Post # 1
In researching our honeymoon in Maui, I’ve been able to find a package deal through Orbitz for air+hotel+car for a good $200-$300 less than booking the flight, hotel, and car rental separately through the respective companies. I’ve heard that a lot of people prefer to do the research through engines like Orbitz first but then book the travel through the actual airline and hotel, because in the event of any travel snafus, the airline or hotel or rental company may not be able to do as much to help you if you didn’t book directly through them? But even booking the exact same flight, hotel room type, etc., even applying any discounts I might be eligible for, I cannot get the same price as I would going through Orbitz.
Any reason I should NOT book through Orbitz? Anyone have any difficulty with vacations booked through Orbitz (or Expedia or Travelocity) in the past? Or should I feel safe in booking my vacation through them?
Post # 3
Actually I guess in one instance, if I get the car through the hotel, it’s only $150 cheaper. But still. $150. Worth the peace of mind in booking directly through the hotel and airline? Or am I being paranoid? I read some travel engine horror stories online, but I’m not sure how representative they are of reality…
Post # 4
I have booked with Orbitz x 2 and never had any problems. I have however, like you, read horror stories of people who were given a crappy room and/or treatment who felt it was because they didn’t book directly with the venue.
Have you tried calling the hotel directly- not their reservation booking # but the front desk # of the hotel location you want- to see if they can match the deal on Orbitz.
Post # 5
I’ve used orbitz, travelocity, and cheapoair to book a lot of flights (South Africa, Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong). I’ve never booked directly through an airline and I’ve never had any problems. Just make sure that you double check everything that you book on the airline website before you go. I’ve booked cars online before and have never had a problem and have always gotten a better deal. I’ve never had a problem booking accomodations through a website before either although I’ve generally found you get a better deal if you book directly with the hotel. Again, you can always just call to make sure that they have your reservation before you go.
Post # 6
Not for honeymooning, but we were told by several hotels that if you don’t book through the hotel directly, there’s nothing they can do if you have a complaint.
We used expedia once and had a rat in our room, “sorry, you didn’t book through us, so we can’t do anything other than change your room”. Another time we tried Travelocity “you’ll have to take up any issues with them” (granted, it was because we had to leave earlier than planned for a funeral).
Post # 7
I have used Orbitz before to book flights and haven’t had a problem. I’ve also used Hotels.com before without trouble. However, FI works for a hotel and he comes home all of the time cursing sites like Priceline. They have had to turn people away who booked through Priceline because Priceline didn’t have an updated count of their rooms, or things like that.
Coming from him, he said to never book through a site like that, but again, I’ve never had a problem.
Post # 8
I booked a big trip (not honeymoon) through Orbitz and bought the insurance they offered at the end. Everything went great. The insurance company was amazing. They helped us so much when our flight home was cancelled due to Hurricane Irene. They paid for our hotel and rental car. And American Airlines didn’t say something like, “Well, we can’t get you onto a new flight because you booked wit Orbitz.” They said idiotic things like “Well, the best I can do is to get you on a flight that leaves 3 days from now.” So much ridiculousness. But we never had any isses due to where we booked. They put us on a flight to Chicago and when we got there they found a flight to DC which they said was the closest they could possibly get us to the NYC area. But at no point did we ever have a problem due to booking with Orbitz.
Oh and the insurance company was Access America. Totally amazing people work there. I can’t say enough how wonderful they were. Highly highly reccommend their services.
Post # 9
I have never had a problem with travel because I booked through a third party (orbitz, Expedia, Hotwire, I’ve used them all). A maid stole a bracelet from my hotel room once, and Hotwire gave us a voucher for a discounted room for future use.
You could, like a PP recommended, call the hotel/airline and ask them if they will price match. I’ve known that to happen. If not, I think you’re fine with orbitz.
Post # 10
If Orbitz doesn’t give you a seat assignment, you may be among the first to be denied boarding if a flight is oversold. All airlines oversell, based on a flight’s history/pattern of last-minute no-shows and cancellations, but sometimes their computer models don’t get it right. No one cancels, everyone shows up, and there’s more people than seats. People who check in late and people without seat assignments are kicked off first if no one volunteers to give up their seats, and while you do get a nice compensation check, with planes being as full as they are these days, it may be the next day or even later before you get a replacement flight. The compensation won’t cover any prepaid hotel nights. It’s a bit risky IMHO.
On the hotels, some hotels have a separate category/class of room only for sale by the resellers (done as a loophole to get out of a Best Rate Guarantee). These tend to be the least desirable rooms: smallest, no view, next to elevator, etc.
Post # 11
@fishbone: This is interesting, I’ve never had any of these happen to me. Maybe I’m just lucky! I also have a frequent flyer account for most airlines though, and that places you higher on the list if a flight is oversold.
Post # 12
Yes, overbooking is one of my concerns, or Orbitz changing the flight on me or something. I also had not considered that the block of rooms allocated for sale through Orbitz is probably in the less desirable location – that is probably something to think about.
It totally makes sense to me that if something goes wrong, the airline or hotel can’t really help you, because they don’t have any kind of agreement with you – the customer’s agreement is with Orbitz, which in turn has its own agreement with the airline and hotel – but I guess I’m just worried about the possibility that something will in fact go wrong, leaving us with not many options. At least booking through the separate companies, they’re responsible to you for whatever they mess up.
@julies1949: I may try that – the hotel already has a bunch of deals listed on their site, all of which I have taken a look at – for example, 5th night free, car included with hotel room through their agreement with the car rental place, etc.
Thanks for the input, Bees!