Founded in 2000 as backlash from the rise in third-party travel sites as a partnership of several airlines, Orbitz.com has become one of the most trusted names in travel. Orbitz.com is headquartered in Chicago. The road to success has been rocky for Orbitz.com, and by working to stay ahead of the curve, they have become a leader in the industry. 

The Good

  • Tools and resources
  • Rewards program

Tools and Resources

In an attempt to make booking travel as easy as possible, Orbitz has come up with a number of tools and resources to benefit consumers during their planning process.Orbitz has created resources that make research and booking easy for all travelers. Orbitz' resources and technology help thousands of travelers each year find the best value vacation while staying within their budget. The aggregated data from thousands of sites helps ensure low rates on flights, hotels, rental cars, and other travel accommodations and activities.

Orbitz.com offers a variety of features which help them to serve travelers looking for bargains. Among these are:

  • Packages can be customized with what is needed (airfare, hotel, cruise, car only or any combination as needed)
  • Ability to arrange activities tickets (theater, plays, amusement parks as well as ground transportation) online
  • Orbitz Rewards program - Orbucks earned through bookings and stays can be redeemed for travel rewards
  • Earn frequent flyer miles for all bookings made with Orbitz.com
  • Orbitz Rewards Visa - earn points for every day spending to redeem for travel
  • Member specials and coupons after signing up with Orbitz.com
  • Orbitz.com price guarantee gives travelers peace of mind when booking their travel
  • Comprehensive collection of articles on popular/trending destinations can help you find your next destination or plan your trip

Rewards Program

Orbitz.com has a travel rewards program which uses Orbucks, Orbitz.com's own currency. One (1) Orbucks equals one USD in savings on qualifying hotel bookings. There are three levels of the Orbitz rewards program which have the following benefits tied to the company's Best Price Guarantee (limited to three claims in a calendar month due to company policy):

  • Silver: members receive 100 percent of the difference plus a bonus of up to $100 Orbucks
  • Gold: members receive 100 percent of the difference plus a bonus of up to $150 Orbucks
  • Platinum: members receive 100 percent of the difference plus a bonus of up to $200 Orbucks

Packages booked by travelers registered for Orbitz rewards earn one percent on all packages and one percent on prepaid Flight+Car packages. Orbucks can also be earned in other ways with Orbitz Rewards Dining with the more than 11,000 restaurants, bars and clubs that are part of the rewards program.

The Bad

  • Non-refundable, non-transferable
  • Making changes
  • Confirm reservations

Non-Refundable, Non-Transferable

One of the biggest downfalls of third party booking sites is one which they all share in common. Travel reservations are notoriously non-refundable, non-transferable and difficult to change once reserved. Using a discount third-party booking site can further complicate the process should the need arise. Frequent complaints about Orbitz.com (and their competitors as well) revolve around these issues. It is critical to realize that when booking travel, you are making a commitment to travel and the airline, cruise companies, car rental establishments and hotels lose money on no-shows.

Although Orbtiz.com has a rewards program, not all products or services can be used towards earning Orbucks such as:

  • Non-qualifying hotels that are not prepaid
  • Activities and services
  • Car rentals
  • Cruises
  • Travel insurance

Making Changes

When making changes (or trying to), one must begin with the third party rather than the hotel chain, airline, etc. Not doing so can result in feeling as though you are a human ping-pong ball. Booking discounted travel is not refundable or in most cases changeable. Reading and understanding the terms and conditions before finalizing your booking is critical.

Confirm Reservations

Additionally, you should always confirm your reservations (well in advance) with any airline, hotel, etc. so that in the event that there was a glitch during your reservation that you can address the issues before you arrive.

The Bottom Line

Overall, the deals found at Orbitz.com, the ease of the website, the above par customer service and the rewards program are all reasons to consider Orbitz.com for your next vacation. While as a general rule, the American public does not need more consumer credit card debt, using the Orbitz.com Rewards Visa and paying it off monthly can quickly boost your savings power for that big vacation.

It is clear that Orbitz.com puts time and effort into helping their customers plan and book the best vacation possible with the plethora of information available on their website about popular travel destinations. Having this available can help you fine-tune your vacation and is like having the advice of a local guide while you are settling your itinerary. Those that use Orbitz to book their travel can expect the following from their service:

  1. Rewards program: earn points each time a reservation is made
  2. Advanced technology: Aggregated data from thousands of travel sites
  3. Book and bundle: Vacation packages available
  4. Selective destinations: Limited international travel
  5. Deals: Hundreds of discounted rates

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User Reviews

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Daniel Harris
May 18th, 2018 Las Vegas, NV DETAILS
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I've had more than one negative experience with Orbitz over the years. Mainly it has to do with updating itineraries as issues arise. I expect reasonable cancellation fees, higher charges when rebooking, or perhaps a charge for changing a reservation. But when a change is requested months before the travel date and the penalty costs more than the original it ticket, then it becomes clear that its profit motive is for consumers to run into problems. They blame the airline or hotel while the hotel blames Orbitz. What's even more cynical is when customer support pretends to work on your behalf to correct an error with your reservation but never bother's to call as they claim. All 3rd Party travel sites have drawbacks but Orbitz is probably the worst.

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Hayley Lambdin
November 13th, 2017 Orem, UT

Orbitz was the best resource for our recent trip to find the cheapest hotels. I even earned some reward points to spend on my next trip.

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Kent Jensen
November 8th, 2017 Newberg, OR DETAILS
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Good pricing, good selection.