Orbitz CSR Makes Dumb Mistake, Costs Me $500

April called up Orbitz to make a change to part of her flight itinerary, because customers can’t be trusted to handle that kind of thing ourselves, and must speak to a trained customer service representative. The helpful employee she spoke to apparently can’t be trusted to handle reservations, either, because–click!–he canceled the whole thing when she only needed to change part of the reservation. Now she apparently has a large credit with United, when not all of her travel was on United. How wonderfully useless.

I had booked a round trip with Orbitz, and needed to change just one of them. As usual it was cheaper to just buy a new ticket and then cancel the old one.

On the Orbitz website, it says to cancel part of a reservation, to call their customer service. So I did this, and the agent merrily canceled the entire reservation. After he canceled the entire reservation, he THEN asked me if that was OK. I said, “No, I do not want to cancel my ENTIRE reservation, that is not OK.” He replied, “Oh, I already clicked the cancel button.”

Here’s the best part. The reservation was with two different airlines (United and American), and the agent informed me that the credits for the cancellation only went to United. The trip I did not want to cancel was with American — United did not have any flights at the time I needed. So now I have no return trip booked, and no credits to pay for it; I will have to pay MORE than the original price over again for the same ticket. Basically, I have to pay $500 more for the agent’s mistake.

If the refund goes through the way this representative said it did (and we have to wonder) then April eneds to escalate this issue. Demand to speak to a supervisor. Fire off an EECB. Worst-case scenario: dispute the amount of the transaction that’s been refunded as a credit on United if she genuinely cannot use it. This isn’t April’s error, and she shouldn’t be forced to pay for it.