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Orbitz - A Guide To Managing Your Losses
By -

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.

Orbitz Did Not Deliver The Flights They Sold To Me
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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.

Don't Ever Use Orbitz!
By -

USA -- Thanks to Orbitz people like myself have the ease of booking an entire vacation with the click of a button. I am well aware of many other websites out there that provide the same line of service as theirs, but I read up about their company and many others and found out that Orbitz was the most reputable out there regarding price, customer service, and overall satisfaction. Sadly I found out the hard way that this was not the case.

I booked a vacation through Orbitz for the week of March 30th to April 2nd; it was a flight and hotel accommodation for 4 days and 3 nights at Bahia Principe in the Dominican Republic. After my booking I received multiple emails stating, "Prepare For your Trip". I looked under "mytrips" to see the status of my hotel accommodations and saw everything was in good order. I later found out that I received an email from your company in false pretense.

After my flight to Punta Cana I arrived at my hotel at 12:00 pm and tried to check in, however, Orbitz never made the reservations to the hotel. Two thousand miles away I was stranded with no place to stay. I was without accommodations. I discussed this with the hotel manager and he said that Orbitz never booked the hotel reservation and the best they could do is give us one night for $150 a night. I discussed my dissatisfaction with the manager and he told me to contact Orbitz. I called on my vacation to try to sort out the problem that was caused not due to me, but by Orbitz.

I called customer service and I was on hold for the next 5 hours of my vacation on hold, in a hotel lobby because of a mistake on Orbitz' behalf. I do not typically complain about anything in life. I realize mistakes do happen, however, when I was told by a customer service representative that the best they could do is schedule me for only TWO nights instead of THREE I was furious. I told the representative that it was their mistake and they should do their part in fixing it. Once again I was put on hold.

Finally around 4:00 pm I was told that I could get a room but still for only two nights. By that time I so distraught that I just accepted the mini victory and accepted it by the time the representative got back to me it was almost 5:00 PM. Hardly a relaxing time in paradise.

The following day I once again took time out of my vacation to contact Orbitz in hopes of getting a room for my third and final night. So at 12:00 instead of sitting at the beach I was sitting in a hotel lobby on HOLD seeing what was going to happen. At 2:00 I received information from a representative stating that I was accommodated for the third night in the same hotel.

Orbitz has a simple concept, we the consumer pay them, the company to book flight and hotel accommodations at an inexpensive rate with no hassles. I felt robbed of my time and money because of the lack of follow through and customer service at their company. Each person that goes to their company can just as easily call a hotel and airline direct to accommodate their needs. I used theirs because I believed that they would do their due diligence not only from a booking standpoint, but if they make a mistake on a customer satisfaction standpoint they would rectify that as well.

Your service was awful in handling my needs. I wasted my time and energy for a matter that should have never happened. I realize Orbitz is a multi-million dollar company, however when I wasn't treated like a consumer I was treated substandardly by them and I did not get one apology for the problem that was caused. I paid $1300 and for me that is a lot of money. Orbitz wasted that and ruined my experience. I would like you to just look into this issue and see whatever you can do to rectify this situation. Additionally I received over 220 in roaming charges contacting Orbitz because they never booked my hotel. I gave this message to the BBB and the only response I got was...

$300 Rip Off By Orbitz
By -

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- Let me recount what a NIGHTMARE it was dealing with the Orbitz customer service staff: I originally called a sales agent to book a new flight from OKC to Washington DC (July 3-July 6) in order to use a credit I had on my account from a previous cancellation. I would normally book it through the website, but I was forced to call an agent in order to use my credit.

I spoke with a girl and I gave her all my information and told her I needed a flight from OKC-Washington DC, leaving on July 3rd and returning on July 6th. She said there would be a $130 charge per flight off my credit due to some rebooking fees from my previous cancellation and charged my credit card accordingly ($280). I was fine with this as I understood the cancellation policy. She booked my flight and charged the price difference that she found for the flights. She then notified me I would receive an email confirmation of the flight details shortly and thanked me for my business.

Minutes after I hung up the phone, I checked my email for the confirmation. Upon reviewing the information, I noticed that she had made a HUGE mistake and booked the returning flight as July 5th, as opposed to July 6th that I requested. I immediately called back and spoke with someone in customer service thinking this would be an easy mistake to correct and no harm was done. I spoke to a customer service agent and was told that there was nothing she could do and I would be charged fees to correct her mistake. I then requested to speak with a supervisor and ended up with Marcello (MTO).

Marcello opened an investigation regarding the matter and said he would call me later in the evening. Two hours later, he called me back and said he reviewed the phone call and that he understood that I requested July 6th, but that your customer service girl did not interpret it correct and booked July 5th as the return date. He then informed me that I would be charged another $150/flight ($300 total for the 2 flights I purchased) in order to change the return dates to July 6th. He offered the Orbitz fees ($30) to be taken off, but nothing else.

He then tried to contact American Eagle and notify them of the booking agent's mistake to see if you could get a refund, but informed me they were closed for the evening. I asked if he would contact them in the morning and he said the investigation has now been closed and offered no other solutions to remedy the situation. This is outright unacceptable from Orbitz. I have a hard time believing that they treat all their customers this way for mistakes that their own employees make. He wanted me to pay $300 for a mistake that an Orbitz booking agent made?

I have informed many friends & family members of their practices and recommended they cease doing business with Orbitz. My company also does quite a bit of business with Orbitz for travel arrangements. I have expressed to all my colleagues how disappointed I was in the Orbitz services. Needless to say, I am a very upset customer and demand that action be taken to correct this mistake immediately. I have also filed a complaint against Orbitz with the Better Business Bureau, case #**.

Orbitz Leaves Honeymooners High And Dry 11 Days Before Departure!!
By -

This review is written in an attempt to appeal to consumers who may not fully understand the extent in which companies, like Orbitz, are willing and able to rip you off and leave you high and dry. My story begins 1 year ago in June 2007, just around the time I was getting married and trying to negotiate my honeymoon plans. My husband and I always wanted to go somewhere tropical, since he's from England and I'm from Chicago, so Jamaica seemed like a very logical destination. As we began our typical search we started noticing that our best financial bet would be to purchase a package deal, with airfare and hotel included.

After having several good experiences with Travelocity and Expedia we turned to them in hopes of being able to purchase a package, however, in the home stretch due to a minor price difference we ended up reserving with Orbitz -- what a mistake that was!! Several days after our wedding it came to our attention that my husband would not be legally allowed to re-enter the States without authorization, which is only obtained through a lengthy and expensive process.

Now armed with that information we knew we had only 2 options, either cancel our honeymoon or postpone it to the following year -- which brings us to June 2008. Of course we decided to go ahead and postpone our honeymoon, to the tune of $1,900 in cancellation fees, re-booking charges, and rate changes. Our only other alternative was to cancel the honeymoon without any sort of compensation due to the short notice that we were provided. It seemed like a no brainer -- pay a bit of extra money and don't lose over $3,000 (the cost of the original booking) and we still get to go to Jamaica WRONG!!

Several days ago we were contacted by Orbitz who initially told us that there was a cancellation with our direct flight to Jamaica. After several hours of trying to straighten things out with Orbitz and our flights, it came to light that there was no problem with Air Jamaica, in actuality the problem was Orbitz -- who never made the official changes to our reservations. At this point I have spent nearly 8 hours on the phone with Orbitz alone, not including the time I have been forced to spend on the phone explaining this to everyone from the resort (who believes we were a NO SHOW last year -- and have charged us as such) to the whole family.

Unfortunately, we have still not resolved this issue as Orbitz has done nothing to try to fix this problem. All they were willing to do is to try to get us on another flight that would be at our expense, with the average difference costing us around $700-800. The audacity of this company is unbelievable, especially considering that we paid $1,900 last year to have the flights changed and we received confirmation of that change through an e-mail and a credit card statement. To make matters worse Orbitz never even extended an apology, instead they choose to say "sorry for your inconvenience", isn't that the understatement of the year!!

UPDATE... After several more agonizing hours on the phone I finally managed to get a human being on the phone that was able to extend a sincere apology to both my husband and I, however that was about all she could offer.

In retrospect I wish I had tried a few other phone lines before committing into an unfair arrangement which appeared as our only option. At least what I have learned is that there are some individuals that are willing to work with the customer and abide by the laws of common decency, as well as taking into account the restrictions of their company. Unfortunately, it is the luck of the draw when it comes to how many numbers can be used to contact Orbitz's customer service reps and who you'll actually get on the other line.

I wanted to add that my husband and I have been able to re-coordinate airfare through an alternative source. Thanks to the flexibility and compassion of the resort (Couples Swept Away) that we were "booked" into we will be able to go on our honeymoon after all, as they are honoring our previous reservation.

As for Orbitz, we agreed on a refund for our flight but they did not offer any other compensation for what appears to be 100% their fault. At this time we are very grateful that we have a Honeymoon to take at all but we do have every intention on following through with further investigation into what went wrong. Even just an hour ago we received an e-mail confirming our flight and our hotel and this was after many lengthy conversations with Orbitz representatives.

Just out of curiosity I contacted Air Jamaica, who we were originally booked with, and they told us that we are in their system from last year's reservations and they have a notation of Orbitz calling last July and canceling our flight. So what exactly was that $1,900 charge for rescheduling for, when nothing was actually rescheduled and even up till an hour ago we are still being reported as having a booked holiday through Orbitz...? The whole thing is almost incomprehensible. But at least we can now save our moaning for the beach... No thanks to Orbitz!

Changing of Flight
By -

TAMPA, FLORIDA -- I have been a loyal Orbitz customer for quite sometime. Past History show Dec/03 was the day I started buying from them rather than my parent'€™s travel agent. Throughout the years I have no problem with them but since there is not whole lots of changes need to be made on the flight that I am flying.

In my account, I have my wife, kid, friends and family member in there if they want me to assist them with buying ticket, since I talk so good about them, I can do it. One time, my wife, book a flight to Mexico with the wrong name and we were able to cancel it fairly quickly and also fee was like 15 dollar or so (which sound reasonable for a travel agent (specially an online one). Last year 2005 I even order 4 tickets from Tampa to Taiwan (each ticket $1,239.30 USD. They were not the cheapest but since they were good in service, I gave it to them.)

So what went wrong??? This time I am going to Taiwan with my wife and kid. (This trip from LAX to Taipei was free from a family member so only have to worry Tampa to LAX and back.) At first we were plan to stay for 3 weeks but we kind of know date might get change or something. So without checking Orbitz NEW canceling fee I told my wife, "it is OK, lets just order it early with Orbitz and they seem to be very easy to cancel w/ pretty good canceling fee."

So 2 days ago I found out my flight will be coming back a week and half early. This is when hell breaks loose. I will not go into detail on how bad customer service it was, how long did I have to wait, how many times did the India service people hang up on me nor how long they asked one question then put me on hold forever.

I call them this morning to found out that it would close me 90 dollar each ticket to cancel (which it cost 210 per ticket) and 130 dollar to change flight (not include the increase price they will do on other flight). ***Please keep in mind I am traveling with 2 other *** To cancel flight would cost me $270 dollar?? That is 45% of my flight price. It is almost easier for me to deal with AirTran myself than buying from them. Orbitz was supposed to be my Travel Agent which suppose act like one. I had to change my flight from LAX to Taipei twice and guess that how much that travel agent charge me?? NOTHING!!! I should have just order from them.

Anyway, so this morning after 2 hours.... with all those stuff happen... I got place on hold for 20 mins. My wife suggest to call at night because we need to go to the hospital, my sister in law just had baby yesterday. So I said "OK" since I am night person anyway. So after a long busy day, I call Orbitz at July 8th 2am, I explain my issue again, we ran into same problem. So finally I decided, I will talk to the supervisor. The agent explain no supervisor is there (I never hear of a no supervisor on site since I work at a call center as well). In the end, that call got hung up as well.

Finally I got a guy who want to help me (I insist of speaking to supervisor). He told me, how come I didn'€™t call during normal business hour? However, he was a little helpful, he transfer me to another person still at India (fyi) (also I believe she was the one hung up on me) .

In the end, they transfer me to AirTran (which I forgot to talk about, when I got hung up, I did tried to call AirTran, the person who pick up the phone told me to call Orbitz. (It is normal, just like if I have a travel agent.) I explain to the person that I am being mistreated and just need this fix. Transfer to supervisor of AirTran (which got place on hold for 30 mins). She just told me to call Orbitz and did not care about my issue.

So before transferring to AirTran, the lady (who I believe hung up on me before) told me it would cost me $573 dollar to get it move from Aug 4th to July 26 or 25. *** Please keep in mind it cost me $673 for the tickets *** I told the AirTran guy, I am not in the hurry nor in business that need to be a time frame. I just need to go home but won't get charge for an arm or leg.

In the end with couple price throwing to me (which I am not happy with) the guy told me same flight info and they change the date from Aug 4th to July 25. Total of $180 fee. I took it and call it a day. I will have to call the other travel agent to move the flight to the earlier time to arrive LAX (which again NO ADDITIONAL FEE).

Orbitz were supposed to be my travel agent and yet they did not do their job. They were suppose look out for their customer'€™s best interest but yet they overcharge me (as usually they are 5-15 dollar higher than buying from the company). But since as a travel agent, I know they make more than that. And yet they do not do their job. I might as well go out to McD and eat a value meal than ** in the bathroom and throw that ** back to my face. I will never use Orbitz again and tomorrow, all my friends and family will found out.

Lately I feel there is a trend of lack of customer service. What happen to the good old customer are number 1. Keep us happy and word of the mouths will be the best ad you will ever get. A good product (which in their hand was service) would be the key. They outsource the customer service to India which does not do their job or does not have the tool to do. Please train them better, provide better tools or move the customer service back to US. My voice is not as big as a VP or some Exec but today was not acceptable.

Orbitz Scams
By -

I was looking for a flight ticket to fly my mother and brother in law from Poland to the U.S. This limited my choices. Orbitz just happened to be one of the few that would allow you to start with a non domestic flight. I found some great prices on the site. But for some reason every time I would click the ticket I wanted it would only take me to another screen with different priced tickets. I did this several times trying to get the first ticket I saw. I would refresh my search, see the great prices, click it, only to get another price screen at higher prices.

After several attempts I realized the second page is the only page I can buy tickets from so I clicked on the cheapest ticket on that page which was 200$ more and decided to call to order. Big mistake! I wanted to call so if I had any questions they could be clarified then and there. Well apparently Orbitz is ran in India. An man with a very strong accent took my order which was a very long and agonizing process as several times he would mess up or even misunderstand me. Every letter we would have to choose a name for ex: A for Apple.

Sometimes they would use completely weird words for letters such as P for Papa (but remember with an accent) and we don't say papa from where I am. P for Parrot ( which sounded like they said D for Derrick. P also was confused for B. Anyway, after 20-30 minutes we were checking the names to make sure they were correct. The last name was supposed to be ** on both flyers. As he was reading off the second one I noticed he said **. I said no, no, "K" as in Kite. He said sorry and we were laughing at this point because of all the confusion. He repeated it back and it was fine.

I waited 24 hours and finally got the tickets in the email. He did not change the first name. It was **. Which I don't know how he made that mistake in the first place as the letter C doesn't sound anything like the letter K. It was obviously a phonetic problem on his part being from a different country. I know I could not misspell my last name as I read it out to him **. No way I would spell out **. So not panicking at this point as it was a problem on their part I called the company. They said they changed it and I would just have to call American Airlines to make sure it was changed in 24 hours. I waited, I called.

AA told me that it could be a big problem and they cannot fix the name on the ticket, Orbitz would have to. I called Orbitz and they said they cannot change the name on the ticket. I was very angry at this point because they were telling me I am going to have to cancel the ticket and pay the fee and get a new one. I couldn't believe it. I definitely felt ripped off at this point. I asked to speak to a manager and got through. Finally it was someone who spoke good English. I thought "She will understand me and my situation". Wrong. She was very unsympathetic. She said that it was my fault and that I should have noticed the error on the phone.

She also denied the problem that the Indians I spoke to don't speak English well and it must be my connection. She did however say that she can waive the cancellation fee even though it's been after 24 hours. (I think this in itself is a big scam as you have to wait 24 hours to receive the tickets). She said I have till 8 pm to decide. Meanwhile I'm thinking if my ticket went up 50$ in the hour I was looking for one the first time, how much is it now. I was not satisfied. After calling my husband and sister in law I decided I had no choice but to cancel. I called again and wanted to speak to a manager again about the problem.

I was hoping to speak to someone more sympathetic. I was transferred to international sales and then when I asked for the manager I was hung up on. Grrr! Again I called and this time I was put through to a manager. She seemed more sympathetic and at least agreed that it had to have been a mistake on the reps part as the letter C and K when spelled out do not sound alike and that the rep should have seen that the two names ** and ** should have been noticed.

She left to speak with her manager and said that she would cancel the ticket but she could only give me a 50$ certificate towards the next purchase from Orbitz. She said it would be emailed to me in 24 hours. It's been 2 weeks or so since that call. I haven't received anything. Do I want to call back? It's not worth it. I think Orbitz sucks to say the least. And now I am truly interested in joining the millions who refuse to support businesses that work abroad.

Orbitz Breaks Federal Law: Fare Credit Billing Act
By -

CAPITAL, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA -- How Orbitz acted after Better Business Bureau intervention, in response to: Consumer'€™s Original Complaint:
Consumer alleges in July 2006, someone used my credit card to purchase tickets on the Orbitz website. I contacted my credit card company and they agreed it was a fraudulent purchase. In Feb 2007 Orbitz says they understand I disputed the charges and while Chase (My credit card company) determined I was not liable, Orbitz still thinks I should pay them. The amount in dispute is greater than $240.00 .

Consumer'€™s Desired Resolution: To resolve this complaint I would like the Orbitz to stop sending this to collections and clear my account. Also, acknowledge the previous correspondence I sent by certified mail on March 2007. The record locator number is **.

BBB Processing
- 04/06/2007 fpp BBB Complaint Received by BBB
- 04/06/2007 fpp BBB Member or MIP Complaint Validated by BBB Operator
- 04/06/2007 otto MAIL Send Acknowledgement to Consumer
- 04/06/2007 otto BBB Inform MIP Member of Complaint
- 04/06/2007 kmm MAIL Forward Business response to Consumer
- 04/10/2007 WEB BBB RECEIVED CONSUMER REBUTTAL: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)

Addtl info: On 4/9 I spoke with Karen ** Orbitz General Counsel and advised her of the complaint. I also e-mailed Karen ** a copy of all correspondence to ** and cc'd as suggested by Jeff ** of Orbitz customer relations in his initial rebuttal to my complaint with the Chicago BBB. I am now waiting to hear back from Orbitz General Counsel and/or the Orbitz dispute department. Thank you to the BBB staff who have helped me facilitate this process.

  • 04/10/2007 kmm EMAIL Forward Consumer Rebuttal to Business
  • 04/11/2007 kmm EMAIL Send Consumer Bus. Response - Close AJR
  • 04/11/2007 otto BBB Inform Business - Case Closed AJR
  • 04/11/2007 kmm BBB Case Closed AJR

They finally gave up on getting me to pay, I am now glad to air their dirty collections practices before the forum. They are attempting to take advantage of anyone they can, avoid Orbitz!!!

Will Never Use Orbitz Again
By -

On March 11/12th, 2007 we made reservations via Orbitz to travel on July 17th to the UK. My whole family (husband, wife, 3 kids) were going over for my sister's wedding vows ceremony and just to visit with everyone. Unfortunately, on March 16th, I got the unexpected and devastating news that my mother had terminal cancer, and her prognosis was very poor. Basically, I needed to get to the UK ASAP if I was to see her alive. I contacted Orbitz the very next day, via their (subtracted to India) customer services.

#1 representative told me that, no problem, so long as we provided documentation, our flights would be "transferred" and we could fly out to the UK as soon as we could. Great news! On this basis, we started contacting our kids' teachers, my husband's professors, and my boss.

Calling back on Monday to clarify what was needed, #2 representative informed me that #1 representative was incorrect and that Orbitz "never transferred flights". #2 representative told me that we would have to seek a refund instead. I began to panic. My mother was deteriorating daily, and I needed to get to England. I asked her how long the refund would take and her response was that the refund would take place "immediately."

It took until Tuesday evening for us to straighten out the kids' schools, work and college, and by then I had received a letter from my mother's doctor in England. He wrote that she had "terminal illness with a poor prognosis." She was dying.

On March 21st, I faxed this letter from the doctor with an explanatory note to Orbitz. As requested by rep #2, I called 2 hours later and they confirmed that the letter was received. I asked #3 representative about the refund, emphasizing that we needed to leave NOW. #3's response was that it took 30-60 days to process a refund!

When I had picked up my jaw from the floor, I repeated that #2 had told me that the refund was immediate. #3 told me that #2 was wrong" (are you hearing the pattern here?) and that the refunds took 30-60 days - blah blah, credit card cycles, blah blah airlines fault etc. I told #3 that we had not used a credit card, we had used our bank debit card which had used funds available in our checking account. #3 then continued to quote the 30-60 day processing time.

Defeated and deeply emotional, I quit on calling Orbitz for a few hours. Then I called back, spoke to rep #4. I explained yet again that my mother was dying and I had to fly out now. I told #4 that I needed to speak to someone with authority to grant this refund immediately. #4 lost me someplace in the system. Called back again, same rigmarole, #5 lost me in the system.

Called back again and explained to #6, and after a long - endlessly long - wait, another person came on the telephone, a female. #6 claimed to be a manager. I explained yet again the circumstances, and #6 went away for a very long time. When she returned, she told me that, and I quote exactly: "Orbitz has taken the hold off your money. All you have to do is call your bank, and they will take the hold off and you will have your money." I asked her to repeat that, and she did.

I hung up on her (BIG mistake!) and called our bank, USAA. The customer services rep looked at our account and said, "no, no money waiting on hold". I told her about my conversation with Orbitz and she checked everywhere she could but there was no money waiting. Shall I spoil the suspense here and say that we are STILL awaiting this refund which Orbitz took the hold off on March 21st??

The bank told me to wait until the next day, which I did, but there was no money so, heart sinking, we took money yet again from our savings and we went ahead and booked a flight to leave for England on March 24th. Because of the delay with Orbitz, this was the soonest flight we could get that we could afford! We flew out of San Antonio on March 24th at 2:00 pm and my mother died in England at 2:30 pm. When we arrived in England on Sunday morning, it was way too late.

I was so done with telephone calls to Orbitz. I couldn't bear to be told any more lies, but I was very angry about the deliberate lies told by their customer services. I had begun emailing them on March 22nd, and I continued even after my mother's death to pursue both the issue of the lies told, and the whereabouts of my refund. All that I got was more company policy quoted and a suggestion that I call their 1-800 number. Which I declined.

When we returned, it took some time to regain momentum. The loss of a parent does that to you. On April 9th I wrote to Orbitz in Chicago. On April 16th I had a response from customer services. They apologized, they re-stated 30-60 day policy, they told me how huge Orbitz is and how many customers they have, and said they had faxed our information the airline (BMI).

Then followed a long period of silence. We had calculated the maximum 60 days from March 21st to expiry on May 19th (tomorrow as I write.) There has still be no sign of the money. So this morning, May 18th, I called customer services at Orbitz.

The person I spoke to there advised me that the 30-60 day period had "begun again" on April 16th when she wrote to me. When I questioned her, she finally acknowledged that the paperwork I had faxed to Orbitz had never been sent to BMI, hence the delay and the re-setting of the 30-60 day period. When I checked further, I found that - at today's date - our reservation to fly to England is still a "confirmed reservation." The airline hasn't even canceled our reservations!!

I have today faxed and emailed BMI to find out whether they ever received our paperwork. I have my doubts. We are absolutely miserable and defeated. Orbitz made a bad situation significantly worse. I would never, ever, EVER travel with Orbitz again. I would rather get to England in other way than use their services. This is a bad, bad company.

Orbitz Non Customer Service
By -

CALIFORNIA -- Four letters have been sent to customer service, customer relations, Brian ** - head of Customer Relations and Eliot ** - SVP of Communications at Transport, the parent company, concerning my problem and have been totally ignored. From reading other websites this is a common practice with this company and has been for years. Customer never get compensated, not even an apology. BIG BUSINESS the little guy can't hurt their bottom line.

My problem started by ordering and paying for a ticket for my grandson in the USAF in England. Instead of an e-ticket to him at his email address they sent me a paper ticket in California. I did NOT knowingly request a paper ticket nor receive any warning, like "hey why would you want paper ticket sent to California when the flight leaves from London." Thought paper tickets went out with the dinosaurs and so apparently has customer service.

When I learned that the ticket would not be received until 5 days after I ordered and 5 days before the flight I called UPS who stated that there being no expedited delivery to an APO they could not handle. My grandson contacted the airlines who stated under circumstance they would cancel but we had to go back to Orbitz. Back to their customer service again.

First told me I could cancel and gave me the fees, said he needed to get the address and hung up. Explained to the next clerk again why the ticket could not be used on date of flight. She said under NO circumstances could I cancel ticket, my only option was to exchange ticket for use on another date and gave me the address to do so.

Since my grandson could not easily change his leave dates we bought him another ticket and I returned the ticket (they got it back the morning after I received) with a letter again stating reasons it could not be used and requesting options for using value of ticket at a later date as I could not afford to lose the money. This is the first letter that was ignored. When I again called was told that as a "no show" had lost full value.

Several more customer service supervisors and days later I had no answer as to why this had happened. I had told two clerks and reiterated in a letter that the ticket could not be used on flight dates. I asked they playback my conversation with the clerk who gave me exchange address, which I was told had been recorded, they refused. Was finally told they do not cancel reservations by letter only phone or E-Mail. I never received this information during any of my conversations when it would have made a difference. Of course I got nowhere and that's when I started my letter campaign which also fell on deaf ears.

They had my ticket, they had my letter with a phone number, and unfortunately they had my money. If this truly is a policy a simple call would have saved me a $ 1,100. This is what Orbitz calls TLC? So beware if you use Orbitz and miss your flight for any reason. TLC really means TAKE LOSERS CASH or TOUGH LUCK CHUMP. I really don't expect to have much impact on their bottom line but hopefully enough that they lose more than I feel they owe me. I just want to stand up and be counted as not going quietly. I did request the assistance of the airlines and they have at least acknowledged I am alive. However they were not a fault.

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