One reason Orbitz.com got a top ten ranking and the TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award is because it has something most other online travel sites don’t: a search option. Instead of navigating around the site, type in a keyword, click, and you’ll get to the page with the information you’re looking for.
But in line with that, TopTenREVIEWS is obligated to lower our original higher ranking of Orbitz. Search “Orbitz complaints” to see why. There have been a plethora of horrifying customer complaints, ranging from double charges and unauthorized credit card charges, to Orbitz not making the correct hotel or flight arrangements, leaving customers stranded in faraway places while refusing to do anything to help the customer. By far the most frequent complaint is the lack of customer service. There are many reports of customers on the phone for an hour or more (using cell phone minutes, yet!), waiting to talk to a manager, only to get a rude Orbitz representative who blamed the poor customer for the mistake and quickly hung up.
The only reason we didn’t let Orbitz’s recent history drop the site from our latest reviews is because we are giving them the benefit of the doubt. The company has offered good service for years. Maybe their problems come from outsourcing their agent and customer service positions to a foreign business whose workers don’t understand English or are just plain incompetent. Maybe none of the Orbitz honchos have taken time to supervise how those jobs are now being done. Let the site have time to clean up its act. That said, use Orbitz with caution, get confirmation numbers for everything, and use a credit card rather than a debit card so your card company will fight for you if Orbitz does you wrong.
Orbitz doesn’t charge booking fees, but expect to pay between $27-47 for a paper ticket. That’s just the Orbitz fee, the airline may also levy a charge.
While Orbitz doesn’t offer a typical low price “guarantee,” it does offer a low price “promise.” This means that if you book a published flight and find a better fare, even if it’s only by $5, you will get a coupon for $50 on your next Orbitz purchase. However, customers have complained that they never received either the coupon or the lower fare.
The search option makes finding site information easy, but because of the explosion of negative customer reports, we have to reserve judgment on ‘Support.’
Click on “Flights” and under “more featured deals,” find flight sales on different airlines, as well as “Last minute flight deals for this weekend,” which offers fares such as a round trip from Los Angeles to Kona, Hawaii, for $538.or Salt Lake City to Los Angeles and back for $190.
Use the keyword “matrix” in the site’s search option after entering a destination and you’ll get a menu of airlines with the number of stops, number of seats left at the featured price, lists of hotels and a ‘sort by’ that includes Best Value, Lowest Price, Distance and Star Rating.
The Orbitz Traveler Update lets you view flight delays, gate changes and baggage claim info, plus weather and traffic conditions for larger airports. You can also choose automated phone call updates or text messages.
Orbitz.com is a highly respected online travel site that, according to customer reports, has been having serious problems. A steady stream of customer complaints have been posted all over the internet, with little or no balancing comments about customer satisfaction. We hope Orbitz regains its reputation as an efficient provider of travel bookings, but until then, use it with caution, and carefully check the charges on your credit card for the next few months after using the site.
Check out the top-ranked site of online travel sites reviewed here, SmarterTravel.