Orbitz / American Airlines / China Southern Are Screwing Me Over

20 Jun

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I’m so furious with these three companies right now, they are completely changing the agreement we had and expecting me to pick up the tab for their mistakes.

I have spent more than 14 hours on the phone with Orbitz, along with repeated calls to American Airlines and China Southern and no one can fix their problem.

Let’s go back a month. I ordered a round trip ($2500+) flight from Asia to the States and back again. It’s not cheap–certainly not for me.  I agreed to leave on June 30 and make connecting flights throughout the trip. Amazing. Cool. Fine.

First of all, did you know it is all but impossible to work with Orbitz customer service? They will not do anything unless you are physically on the phone with them, and they only have a US number. Try getting ahold of them any other way, and I was simply told that I had to contact this US number and that they wouldn’t do anything unless I was on the line with them. They had problems with their systems repeatedly a month ago- call back. over and over. Several days. “Just call us back later” Ummmm This is an international call thank you very much. And on Skype which apparently enjoys freefalling from great heights and repeatedly. So instead of them going on ahead and fixing their issues and just confirming it all with me by email, I had to mess with the local poor internet to try to get through to them repeatedly. Whenever my call dropped or they hung up on me (which infuriates me on a whole different topic), I had to start ALL over with someone new. 

Anyway, a month ago, American Airlines up and changes my flight not once but twice. Including an asinine decision to leave me with a 1 hour layover in Denver for an international flight that goes against their own recommendations for early arrival. I had to call Orbitz repeatedly to actually get anyone who could help, only for them to finally (after hours of being on hold, please wait, thank you for waiting, I’m just trying someone else, on hold) tell me to call American Airlines myself. Finally get that stupid mess sorted out. 

Okay, I’m not amused, but I’ll deal 

Then several days ago, China Southern calls me. In Chinese. Wo Bu Ming Bai. Wo Shi Meiguoren. (I don’t understand, I’m American). Hang up. They try again in English. We’re so sorry, but the first flight on your trip has now been moved to the next day. So you’ll get to Hong Kong on the 1st even though you fly out of Hong Kong on the day before. We know this was a bad change, we’re so sorry. You are responsible for calling a whole different number to fix the problem.  

Wait. Why didn’t I hear about this from Orbitz? Or American Airlines? Check my email. Nope. Nada. Nothing. They two airlines left me to hear back from a Chinese airline that only by fluke did I answer their call. By the grace of God I answered the call (thinking it was a student) and found out about the change.

Call the China Southern Number. We’re sorry, you have to talk to American Airlines or Orbitz because they issue the ticket. 

Call American Airlines. We’re sorry, you have to talk to Orbitz because they locked the ticket, we can’t change it.

Call Orbitz (after repeated on holds, attempts to get ahold of them, attempts by them to figure out what the heck happened and their customer service generally not having a clue how to fix the mess), finally told oh so sorry, we have to call America Airlines. They call American Airlines. Sorry, American Airlines can’t do anything till they talk to China Southern. They Call China Southern who, incidentally, just closed. They only are open Monday – Friday during normal operating hours. Call back on Monday. 

I call back Monday. So sorry, American Airlines and China Southern only work on US times Monday-Friday so you’ll have to call back at 11pm your time.  What international company of this size does not have customer service around the clock. Seriously, this is antique business service here folks.

I call back tonight at 11pm.  Orbitz girl takes 20 minutes just figuring out what my problem is. Spends the next 2 HOURS trying to find someone, anyone at China Southern to talk to. Can’t get ahold of anyone. She calls American Airlines. They are so sorry, there are no more flights on that day to HOng Kong. You’ll have to fly out the day before. 

Cool, so you made the mistake, caused the problem, you’ll pay for the ridiculously expensive hotel in Hong Kong I now need right. Oh sorry, that’s not our problem. But you changed my flight? Yes. You failed to account for the lack of flights available for this trip? Yes. You changed our contractually agreed upon ticket in a way that costs me money and time? Yes. But you are not going to recuperate my losses from your changes and mistakes? No.

Well, no that doesn’t work. I reject your offer.Try again.

Well we can cancel your entire trip and refund it to you in several weeks. No. I reject this offer too.. I can’t afford to wait, I fly out in two weeks. Tickets are now much higher than before. So that doesn’t recuperate my losses. Try again.

No.

Try again.

No.

Try again.

Okay, let me give you to my supervisor. 

Ok.

Hello, can you hear me?  Hello? Hello? Hang up.

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Oh you did not just do that. You seriously did not just hand up on me at 2am in the morning after 4 hours on the phone dealing with your screw-up?  Why yes, you did!

So I call Orbitz back. Again. I’ve now been on hold for 30+ minutes waiting for a supervisor. 

If they don’t fix this, I will be soooo furious. I’m already never going to book with Orbitz again. And frankly, I don’t recommend that you all do either. It’s one think if you tons of time and live in the States to call and be on hold for more than 14 hours!

But personally, I think that sucks and is generally AWFUL business.  

 

 

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