• Report: #418346
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Fri, January 30, 2009
  • Updated: Fri, January 30, 2009

  • Reported By:Seattle Washington
www.orbitz.com Internet U.S.A.

Orbtiz.com Misguided, overcharged, reluctance to help Internet

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Dear Orbitz,
I write to you today to tell you about the horrible experience I had with your service this past year. I have used Orbitz in the past without a glitch and I was surprised that in this time of economic downturn your customer service has declined to these levels. Not only did your supervisors in Orbitz TLC misguide me but also I had to resort to literally begging for a solution so that I could make it home in time to visit an ailing family member.

On August 25th 2008 I purchased an itinerary through your website from Seattle to Montevideo, Uruguay departing on December 24th 2008. The original itinerary included stops in Los Angeles (LAX), Panama City (PTY) and final destination Montevideo. The return was Montevideo, Miami, Denver, and Seattle. (At the end of this letter I have attached all itineraries for your reference).

On October 23rd I received an email notifying me that there had been a change in my itinerary that read the following:

The airline has notified us of a change to your itinerary. If the updated itinerary below is acceptable, no further action is necessary.
At this time the itinerary change was very minor and as the email indicated I took no further action.
On December 3rd 2008 I received a second email notifying me that there had been a change in my itinerary, once again the email read:

The airline has notified us of a change to your itinerary. If the updated itinerary below is acceptable, no further action is necessary.

This time the flight itinerary had significantly changed, not only was an extra leg added (I now had to do SEA->SFO->LAX) but an extra 5 hours of travel had been added as well. I understand that this change was the airline and not Orbitz fault. The email said no further action was necessary but I wanted to know if I could some how move around the flights so lessen the travel time.
My first contact with Orbitz TLC was on December 9th 2008 where I was on hold for no less than 45 minutes until I was able to talk to the international travel agent. After explaining the situation she said that there was nothing Orbitz could really do because the original flight I was booked on was canceled so I assumed I just had bad luck. At this time she informs me that she noticed that I have paper tickets and that these would have to be exchanged due to the change in flights, she informed me to go to the United ticketing office to exchange them since Orbitz could no longer do anything about them because I was travelling in less than 14 days from the date (It was 13 days at the time). I asked the representative multiple times if I could overnight mail the tickets to Orbitz to get the exchange done, she said no it was to late I had to deal directly with the airline. I drove to my nearest United Airlines office (45 minutes away) to get the tickets exchanged. At the United office I was informed that they could not exchange the tickets because COPA Airlines owned the tickets and that I would have to go to their offices. The next day I called COPA Airlines and they informed me that to exchange the tickets I would have to present them in person, when I asked where their nearest office was they said Los Angeles (I am located in Seattle, the tickets I bought would take me to Los Angeles but I could not board the plane with them). At this time I call Orbitz back and they tell me I have to deal with the airlines directly since the ticket is a paper ticket and out of our control (after 15 years of using Travel Agents I have never heard this before). I call United Airlines back and they tell me that COPA owns the ticket and they cannot reissue the ticket unless Orbitz request a code from COPA Airlines to do so.

At this point days on hold with Orbitz and multiple airlines have gone by with me calling every day to see how I can solve this issue. On December 19th 2008 (5 days before travel) I am in a desperate situation with invalid paper tickets in my hand and call Orbitz TLC once again and ask to talk to a supervisor. After once again an hour of being on hold I finally am transferred with Lorie (Employee ref: MTF). After explaining my situation she indicates that I should have sent the paper tickets back to Orbitz, I explain that I had tried to do so but the previous agent said it was not possible. She indicated that now it was definitely to late to send the tickets back that my best option was to go to the United counter on the 24th the day of my flight and hope (her actual words) that they would honor the ticket. As you can imagine at this point in time I am desperate, I have an ill family member that I must get to , I purchased a ticket for it 4 months in advance (a guaranteed ticket not a raffle ticket were hope should be involved) and she is telling me that I might or might not be able to get on this flight.

At this time I have my partner calling United to see what they can possibly do. They tell me that this happens all the time when dealing with Orbitz and that its sad that the customers get stuck in this limbo. He tells us that the only thing that can be done is that I can re purchase the ticket so that they can honor the reservation and then either submit to Orbitz for reimbursement or take Orbitz to small claims court.
After 3 hours on the phone with Lorie pleading for anything she can do for me she finally agrees to re-issue the ticket if I sent them back overnight to Orbitz HQ.

The next morning (December 20th 2008) I send the tickets to the Minnesota Office and call Orbitz TLC once again. My call was initiated at 10:03am PST as soon as somebody picked up I requested a supervisor. At 10:45am PST the supervisor Libby (Employee ref: MZB) picked up the phone and verified that I had sent back the tickets when I provided her with the tracking numbers. At this time she informed me that if I wanted the tickets I would have to incur a charge of $47 dollars. I explained that I thought this charge was unfair given that I already paid for shipping twice for these tickets already (from Orbitz, to Orbitz). She repeated that if I wanted the tickets I would have to pay this fee. In the end I paid this fee since I had no other option. She said she could refund the Orbitz fee charged to me, I explained that this was still less than what I was paying in shipping costs alone for an Orbitz mess up (I could have saved this money if I had sent the tickets back when I asked to the first time).

My complaints with Orbitz are the following: Today January 30th my credit card still has not received any credit of any sort as Libby promised. I spent over 8 hrs on the phone trying to get this issue resolved. If I had not called Orbitz TLC to inquire about a possible flight change I would have never found out that my tickets were invalid and I would probably have had to pay out of pocket for the entirety of the ticket, again. Supervisor Lorie MTF actually told me that I could hope they accepted my ticket, I found this statement
ridiculous. At no point did Orbitz try to help me solve my problem, I had to beg, get angry and insist for hours before anybody offered to help me solve this issue.
I hope your company never puts anybody else through this nightmare.


Seattle, Washington

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/30/2009 06:16 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/orbtizcom/internet/orbtizcom-misguided-overcharged-reluctance-to-help-internet-418346. 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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