my bank was handling this situation etc., I was finally able to convince her to call my bank herself to rectify the stinking issue. She did and I was told the money was already added back to my account. I thanked her and went on my merry way after the most hideous experience with a company I've ever had.
Problem was - it wasn't. She told me that money would be available right away and maybe it was a bank hang up that caused it not to be available until this morning but how about checking with the person you're talking to before giving out false information? I attempted to get gas and was declined which would have been a HUGE issue had I not had cash with me.
All in all I'm angry. I spent the better portion of my day dealing with an issue that shouldn't have happened in the first place BUT I get that systems have glitches. That's not the problem. My problem is that whatever she did at the end of the day should have been done when I called initially. I was also not offered any help with my bank - which is not the treatment my friend got (she was told they would contact her bank on her behalf), not met with a courteous or helpful attitude in most cases (except ** - great job with him!) and was not offered anything for my ordeal. This has been a miserable experience.
In the future I will either book directly through an airline (or hotel or rental company). The last thing I'll say is that this isn't just unfortunate for my friend and I on a personal level because of all of our wasted time and held funds, but also because this particular friend works for a company which utilizes companies like Orbitz on a regular basis and because of our experience this week, they will also be going elsewhere from now on. Great job Orbitz! It's been an experience.
I just recently made a reservation on Orbitz to go to Colorado for my winter break. I had made my flight to Colorado on the 31st at 6:30 in the morning. I am a college student and do not have much money to spend on trips like these so I was expecting that everything was going to go as planned. After Colorado I was supposed to be flying home to Cleveland on the 6th. The flight to Colorado was scheduled to arrive at 11 AM. It ended up arriving at that time and everything was going according to plan.
The problem I had now was that I received a call from Orbitz saying that my flight to Cleveland was on that day at 10 AM. I did not receive this message till later in the day because that my phone ran out of battery on the flight. Now this made absolutely no sense to me. It would have been impossible for me to get on that flight to Cleveland from Colorado at 10 AM on the 31st because I was on the plane going to Colorado at 10 AM.
As soon as I realized what was going on I called Orbitz customer service. I spoke to one representative who did not even seem to understand what I was saying. I got transferred to the manager who was even worse than the first representative. I tried to explain that there was absolutely no way that I could have possibly made that flight. I also tried to explain to this "manager", that it made no sense that I would book a flight that I would not be able to make. The manager had nothing to tell me. All she told me was that there was nothing she could do for me but find me the cheapest possible flight for the 6th. The cheapest flight was over 300 dollars.
As I said before I am a college student and would have no possible way of paying 300 for another flight. Although this "manager" told me that she understood my problem and "felt bad" for me, there was absolutely nothing that this person could do for me. I tried to explain that there was no possible way for me to pay for another flight due the fact that I spent all my money on the previous one. The only advice the manager had for me was that I should use a different persons credit card to pay for the flight or that I should rent a car and drive home... It was absolute insanity on the phone for the next 20 minutes or so.
No matter what I said to the manager, I would get the same exact response. It was like I was talking to a machine that was programmed to not help the customer under any circumstance. I will be stuck in Colorado now because I cannot afford another flight home. The 200 hundred dollars is obviously more important to this huge company than it is to help the customers that they attracted. I would not recommend that anybody use Orbitz to plan their travel unless they are looking to be screwed over and feel like they are going to go insane.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- Three Strikes and Orbitz is Out! I once was a very happy Orbitz customer, heartily recommending Orbitz to others. I like the way Orbitz' searches work, how they can be refined, and how going and return flights can be selected separately. I also like the way “My Flights” keeps a record of flights for later printing for reimbursements, etc. I always used Orbitz.
However, now I STRONGLY advise against using Orbitz because of three bad experiences that I have recently had. Three strikes and Orbitz is out! Each strike separately is actually bad enough for me to recommend against using Orbitz; but together they suggest a pattern of bad business practice that speaks poorly of Orbitz.
STRIKE ONE: I changed a ticket and got the confirmation of the change, which I examined. The requested change had been correctly made. Great. But then the day before departure, I discovered that Orbitz had not only made the change I requested but they had also dropped one whole leg of my overall flight. What a shock it was to discover this. After a great deal of haggling with Orbitz they gave me a $100 voucher for the purchase of a future flight.
They said that the error was “shared responsibility,” since I had not caught their error. But have you ever looked at the flight schedules that Orbitz sends you? They are very hard to follow. And, the fact is that I had proofed their confirmation for the change that I had requested and confirmed that it had been correctly made. I never dreamed that they would drop a totally different leg of my overall flight. Their $100 voucher did not begin to cover the cost of the new ticket that I had to purchase at the last minute, but it was some compensation for which I was modestly satisfied.
STRIKE TWO: I booked two flights of the same itinerary, one for me and one for my wife. For work reasons we later had to change the itinerary, but, even though my wife and I were booked on the very same flights, Orbitz had me booked through Air France and my wife through Delta. It was a nightmare to get these tickets changed since we had to work with each airline separately. Orbitz would not make the change. Getting the fights changed took the better part of a whole day. Neither airline had access to the other's tickets.
In the end, my wife and I had to fly separately with totally different itineraries, and on different days! The total cost of the change with Delta for my wife was reasonable and the new flights were good. But with Air France the cost change was HUGE and the new itinerary had an additional flight each direction, on different days from my wife, and with awful hours.
STRIKE THREE: I called Orbitz to complain about “STRIKE TWO.” The representative said that he could give me a $50 voucher for a future flight purchase. I asked if he could double this, as previously I had been awarded a $100 voucher. He said that he could not give me another $100 voucher, but that he could give us two $50 vouchers separately, one for me and one for my wife. This got me what I had requested. I was moderately satisfied with his offer, though, admittedly it was only a small part of what Orbitz' bad booking practice had cost me. Neither Air France nor Delta could believe that Orbitz had booked us as they did.
And then, what did Orbitz send me? Only one $50 voucher, and, worse still, a voucher that is not good for a future flight purchase, but only for a hotel booking or a vacation package. I wrote Orbitz to tell them that this is not what they had said they would do. To my surprise Orbitz has now twice clearly confirmed that they will not honor their word. For me this is the last strike. A company that will not keep its word will not have my business, and I would suggest that they should not have yours either. Three strikes and you're out, Orbitz!
P.S. Even at this late date, should Orbitz reverse its decision, I will alter my opinion and post here an update.
If you are reading this basically you like me were suckered into a deal with Orbitz. I feel for you. You have two options now - you can rant and rave into the void (I have nothing against that) or you can get the most you can out of Orbitz with the least (but still considerable) effort.
Basically the way they operate is with very poor trained, very low-pay workers in call centers in emerging markets. They are clueless and cannot really assist you. Getting cross, shouting, asking to speak to a supervisor - it's all useless. They only give first names, so there is no come back. So in short realize before you call that you are speaking to someone paid way less than a dollar an hour, who speaks okayish English, has probably never stayed in hotel or flown in plane in their lives, doesn't know anything about the travel business AND has their finger on the hang-up button.
The way the call center workers operate is the moment anything gets confusing or complicated, or the caller is irate they simply drop the call. It's no skin off their back, Orbitz (or its sub-contractors) designed the system to not be accountable. There is no follow up to the caller that you last spoke to i.e. you cannot actually get them again.
So basically what I did, after about 10 hours of exasperated calls, was as follows. I worked out exactly what the solution to my problem was. Basically the person needed to call KLM and change the reservation. I got her the KLM reservation number in Holland, told her what buttons to press, phoned KLM in Holland (who said only the travel agent can do the change), asked them to make a note of what needed to change. And they talked the Orbitz call center staff through the process step by step. It worked.
Anyway here are some tips for how to manage your losses with Orbitz: See if you can sort it out yourself first. You will have to do this anyway to "train" the Orbitz call center staff. If it's a small amount of money at stake ask yourself "is it worth 10 hours on the phone to staff who know nothings and can do little?"
If it is not a small amount of money or you are stuck here is what to do: Find out exactly what the call center staff will need to do, who they need to phone, phone the people they need to phone and prepare them, give Orbitz staff as detailed a description as you can of what they need to do. Do not get angry or they will punish you by keeping you on hold for 45 minutes and then cut you off. Important - allocate time to this. It's not a quick call. Set yourself down, get coffee notepads, get in a comfortable chair and prepare to spend much of the day on the task. Good luck.
ORANGE, CALIFORNIA -- In July I booked 4 roundtrip tickets on Orbitz for travel at Christmas time 2008. These tickets need to be booked far in advance due to high demand at the holidays. Everything seemed to be fine - I was given a confirmation code with Midwest/Northwest (it was a codeshare flight) and received an e-mail from Orbitz thanking me for booking the flights with them. The Orbitz itinerary e-mail even included the confirmed price of 4 tickets at $402 each.
Several weeks later my credit card statement arrived and the Orbitz service fee had been charged but not the cost of the tickets. I went to the Midwest website, entered my confirmation code and my itinerary popped up - still no obvious problems. Another week or so went by and still no charge for the tickets so I decided to contact Orbitz. This is when the fun began.
After a lengthy phone call where I was put on hold for 10 minutes at a time - an agent finally admitted there was a problem with my reservation. The agent blamed the airline saying Midwest did not "confirm" the outbound flight and hadn't issued a ticket for that. However the agent said that the return portion of the flight seemed to be OK. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with only half of my roundtrip ticket and the agent offered no suggestions.
I asked if Orbitz was intending to NOTIFY ME of the problem with my reservation but was never given a straight answer. All I got was a lame apology for the "inconvenience". They NEVER contacted me in any way regarding the fact that I DID NOT have a valid roundtrip flight even though I had a reservation confirmation number. Several times the agent said, "It's OK - you have not been charged for the flights". I responded "I KNOW you didn't charge me - that's why I am calling - but I do want those flights and am happy to pay for them".
Of course, I was then told that I could be booked on the flights but would have to pay substantially more due to the outbound flight having a higher fare class. I told the agent this was ridiculous and I wanted the fare that they sold me in July. "Sorry, that fare was not honored by the airline" was the response. So, my options were to pay the increase or cancel entirely. I told the agent that I wanted to review this with my husband and would call back.
After spending several hours researching other options, I found I could book the tickets on Northwest (different flight times but on the same days) for much less than Orbitz wanted to charge me. I decided to cancel the Orbitz reservation. When I called, an Orbitz agent tried to be helpful and told me he wanted to see what he could do for me. I waited patiently, hoping that he would actually help me to get my original flights for the original price. After about 40 minutes, he came back on the phone and told me, "Well I was able to determine that you were never charged for the flights so there shouldn't be a problem". I resisted my urge to scream in frustration.
Orbitz clearly sold me flights with a fare the airlines would not honor and Orbitz is taking no responsibility for that. By the way, the original Orbitz price was only a little better than what the airlines were offering in July so I wasn't getting any fabulous deal. Had I not contacted Orbitz when I did I could have been stuck with sky high prices the closer we got to the holidays. I also resent spending the better part of a day dealing with this because of Orbitz handled this so terribly. Never again will I book anything with Orbitz and will warn everyone I know about this bad experience.