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Nightmare From Orbitz; More of a Frustrating Rant

Nightmare From Orbitz; More of a Frustrating Rant

Old Apr 1, 20, 12:59 am
  #1  
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Nightmare From Orbitz; More of a Frustrating Rant

For years I have exclusively used Orbitz. I had about six reservations with them with different hotels in different countries for upcoming business trips March to April until this pandemic changed our lives. It has been a complete and utter s*** show over at Orbitz trying to communicate with them to get things as simple as them just sending a hotel property an email despite promising me they would do it. It is especially frustrating when orbitz has agreed to process a refund and cancellation only to check a week later to see nothing was changed.

I understand they’re going through a horrible wave of calls of other customers and things are not as they should be, so I’m giving Orbitz a lot of leeway here.

But something as simple as them following up with a property for a refund request should not have taken me a month to finally sort out. I still am not entirely sure I was given an appropriate refund. This is more of a rant and suggestions of what can be done? Yes booking directly with the merchant is fine and all. Probably it is worth doing during this pandemic if I travel to avoid the hassle and stress. But when booking independent hotels, and achieving orbucks for hotels you otherwise would get no benefits, has helped me attain platinum status. I also like being able to log in and see all my flights and hotels in one place and in order.
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Old Apr 1, 20, 3:02 am
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I can only confirm that the refunds they owe me are delayed: it's the 10th day that I am waiting for refunds of several hotel stays booked on Orbitz and Expedia (under normal circumstances, the money would be in my account the next day). To give them some credit, their website explicitly states that Due to the unprecedented volume of travel disruptions, refunds may take up to 30 days to process. My only hope is that this is just a delay, not a prelude to bankruptcy.
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Old Apr 1, 20, 4:16 am
  #3  
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I've alerted a mod to move this to the Online Travel Booking/Bidding forum, which is typically where discussions of Orbitz happens.
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Old Apr 2, 20, 2:11 am
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Okay. In the meantime, can Orbitz and Expedia go out of business since they are just facilitators?
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Old Apr 2, 20, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by NWplatinum View Post
In the meantime, can Orbitz and Expedia go out of business since they are just facilitators?
Possibly. New bookings all but dired up, so no revenue or income (their intermediary fees) going forward. Their cash reserves from old bookings were in part used to finance their day-to-day operation, so there may not be enough cash to refund all old bookings.
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Old Apr 2, 20, 10:44 am
  #6  
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Make this simple.

Presuming that the terms & conditions of your booking or a specific revision permitting refunds, e.g. "Covid-19 policy" exists, that you have requested a refund, and that a reasonable time period has passed and you have neither a refund nor that one has been approved, you should immediately initiate a chargeback. Presuming that you can upload supporting documents, I would provide a copy of the original reservation, the cancellation request, and the provisions you rely on for a refund, e.g. t&c and Covid-19.

DOT, which regulates air carriers not hotels or TA's, defines "reasonable" as 7 days. As there is no defined period for Orbitz, I would give it the 7 days and proceed on the 8th day.

If your refunds come through while the chargeback is pending, you can always withdraw it.

But, there is no reason to spend time or effort chasing the third-party vendor, in this case, Orbitz.
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Old Apr 2, 20, 12:57 pm
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I don't see them ever going out of business. Maybe filing chapter 7 or 11, but I do not think they will go out of business. They have a pretty good business model, with low overhead. Keep in mind that their call centers are also decimated, along with the huge increase in communication. Be patient and I think you will see your refunds.
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Old Apr 2, 20, 2:10 pm
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Originally Posted by tatterdema View Post
I don't see them ever going out of business.
I surely hope so. But:

Originally Posted by tatterdema View Post
Keep in mind that their call centers are also decimated, along with the huge increase in communication. Be patient and I think you will see your refunds.
The refund of refundable hotel reservations on Expedia/Orbitz has always been automated (and performed within 24 hours, in my experience). That is why the recent refund delays appear to be deliberate, at least in the case of hotel reservations. May be an indcation of a liquidity crisis at Expedia.
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Old Apr 2, 20, 3:19 pm
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Originally Posted by tatterdema View Post
I don't see them ever going out of business. Maybe filing chapter 7 or 11, but I do not think they will go out of business. They have a pretty good business model, with low overhead. Keep in mind that their call centers are also decimated, along with the huge increase in communication. Be patient and I think you will see your refunds.
Chapter 7 is "going out of business" (liquidation).

Not sure how you see a Chapter 7 and staying in business.
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Old Apr 2, 20, 4:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Chapter 7 is "going out of business" (liquidation).

Not sure how you see a Chapter 7 and staying in business.
Sorry, should have put in "whichever", as I do not know off hand which was reorganizing.
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Old Apr 3, 20, 2:46 pm
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Yet another reason never to book through a third-party. DOT rules require a prompt refund in the case of a cancellation or significant delay. Earlier today, DOT issued a Warning Letter to Carriers about this issue. But, it noted that in light of the Covid-19 crisis, if a carrier had wrongfully denied a refund, it would not face enforcement action if it now corrects itself.

DOT does not regulate TA's or other opaque online vendors such as Orbitz.
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Old Apr 6, 20, 7:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Yet another reason never to book through a third-party. DOT rules require a prompt refund in the case of a cancellation or significant delay. Earlier today, DOT issued a Warning Letter to Carriers about this issue. But, it noted that in light of the Covid-19 crisis, if a carrier had wrongfully denied a refund, it would not face enforcement action if it now corrects itself.

DOT does not regulate TA's or other opaque online vendors such as Orbitz.
It should be noted that this is applicable on non-air bookings. Stand alone air travel booked by OTA is still covered by DoT. Refund within 7 days on credit card still applies for US-OTA even if not air travel.

Having said that yeah epic fail for Orbitz/Travelocity/Expedia. They don’t answer Twitter DM, when you do get them on the phone they are completely useless with air travel refunds. Agent had to put me on hold for 10 minutes to familiarize herself with AA and Iberia COVID policies only to tell me I need to reach out to airline for refunds. No wonder they have excessive hold times if they have to do this for every caller. They should just arm their agents with a daily “cheat sheet” on which airline is allowing refund and which is not. Should not take 10 minutes to find relevant policy.

I had a schedule change two weeks ago on AA. Filed a refund directly with AA and AA already pushed the refund back to my card 6 days ago. Tonight I finally got an email from Orbitz telling me my itinerary has changed and to call them to rebook when in reality the ticket already reflects refunded status in AA systems.
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Old Apr 6, 20, 9:42 pm
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Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
I had a schedule change two weeks ago on AA. Filed a refund directly with AA and AA already pushed the refund back to my card 6 days ago. Tonight I finally got an email from Orbitz telling me my itinerary has changed and to call them to rebook when in reality the ticket already reflects refunded status in AA systems.
Lol, call them and see if they will rebook it for you.
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Old Apr 10, 20, 11:18 am
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Originally Posted by hopeful_me View Post
The refund of refundable hotel reservations on Expedia/Orbitz has always been automated (and performed within 24 hours, in my experience). That is why the recent refund delays appear to be deliberate, at least in the case of hotel reservations. May be an indcation of a liquidity crisis at Expedia.
Happy to report that all hotel refunds have hit my account. Took three weeks. So Expedia is still afloat, at least for now.
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Old Apr 10, 20, 2:07 pm
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I complained and wrote them an email and they followed up and gave me my refund. I must say given the totality of the circumstances Orbitz did as best a job they could.
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