Austin bought two tickets to Aruba last December. By the end of February, Orbitz had changed his itinerary so many times that now they were only flying him as far as Atlanta, and 11 days later were flying him back from Aruba—it was apparently up to him to get from Atlanta to Aruba in the first place. At this point, the only option was to request a refund, which Orbitz said would take 60 days. Two months later, Orbitz told Austin that they’ll give him his money back in 60 days. We’re pretty sure that’s 120 days total, and there’s still no guarantee Austin will see his money.
Here’s his story in his own words:
Dec 7, 2008: I get online to buy some plane tickets for my honeymoon. I end up at Orbitz.com and purchase 2 round trip tickets to Aruba for Late June. I paid extra to get a direct flight from Chicago, IL to Aruba. Over the month, “Itinerary Change” emails keep trickling in. All in all, my flight ended up being Chicago to Atlanta to Charlotte to Aruba. I asked for some sort of monetary compensation for the extra layovers since I had initially paid extra for that direct flight. This request was promptly rejected. I wasn’t happy, but what could I do…so I just took it.
February 22 2009: I get ANOTHER “Itinerary Change” email. This one was rather cryptic. I put off investigating it until the weekend. Upon closer inspection, I was now being flow from Chicago to Atlanta. My next flight was out of Aruba to Miami 11 days later!!! No where was it clearly stated that I was not being flown TO Aruba, and that half my flights had been cancelled. Well, I obviously had to call in at this point since my “Itinerary Change” left me stranded in Atlanta to find my own way to Aruba! After working with them on the phone for literally over 4 hours…they came to the conclusion that there was no way they could get me to Aruba. At this point the said “If you would like, we can refund your money”. I said that I really wanted to just get to Aruba, but if that couldn’t happen, that yes, I wanted my money back. At this point, they informed me that it would be 60 DAYS until they’d refund my money!!! I had 2 tickets at OVER $700 each sitting out there, and was not gonna get my money back for 30 days!!! I wasn’t happy, but they informed me it was “policy” to do that. So at this point I inquired about the refund of the over $80 I had spent to get insurance on these tickets. The response that I got was “Sir, we don’t offer refunds on insurance policies. We told you when you bought it that you couldn’t cancel this policy.” Well, to me, that seems a bit flawed when I really didn’t want to cancel the policy or the plane tickets….THEY DID IT! As I complained about this, they informed me that “I could write a letter to a manager at the Insurance company and they may waive the no refund rule and give my money back.” I couldn’t believe my ears. But once again, what could I do. So I set out to wait my 2 months to get my money back.
April 23rd, 2009: I’ve now bought another set of plane tickets. I’ve closed on a house. Money is tight. So my 60 days has passed, on the nose. No sign of the money. I call Orbitz once again to find out why I STILL haven’t received my money. They give the off the cuff answer of “sir, it will take 60 days to receive your money”. I explain that I have waited the 2 months and that I still don’t have anything back. I get put on hold for some crazy length of time…and upon his return, the representative says to me…”Oh, sir, you requested your refund on February 22nd, correct?” I said, “No, you guys cancelled my plane tickets on Feb. 22 and YOU issued my refund by force.” He says back, “Well sir, you will have your refund within 60 business days.”
Seriously? I have to wait almost 3 months to get my money back for a plane ticket that THEY cancelled? This is outrageous! They didn’t offer me an interest free loan to pay the tickets 3 months after I bought them!! Heck no! They took my money the very day I ordered them. They were VERY prompt about billing my Credit Card! I think that it is an outrage that they are even allowed to sit on my nearly $1800 for 3 months when I have NOTHING from them. NOTHING!! No tangible items, no promise of flights for my honeymoon, nothing. Yet they can take their sweet time returning my money.