Is this enough compensation? Orbitz calls off its collection agency, but …

Ah, the perils of being your own travel agent.

Polly Pedersen knows about them all too well after she tried to book airline tickets from Philadelphia to Detroit on Orbitz.

“A screen came up saying ‘technical difficulties,'” she says. “So I thought, “OK, they’re having problems with their site. I’ll book elsewhere.'”

For future reference, it’s not OK to book elsewhere when you get an error message as you’re buying an airline ticket. You have to make sure the reservation didn’t get made. Otherwise you could end up with two tickets for the same flight.
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Ridiculous or not? No credit for your nonrefundable hotel room

True, Jorge Sanchez-Salazar booked a nonrefundable room at the Hampton Inn & Suites Reagan National Airport through Orbitz. And it’s true, too, that he canceled the trip, and that under the rules, the hotel could keep his money — all of it.

But that doesn’t sit well with him, and on second thought, maybe it doesn’t with other travelers, either.

Even airlines, with the restrictive and often customer-hostile policies, offer customers who cancel their nonrefundable flights the ability to use their flight credit (minus a confiscatory change fee, but let’s not get mired in the details).
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Enterprise pulls cars from Orbitz after dispute

Enterprise Holdings, which owns and operates the largest fleet of rental cars in the world under the Alamo Rent A Car, National Car Rental, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car brands, will announce tomorrow that it is ending its relationship with Orbitz.com and its sister site CheapTickets.com on April 1 after “months of difficult discussions.” I asked Pam Nicholson, the president and chief operating officer of Enterprise Holdings, to explain the decision and what it means to travelers.

Why are you removing your inventory from Orbitz?

With Alamo and National on the Orbitz site for the last 10 years, we thought it only made sense to work with them to add our flagship brand, Enterprise, as well. However, after several months of good-faith negotiations with Orbitz, we are discontinuing our efforts.
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Orbitz vs. American Airlines: The traveler is the loser

Maybe you’ve heard about the little dust-up between American Airlines and several online travel agencies, including Orbitz and Expedia.

Maybe you’ve noticed that when you go fare-shopping on those travel sites, you aren’t offered any American flights.

Maybe you’ve said to yourself, “So what?”

“It’s really an inside baseball kind of story,” admits William Swelbar, a research engineer in MIT’s International Center for Air Transportation.

But not so fast. Yes, the intramural spat between airlines and travel agencies may seem irrelevant, but there’s a lot at stake. The future of how you buy airline tickets could hang in the balance.
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Can this trip be saved? My 17-year-old booked a ticket on Orbitz — actually, two tickets

Booking a flight online may be convenient, but it’s far from problem-free. Just ask Charles Bornheim, whose son is holding an extra airline ticket he booked through Orbitz.

Bornheim is trying to get a refund, but is having no luck. Airlines can be pretty unforgiving with their refund policies, and at some point when you’re booking online, you have to take responsibility for your own actions.

But is this a case where no one is really to blame — and should I try to help him secure a refund?
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And the online travel agency with the most complaints is …

Expedia. That’s according to a survey of my authoritative email “in” box, which contains seven years of complaint data from travelers. Coming in second? Travelocity, followed by Orbitz.

Alright, my methods may not be completely scientific (after all, my email contains all of my correspondence, not just complaints) but it’s a pretty good indicator.
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Why haven’t I been charged for my honeymoon flight?

Here’s a question that came to me by way of the Monday afternoon Washington Post chat on travel (and by the way, if you haven’t dropped in to ask a question, please do). Karen Luong booked her honeymoon flights from Baltimore to Naples, Italy through Orbitz in mid-June. She received reservation number from the online agency, but hasn’t been charged yet.

How can she be sure she has a ticket?

This is a question that’s come up a time or two. What, exactly, is a ticket? Is it a record locator? A ticket number? A reservation number for your online travel agency?
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