How reliable is Orbitz?

May 26th, 2007, 07:24 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 257
How reliable is Orbitz?

Just started checking air fares for a possible last minute flight. On a particular US Air flight number, Orbitz is showing 15 seats available. I then went to the US Air website and, for the same flight number, they are showing no seats available. I called US Air and was told that the flight was overbooked.

Have any Orbitz users ever experienced a discrepancy like this?

I guess the lesson here is to always check the airline website to verify.
Bubba2 is offline  
May 26th, 2007, 07:45 AM
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I don't have a bad experience to share, I use Expedia or Orbitz to see all the available flights, but am more comfortable then dealing directly with the airlines to purchase my ticket, get seat assignments, etc. It may be a false sense of security, but I feel more in control this way.

suze is online now  
May 26th, 2007, 09:03 AM
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Sounds like a good idea, suze.

Bubba2 is offline  
May 26th, 2007, 09:36 AM
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Sometimes the travel websites get ahold of airline seats or fares that the airlines themselves show as gone. Orbitz is owned by the major airlines, after all, and they want to give you an incentive to use Orbitz and not go directly with the airline.

I have used Orbitz for flights a few times - not in your exact situation, but I did get a great fare once that I could not get on the airline's own website. I did use Orbitz once to book a hotel that everywhere else (including the hotel website) showed as full - and I had no problems getting a room when I arrived or anything. If Orbitz shows you they have the seat and you complete the transaction, I'd say you have the seat on that flight.

Just know that when you use Orbitz (or Travelocity or the others) that you are adding a 3rd party that will charge you extra if you need to make a change than if you went directly with the airline. That's the part I don't like. I'd probably do it only if the fare was great or I really wanted that flight.
Andrew is online now  
May 26th, 2007, 09:42 AM
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Thanks, Andrew.
Bubba2 is offline  
May 26th, 2007, 09:51 AM
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I have also noticed when using Orbitz that when you get to the booking page, the fare can change. They give you a little "sorry the fare has changed" message, but the original price is zap gone.

Orbitz is great for mixing up airlines to get the times and dates you want. I used it for Hawaii, and when there were flight changes close to the date, I called Orbitz and they agreed to the new flights I suggested (but I researched it first before I called, so that I could offer them a reasonable itinerary to counter the ridiculous one they assigned).
joan is offline  
May 26th, 2007, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 5,462
Past experience with Orbitz goes along with the comments above... when you choose the seats for purchase, they will then change the price, plus add their booking fee...which can then elevate your pricing well beyond the airline direct price....

Also if flight info changes last minute, they will automatically switch your flights and tell you later... in my case they also rebooked me on a flight that left my home airport a month after the correct date and blamed the error on the airlines...

After a six hour phone call with the airlines directly patched in, orbitz admitted it was their mistake, but would not put me on an alternative flight at their expense... only the airline customer service rep agreed to eat the additional charges, after Orbitz took the blame... no more Orbitz for me....
garyt22 is offline  
May 26th, 2007, 12:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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"when you choose the seats for purchase, they will then change the price, plus add their booking fee"

Not true. Orbitz includes their booking fee (about $9 or so, give or take) in the fare you are quoted when you are searching. They do, however, charge you the fee separately on your credit card, which is interesting.

My first choice is always booking directly with the airlines. Only as a last resort will I book with Orbitz or Travelocity - in cases when they have significantly lower fares or better flights than I can get directly from the airlines themselves.
Andrew is online now  

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