Travelocity Complaint - I'll Never Book With Travelocity Again!
TORONTO, CANADA -- Hi fellow travelers! I am writing from Toronto, Canada. Sorry about the long review, but it was necessary, in order to illustrate how INCOMPETENT, UNHELPFUL and probably even DISHONEST Travelocity customer service agents are. I booked two round-trip tickets with Travelocity.ca for my wife and son on Dec 30, 2008. Nothing fancy…no hotel bookings, no car rentals, just two simple return tickets, yet Travelocity managed to screw them up royally. The trip will only take place in July 2009, but I decided to book early. The trip is from Toronto, Canada (YYZ) to Bacolod, Philippines (BCD). The tickets were booked through Travelocity and issued by Philippine Airlines. The Toronto, Canada to Vancouver, Canada(YVR) leg of the trip is an Air Canada flight, and Philippine Airlines will take them the rest of the way. Two weeks after my booking, I received an e-mail from Travelocity, indicating that due to flight changes made by the airlines, my wife and son would no longer be able to catch one of their connecting flights, therefore I needed to call Travelocity “urgently”.
I called Travelocity and the customer service representative told me that she must change the last leg of their return flight which is from Vancouver to Toronto. Instead of Air Canada flight#100, she must re-book them on Air Canada flight #132, which leaves Vancouver two hours later than flight# 100. After half-an-hour of putting me on hold while she was supposedly contacting Air Canada, she finally told me that everything was OK and that she cancelled the booking for flight# 100 and booked them on flight# 132. The next day when I logged into my Travelocity account to check the itinerary for the trip, it still said flight#100. I called Travelocity to point out the error and they changed my itinerary to show flight#132. Two days later, when I checked my Travelocity itinerary again, it showed that my wife and son were apparently booked on both flight#100 and flight#132!
Worried, that Travelocity apparently booked my wife and son both on two separate flights and that I would eventually be charged for the two extra plane tickets from Vancouver to Toronto, I called Travelocity again to straighten things out and so they removed flight#100 from the itinerary and all was well…or so I thought! About two weeks later, I got another e-mail from Travelocity saying that due to airline schedule changes, my trip would need to be changed (again) and that I must contact them urgently. After calling Travelocity, the agent changed all three legs of the return flight and gave me the new flight numbers as well, but after I got off the phone with her, the ENTIRE RETURN FLIGHT FROM BACOLD TO TORONTO DISAPPEARED FROM THE TRAVELOCITY ITINERARY! Three more phone calls to Travelocity, each lasting from about 30 minutes to one hour (!) because of them putting me on hold for a long time while “they are contacting the airlines”, the customer service representative claiming that they could not contact Philippine Airlines because the “ticket office is closed” or “it is taking too long to get through”, they finally managed to get in touch with them and the Travelocity customer service representative reassured me that he got confirmation from Philippine Airlines indicating that my itinerary was good and that my Travelocity itinerary would be fixed up immediately and that it would accurately reflect the flights that my wife and son were booked on. Well, guess what?
I got off the phone with Travelocity, logged into my Travelocity account to check my itinerary again and two legs of the return trip was still missing. I called Travelocity again (this time, I got the same customer service representative I spoke with earlier), and he simply told me, not to worry about the Travelocity itinerary, since he already told me that he checked with Philippine Airlines and they reassured him that my itinerary was OK. He however offered no explanation as to why my Travelocity itinerary was all screwed up. He told me that it was a “complicated situation” and that a supervisor would call me back. I should mention that up until this point, I had been very friendly and patient with all the customer service representatives at Travelocity, but by now, I’ve had enough! I told him that I paid over $4200 for the two airplane tickets so Travelocity should treat me as a valuable customer and help me out, instead of giving me the runaround. I also told him that Travelocity is severely incompetent and I have absolutely no confidence in their booking if they can not straighten out a simple error in an itinerary after three days worth of phone calls!
Therefore, I told him to cancel the tickets! (This seems to have gotten his attention!) He put me on hold again for about 15 minutes and when he came back on the line, he told me that he contacted Philippine Airlines and that they were going to e-mail the trip itinerary to me directly, so I could be reassured that everything is OK. Well, I immediately received the trip itinerary from Philippine Airlines by e-mail (Thank You Philippine Airlines!) and guess what? THE PHILIPPINE AIRLINES ITINERARY SHOWS THAT MY WIFE AND SON ARE STILL BOOKED ON ALLTHE EXACT SAME FLIGHTS (INCLUDING THE AIR CANADA FLIGHT# 100 FROM VANCOUVER TO TORONTO) AS THEY WERE BOOKED ON THE ORIGINAL BOOKING DATE OF DEC 30, 2008!!! This means, that apparently, Travelocity made no changes whatsoever to my booking, except to screw up my Travelocity itinerary! Incredible! The story does not end here. Here comes the best part! I called Air Canada reservations just to make sure that the Philippine Airlines itinerary was correct. I was told by Air Canada that we were not booked on either flight# 100, nor flight# 132, BECAUSE TRAVELOCITY COULD NOT MAKE UP ITS MIND AS TO WHICH FLIGHT WE SHOULD BE ON, SO FINALLY AIR CANADA STOPPED SAVING THE SEAT FOR US! With the trip being still six months away, however, there were plenty of empty seats still on both flights, so I asked the Air Canada customer service representative to please book us on flight# 100, which he did. Thank You Air Canada!
So, there you go. Air Canada fixed in 1 two-minute phone call, what Travelocity could not fix after 3 days of phone calls. Looking at my whole trip itinerary on his system, the Air Canada agent even told me that there was enough time to catch all the connecting flights. So why did Travelocity want to change my flights on a trip still six months away? Oh yes, and Travelocity still can not explain why my Travelocity itinerary has two legs of my return trips missing. One Travelocity customer service agent told me, that it was just a “computer glitch”. One strange thing about Travelocity customer service representatives (all located in India as far as I know) is that they don’t want to help you with your problem, unless you threaten to cancel your booking. Talking to them is like talking to a robot. They give you “script-like” responses without answering your question. At times, they pretend not to understand your question. Trying to get help from them is like banging your head against a brick wall. A big part of the problem in dealing with Travelocity is that each time you call, you get a different agent so you could end up with more than one agent trying to make changes to your booking at the same time, which needless to say will lead to a lot of confusion and a lack of accountability on the agent’s part. OK, let me finish my review on a positive note. What did I learn from my experience with Travelocity and what advice can I give to my fellow travellers?
1. Never book with Travelocity again! Booking with Expedia, Cheap Tickets.com or any other on-line travel booking service for that matter, won’t solve your problem either, since judging by some of the reviews, they may be just as bad. (Although it is hard to imagine that anything can be as bad as booking with Travelocity.)
2. Instead of booking on-line, go to a “real” travel agent who is accountable to you, or if you must book on-line, book directly with the airline.
3. Do not book a trip more than 6 to 8 weeks in advance, in order to minimize the chance of airlines making changes to your scheduled flights.
4. If Travelocity screws up your itinerary, try to get them to request the airline itself to e-mail your itinerary to you directly. (Threaten to cancel your ticket if Travelocity refuses to help you with this). Once you have your itinerary from the airline, it should have your e-ticket number on it. With this e-ticket number, you can now contact the airline at anytime before your flight in order to make sure that you are booked on a specific flight or even request changes or cancellations to the booking yourself.