Orbitz Informative - Orbitz Did Not Deliver The Flights They Sold To Me
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 at 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 fight 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.