In praise of Orbitz

By iahphx,

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If you're like me, you have a fairly low opinion of travel agents these days because they usually aren't very helpful and rarely save you time, trouble or money if you're a fairly savvy independent traveller. The idea that an on-line travel agent would be "looking after you" seems almost silly.

Yet, I must report the following very pleasant experience with Orbitz.

I had booked this discounted airfare to Europe a couple months ago with Orbitz (and paid their nominal fee) because I couldn't get my itinerary to price on the airline's own website. Indeed, it was a complicated itinerary involving a connection between two airlines that Orbitz's "super-computer" had cobbled together somehow at a very low price.

Well, this morning (a Sunday, no less), I get a call from a very nice lady at Orbitz who tells me one of my flight times has just changed and that the connection (1 hour) looked pretty tight (not necessarily illegal, but tight). Accordingly, she had already called the airline and arranged for us to fly nonstop to our destination, saving at least 2 hours travel time (a flight I would have booked in the first place, except that it was hundreds of dollars more). She wanted to let me know about the change and make sure it was OK.

Pretty good service, I'd say. Maybe worth the $5/ticket.

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I just has a situation where i was quite thankful i had booked with Expedia and i think they have won my airfare business for awhile.

At the very least it raised a great example of how booking with an online agency can ultimately be better than booking direct with the airline. The thread with my particular example is here: Online Agency vs. Airline Website

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