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Downside to Orbitz?

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Apr 14th, 2015, 08:58 AM
  #1
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Downside to Orbitz?

I found a fare on Orbitz that is much cheaper than what I can find on the airline's own website (using the same dates, flights, times, etc).

What is the downside to buying on Orbitz?

Thanks,
Sandy (in Denton)
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Apr 14th, 2015, 10:08 AM
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Does Orbitz include all taxes in amount they charge?
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Apr 14th, 2015, 10:17 AM
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Most airlines guarantee the lowest price on their own website, so make sure the price you re being on Orbitz includes all taxes, charges for baggage, etc.

The downside to buying on Orbitz is that if there is a problem, you will need to contact Orbitz to resolve it, rather than contacting the airline. If there is a last minute problem with my flight, I'd always rather deal with the airline directly.
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Apr 14th, 2015, 01:20 PM
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Agree, the "downside" is that you are dealing with a middleman, not the airline themselves. There's no Orbitz counter at airports.
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Apr 14th, 2015, 01:43 PM
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Yes, it appears that Orbitz includes all charges. But, I'm with you all . . . I'd rather deal with the airline if something goes wrong than a middleman.

Thanks for replying,
Sandy (in Denton)
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Apr 14th, 2015, 11:27 PM
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<> Why would there be? Since when would there be a travel agency counter at an airport? If there is an issue at the airport, you don't deal with a "middle man", you deal with the airline no matter where you book. For that matter, there are not many airline counters or airline staff at airports anymore.

All the bookings end up in the same place, in the airline's system. If you are at the airport and your flight is cancelled, you deal with the airline. I've booked through many "middle men" as you call them and had flights cancelled at the airport for tech reasons, the airline put me on another carrier's flights. I had no reason to call my middle man.

If you read the posts on here, you get an equal number of issues with direct bookings with airlines as you do with so-called "middle men". How many posts are there with people not being able to contact their airline or an airline agent not understanding what to do or an sched change by an airline.

Bottom line is, book whether the fare is the best; if it directly on the airline system, fine, if on an online travel agency site, also fine.
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Apr 15th, 2015, 11:43 AM
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Odin, That's great information. So there is no downside to booking thru Orbitz.
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Apr 15th, 2015, 12:16 PM
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Oy. I have said this before, but the superstition persists. Yes, Odin is right, and thank you Odin--perhaps you have said the magic words that will make this cloud of bad advice disappear. Well done.
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Apr 15th, 2015, 02:20 PM
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Having booked flights every which way (including at a time when there were real travel agents in offices!) I would recategorize the advice like this:
if you only have problems once you are at the airport, then it's true, it doesn't matter who you book with. The airlines will deal with you themselves.
HOWEVER if you have issues BEFORE you get to the airport - need to change a ticket, or as what happened to us, your initial flight is cancelled and you are trying to change your ongoing flights, then having to deal with an agent like orbitz or traveloicty can be a nightmare.
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Apr 15th, 2015, 02:27 PM
  #10
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The problem the occasionally pops up here on fodors is when there is an itinerary that involves two different, non-partner airlines.

The issues arise in the event of schedule changes, flight delays, missed connections, etc. when the airlines point fingers at each other and say "not my problem." In that case, as newtome states, having to deal with a TA can be a nightmare., and is a good reason to deal directly with the airlines in the first place and not a 3rd party like Orbitz.
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Apr 15th, 2015, 05:27 PM
  #11
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I ended up booking with AA, only $15 more but 3 flights on the way home instead of two . . . we can deal with that.

Thanks everyone, good info to have.
Sandy (in Denton)
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Apr 15th, 2015, 08:42 PM
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Wow, just wow.

When a trip involves multiple non-partner airlines, a TA, whether an online one or one who owns a charming little agency in your village--look, some of you seem to be living in the 20th century, for all I know literally-- is EXACTLY the kind of help you want. In J62's example, what on earth will you do on your own? Call multiple airlines? HA! Have any of you called airlines recently? The last time I did was years ago and I was told plainly that the agents had no information beyond what appeared online and good luck.

Nowadays, when nightmares happen, it's hell finding anyone anywhere to help you. The way I see it, and have experienced it, when you book through, say, Expedia, you can try with the airlines AND you can try with Expedia to get the help you need. And you might save $15. And get a better itinerary. Or, you can set fire to your $15 and enjoy three flights instead of two because there be dragons at Orbitz.

This phobia against online agencies, and the mistaken belief that you are somehow better off negotiating with the airlines on your own when problems arise, is, sadly, but one example of outdated attitudes here. Small wonder that Fodor's has become such an echo chamber.
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Apr 15th, 2015, 09:07 PM
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@newbE
Broad brush? I travel by air 8-12 times a year, and have been doing so for many years. I book on a variety of sites incl the airline sites and online travel agencies, with at least one int'l trip a year - ALL of my worst problems have been with changes to itns booked through a 3rd party.
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Apr 15th, 2015, 10:59 PM
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Newtome, maybe that's because those itineraries you booked through online agencies were more complicated. Which is why you booked them through the agency in the first place? Hmm? How about we try applying logic instead of superstition?
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Apr 16th, 2015, 08:58 AM
  #15
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Update . . . in case anyone is interested. ☺

I did not actually "book" the AA tickets, I had them on hold. I went on line this morning to buy them, did a quick search first on Orbitz, and found an even cheaper fare on United. When I went to United's site to book, the fare was even cheaper and with better flight times. I booked quickly before it went away.

I booked UA into Stockholm and out of Copenhagen for $1,014.80 and that includes all taxes. I am feeling pretty proud!

Sandy (in Denton)
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Apr 16th, 2015, 09:24 AM
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Yes I'm interested... Way to go Sandy! Have a FANTASTIC trip!!
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Apr 16th, 2015, 09:26 AM
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Good for you, Sandy!
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Apr 16th, 2015, 09:30 AM
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NewbE You are making assumptions about the tickets booked being complicated. No one, not the OP, not Newtome, said those itineraries were more complicated.

You have a firm opinion about this, unruffled by the experiences of others. That's fine. Book when/where you want to, but don't tell others that they are using superstition rather than logic.
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Apr 16th, 2015, 09:30 AM
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Good for you, Sandy. I'm glad you did not, in fact, spend more money on a more inconvenient itinerary.

One last point: no one can predict which itinerary will produce problems. Experienced travelers avoid obvious pitfalls, such as too-short layovers, but the rest is luck.

It therefore only makes sense to book the best itinerary at the best price, whether it comes "directly" from the airlines or from an online agency (a reputable one, of course).

Why did I put quotes around "directly"? Because airlines code share all the time these days, as "partners", and if you think that means that booking through one partner "directly" will cause the other partners to respect you more, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
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Apr 16th, 2015, 09:32 AM
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Give me a concrete example, a personal one, of when booking through an online agency has caused problems for YOU and I will respect your opinion as valid, if different from mine.

In the absence of that--and I have never read such an example here, btw--I remain certain that you are operating on assumptions which are incorrect.
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