Orbitz Supervisor Plays Hardball With USAir, Gets Them To Rebook Tickets

Nicholas had a business trip go bad quickly when USAir canceled a flight and wouldn’t make things right again. His tickets were through Orbitz, and although he had a terrible experience with Orbitz’s first line of CSRs, he eventually managed to find a supervisor who made sure USAir helped solve the problem—even going so far as to let Nicholas secretly listen in on a call with a USAir agent.

Nicholas writes:

Orbitz is amazing for getting your flights fixed if you can get a supervisor on the line. I was on a business trip that involved multiple stops. Naturally one of my flights was canceled early in the trip, which threw off all of the remaining flights.

Orbitz called me about 2 1/2 hours before my flight, let me know and recommended (after putting me on hold to verify with USAir) that I travel from the small regional airport that I was in to the nearest international airport to catch a flight sooner. A $240 cab ride later I find myself at the international airport with all USAir flights canceled, and most of Southwest still flying.

USAir then informed me that because my origin airport was changed they could not get me onto an earlier flight to a different destination airport that was about as close to my destination as the original. (Destination = Utica, NY. Airports = Syracuse/Albany)

They then booked me a flight anyway, but told me I had to immediately book my return flight. I told them I’d call them back once I setup a new meeting. They said I had to book it right then and there. I explained that because I had to cancel one meeting already I didn’t know when I could reschedule a new one. Luckily during this argument I got a call from one of the guys I was supposed to meet. I got the meeting scheduled, but lost the [USAir] call.

When I called back they had already taken back the ticket they issued me in the previous phone call and basically said I was SOL.

The Orbitz CSR then put me on a (secret) conference call with USAir where the USAir rep essentially said I should have never been given the ticket in the first place and that it’s not his problem. The Orbitz CSR then asked me if I heard what the USAir rep had said, I replied that I wasn’t too happy about it, and that I wanted my flights booked immediately. Apparently USAir reps don’t like it when customers get to hear them not doing their jobs, judging by all the yelling and threats directed at the Orbitz CSR. I had the rest of my trip booked in 15 mins.

The first level of Orbitz CSRs are morons and absolutely not worth talking to at all. I was a passenger on a trip someone else booked, but every CSR insisted on asking me personal information about the person that booked the trip. No amount of logic could progress the conversation. After losing my temper I achieved a 50/50 ratio of getting a supervisor or getting hung up on.

We’re not sure of the lesson here, except that it helps to be told immediately when a leg of your flight is canceled. It also helps to have a feisty customer service supervisor on your side who won’t take “No” for an answer, but we’re not sure how you ask for that person when you call in.