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louise1928 Oct 4th, 2008 04:04 PM

My Nightmare with Orbitz!!
Its very rare that I complain or make a fuss about a online travel agent, but this one I specifically wanted to share with you all. 3 days ago I tried to purchase a hotel/air package to Orlando, thru Orbitz because they offered a better rate than the competition and I was able to use a coupon which would have given me $75 off the package! Okay great! Everything was going along fine, air was available (or so I thought) hotel was fine, and I added transfers. I got to the last screen, hit confirm reservations and what do you know, the airline tickets were not available for the time I choose.

OKay fine, however, what I did not know until a few hours later, my debit card was charged $706.00, get this, not once but three times!!!! I went nuts!! I immediately called my bank, who then arranged a conference call with Orbitz, and after a lengthy call, I thought the issue was resolved. I get to work the next day, check my account, the money was there, great! Wrong!!!, a few hours later, my account was debited again THREE times!!! Are you kidding me??

I was on the phone all morning today, trying to resolve this issue. I kept getting juggled back and forth between Orbitz and Airtran, finally it was determined that Orbitz caused the error. The airline tickets were never issued or confirmed, so therefore, a debit should not have happened, period. Not only was my account overdrawn, but when I checked that all my money was available,( so I thought) I then went directly to Airtran website to purchase a package, everything was fine, until this happened. Now that debit is pending on my account. What a nightmare.

As of today, a supervisor at Orbitz is waiting for Airtran to credit my account, and then Orbitz will credit me any and all overdraft charges made by my bank. I am somewhat okay with that, but in the meantime, my account is dry!! I am furious with Orbitz.

When I tried to make the same purchase directly with Airtran this did not happen. According to Travelocity, who Airtran uses for their vacation packages, the debit to my account should not have happened, if the tickets were sold-out!!

Has this happened to anyone else, and if so, what was your outcome. I will never use Orbitz again. My husband and I had used this site back in June for his trip to Puerto Rico, and everything went fine, but this is unacceptable. Now that I know Airtran uses Travelocity for packages, thats who I will use in the future or Expedia, who I have had good experiences with also. Orbitz, forget it!

letsgo39 Oct 4th, 2008 06:58 PM

That is awful! What a mess. I have used Orbitz many times over the last 5 years without a problem but I can sure see what a problem it would be to clear something like that up.

Kay2 Oct 5th, 2008 05:57 AM

In addition to Orbitz's mistakes, this is one of the negatives of using a debit rather than a credit card.

With a debit card the money is gone and you are trying to get it back while incurring overdraft charges, checks may bounce, etc.
With a credit card, the amount is in limbo until you resolve the dispute, so you never actually pay the cash. It can tie up your credit limit on the card, but not as bad as being out the actual cash.

louise1928 Oct 5th, 2008 10:55 AM

We have been paying with our debit(cash) for travel now for the past 2 years, and this is the 1st time ever, something like this has happened. I certainly understand why people use credit for travel, but we have been paying down debt, and not trying to depend on credit cards only for emergencies.

But in the future we may have to bite the bullet and just use the CC for travel.

The was way too stressful to happen again!

jgold Oct 5th, 2008 06:04 PM

On FlyerTalk, two other people have complained in the AA forum regarding similar things happening with their debit cards (although I believe those complaints involved tickets booked directly with AA). Not sure if there's some common explanation.

mrwunrfl Oct 5th, 2008 10:45 PM

Pay for the ticket with the cc and then go immediately to the website of the institution that has your checking account and make a payment to the cc company for the amount of the ticket. Or, go to the cc website and make a payment for the charge before it even posts.

Keith Oct 6th, 2008 06:42 AM

Never use a debt card for things like this.

You are lucky Orbitz was so good abut crediting back. You could have been months or forever getting the money.

Hope you have a good trip!


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