Three Strikes and Orbitz is Out!
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- Three Strikes and Orbits 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.