• Report: #1049724
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Thu, May 09, 2013
  • Updated: Thu, May 09, 2013

  • Reported By: Red Eyed — Sunland California
500 W. Madison, Suite 1000 Chicago, Illinois USA

Orbitz Horrible Customer "Care", Cancelled Entire Trip, Changed Stories, Excessive Hold Times, Ridiculous Offer of Support Chicago Illinois

*Consumer Comment: Consumer is at fault

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Orbitz

*Consumer Comment: Your Fault

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On March 23,  I made a flight reservation for my husband and I from LAX stop at JFK continue to Vienna. We arrived at the airport at 5:20 (or flight was 6:03)  and were told it was too late to check bags. A United rep told us that we would be able to catch the connecting flight in new york if we could get there and Delta was willing to book us. We were willing to pay the additional cost for this initial leg of the trip.

Then Austrian airlines said,  “oh no, since you missed the first flight you can't take the connecting even if you make it to NY on time."

Had we known this to begin with we could have just taken our carry ons and left the other bags. We were then given the run around as to who would be responsible for changing the flight. United told us we had to talk to Orbitz, Orbitz told us we had to speak with Austria Airlines and Austria Airlines sent us back to Orbitz who sent us back to Austrian and then suggested we go to the airport and wait at the United ticket counter on standby to see what they could do for us. (a total of 4 hours of back and forth on the phone)

Austria told us ultimately they could not help us. Orbitz said they would contact Austria Airlines directly to get authorization to alter the schedule. Orbitz came back and said Austria had agreed to an "exception" and we could change our flight to the next day for an additional cost of $5,900 and something dollars (original tickets were $1,800). But, we only had 24 hours to decide whether or not to do this.

We called Orbitz back and a supervisor told us the entire trip we booked was CANCELED even the return flight. Event if we made it to Austria on our own we could not return on the flight we had booked and paid for and had seats reserved for two weeks later. Then they told us we could go and wait at the United check in and if United could booked us trough, the original ticket would be reactivated and we would only have to pay penalties assessed by United. When told we had already spoken to United and they referred us to Orbitz, Orbitz backtracked and said our only option would be to reschedule the flight (at the near $6,000 additional rate).

When challenged by the fact that a google search produced flights at much less ($2,300 - $3,000) Orbitz said that the rates they were quoting were "surplus" form the airline and not available online, but if we found an online rate on their site, with the same airlines, they would deduct what we paid from the original fair from that amount. So we found one.

And gave the Orbitz rep "Tracy"  the details of the flight and then magically that flight disappeared, and the Orbitz rep said, well that flight is no longer available. People are constantly booking (I'm sure last minute from LAX to VIENNA). So, we hung up. Waited 30 minutes and magically the flight schedule with both original airlines re appeared. So, we called back. This time a different supervisor "Christina" told us that, "No the rate she is quoting comes directly from Austrian airlines... and so the story continued to change.

Bottom line we booked a flight on Air Berlin round trip for 2 for $2,300. for the next day.

Didn't the government come down on credit card companies that were charging exorbitant interest rates on credit cards? How can this company because of miscommunication on THEIR part steal our entire trip? How can they cancel a flight we have seats reserved for hours and even weeks in advance? Seats we've bought and paid for and they just take them away. I can't believe this is ethical. It's like if I dent a rental car and the auto company tells me I owe them  $100,000 for a $25,000 car. It makes no sense. 

I'm sure there are many people out there who gave up after the first three hour and a half hold times and multiple run arounds. I urge you to report  this company's  deceptive and obscene practices. This type of thing should be brought to light. If you've been wronged by them SPEAK UP, don't let them wear you down and push you off and offer totally unreasonable, nonsensical non solutions. Take action and post everywhere you can, including the better business bureau, so that true "customer care" can maybe one day really exist.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/09/2013 06:07 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/orbitz/chicago-illinois-60661/orbitz-horrible-customer-care-cancelled-entire-trip-changed-stories-excessive-hold-1049724. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Consumer is at fault

AUTHOR: Letterman45 - ()

You should have been denied boarding as well because you were too late for your flight to check in. Travel websites list voluminous instructions and arrival time is always one of them. You forfeited the value of your ticket when you arrived late. It's standard procedure by the airlines to cancel the ticket when you don't check-in on time - a travel agency has no control over this (a reason to book directly with airlines). Is this the first time you have ever travelled via plane or internationally?

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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company


AUTHOR: Custrelsgal - ()

Hi, Red Eyed,

This is Robert, and I am part of the Orbitz Customer Relations team.  Please forward the Orbitz Record Locator to us at socialnetwork@orbitz.com.   Please use my name in the subject line, so that I can investigate further.

Thank you for your patience, I look forward to hearing from you.


Robert Woyach

Orbitz Customer Relations

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#3 Consumer Comment

Your Fault

AUTHOR: Robert - ()

 Sorry but this is 100% YOUR fault.   You showed up for an International Flight just over 40 minutes before departure.  The recommedned time is 3 Hours, and just about every airlines requires you to to be there no later than 1 hour before(some require as much as 90 minutes).    There was no way you would have made it through LAX to get on the plane before it departed.

It is also standard that once you miss one leg of your flight that all remaining legs are automatically cancelled.   This is because people used to book "phantom" flights to get better fares.  In that they would book a flight from point a to b but going through c because that was cheaper than going from c to b directly.  But they would then skip a and just start their trip at b.  Not saying that you were going to do this, just the reason that they(and any other airline) cancelled your remaining tickets.

By the way, this is why it is always better to book directly with the airlines so you avoid this "he said/she said" type of situation.  Although, in your case the outcome would have most likely been the same.


Didn't the government come down on credit card companies that were charging exorbitant interest rates on credit cards?

- Nope, they did nothing to limit the interest rates a company can charge.

How can this company because of miscommunication on THEIR part steal our entire trip?

- There was no miscommunication.  You showed up late and I can gurantee you that no one told you it was okay to show up 40 minutes before your starting flight.


 I can't believe this is ethical. It's like if I dent a rental car and the auto company tells me I owe them  $100,000 for a $25,000 car.

- Please show us one case where this happend.



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