You know those paranoid sci-fi stories where everything the protagonist thought he knew about reality starts to come apart at the seams and he has to question whether he really is married to Sharon Stone or maybe he’s really trapped on an island with that Hobbit guy? Well, that’s what Orbitz is doing to Devin (well, maybe not the Sharon Stone part). [More]
A class-action lawsuit filed yesterday in a U.S. District Court in California alleges that the biggest names in online travel — Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotels.com — and some of the world’s largest hotel chains — Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, Intercontinental, among others — conspired together so that the “best price guarantee” you often see when booking a room online is in actuality just a number set by the hotel operators.
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.
Travel reservation site Orbitz says it has data showing that customers who use Apple computers to book their hotel rooms have a tendency to go for pricier rooms, so Orbitz has just gone ahead and decided that when Mac users visit Orbitz, they will see more expensive options first.
Orbitz has been slapped with a $60,000 fine by the Dept. of Transportation because the travel site violated federal laws that require clear disclosure of taxes and fees associated with airfares.
Things are starting to get ugly in the battle between airlines and travel-booking websites. Less than one week after American Airlines pulled its listings from Orbitz.com, Delta has announced its flights will no longer be listed on three other sites.
Andrew says Orbitz screwed up his trip to New York by booking and charging him for a room at a hotel that couldn’t honor the reservation. He arrived at the hotel at 9 p.m., but there was no room waiting for him.
Samantha had to change her travel plans when her father passed away. Instead of taking a family vacation as planned in November, she had to pay double for tickets to visit immediately and attend the funeral. Knowing she would no longer be able to afford the November vacation, she asked Orbitz to refund the tickets and the company came through.
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.
Ryan’s wife is currently traveling alone with their 3-month-old son on the way to an unexpected funeral near Salt Lake, Utah. Despite the fact that she paid for the rental up front as part of an Orbitz package, the local Hertz jerks are refusing to give her the car unless she goes to an ATM and brings back $200 cash, which they say they will mail back in check form a few weeks after she returns the car. Even Hertz says this isn’t their policy, but they can’t seem to stay on the phone long enough to help Ryan and his wife.
You’d think a whole bus is hard to hide but Orbitz had no problem trying to sneak one past Harry McCracken when he was booking a flight to Las Vegas. He noticed at checkout there was a $14 ground transportation fee that had been “added for [his] convenience.” Paging backwards, tucked in a list of about 40 upgrades and local attractions was a $14 bus fee. The tricky part was that all the others were opt-in and this one was opt-out. Naughty Orbitz, trying to sneak a bus onto an airplane!
You won’t get the best deal booking your hotel room through third-party sites like Expedia or Travelocity, according to an anonymous hospitality industry insider. Inside, four excellent reasons to book directly with a hotel to guarantee the best rooms at the best prices.
Orbitz sent out an “email exclusive” advertising 20% off select hotel rooms, which might have been a decent deal if hadn’t expired four days before the email was sent.
Richard is angry. He paid good money for travel insurance when he purchased tickets to Italy, and when he ended up having to work over vacation he canceled the trip and filed a claim. Access America denied it because being required to work during a trip isn’t covered by Richard’s benefit plan.
Inside, email addresses, phone numbers, and addresses for over 100 different companies to inject your customer service complaints into their corporate executive offices, and get it well on the way to success.
There was an amusing little tangent in my conversation yesterday with an Orbitz rep when I went to change my ticket. Talking with her was the first time I’ve ever hinted to a telephone customer service rep that I write for The Consumerist.
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.