Orbits vs British Airways and typo

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Jul 23, 2019
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#1
Last October, I purchased six airline tickets through Orbitz for my family and I to fly to Greece. Several days prior to departure, I discovered a one letter typo in my husband and son’s middle name. They share the same middle name. Where there should have been an “a” there was an “e”. After spending hours on the phone with orbitz, I was told that due to British Airways policy, my only option was to purchase two new tickets, totaling $9500. The original tickets were non-refundable. Orbitz explained that BA policy is that they don’t do name changes when there is another airline involved. We took a flight from Portland to Seattle on Alaska. When I purchased the original tickets, it said it was British Airways partner operating the flight from Portland to Seattle so i thought it was a BA itinerary the entire way. I also spoke with British Airways and they said that this could be resolved, but it had to happen on Orbitz end. They can’t do anything. Both parties are pointing fingers at the other and neither is willing to help in anyway. We discovered when taking the flights, that my husband and son were assigned to the exact same seats on the exact same flights as originally booked. So, we more than double paid for the seats. Ideally, I would like a refund for the second booking totaling $9500. I realize I made a mistake and caused extra work on their end, but I think $9500 is a steep penalty relative to the infraction especially considering my husband and son were in the exact seats as originally booked.I would understand a change ticket fee or something similar.

Is there anything I can do to get a full or partial refund? I’m getting nowhere with BA and Orbitz.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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#2
Unfortunately, the time to correct the error without penalty was within 24 hours of the booking. This is why it is imperative to read carefully your confirmation email to be able to spot the errors and fix them relatively painlessly.

Compounding this error was using Orbitz. Adding a middle man with little to no customer service is not a problem until you have a problem. Then it is a nightmare to resolve the issue (as you discovered).

And yes, you paid double, more than double in fact, since you paid walk up prices, for the same tickets. The bottom line is that you made the error and did not catch it in time to correct it for free. The real bottom line is that airlines can charge whatever they want to make those corrections and the traveler has no recourse.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
#3
"Orbits vs British Airways and typo"-there is a typo in this too. Typos can be very costly. You had 24 hours last October to check all of the tickets. It is essential to have a copy of all passengers passports in front of you when booking any international travel, to check each and every name before hitting the purchase button, and to check each ticket against the passport immediately after receiving the email confirmation.

This could have been solved at no cost within 24 hours of making the reservation. It could have been solved at a much lower cost within days to weeks after making the reservation.

Once you were "several days prior to departure" solving this problem was going to be very expensive. The use of "Orbits" made any solution much more time consuming and difficult. Book directly on the airline website and check everything twice (have the ticket holder review the ticket as soon as booked).

You can email BA and Orbitz. You might (and might not) get some vouchers for future travel. A refund is not likely but you can ask.
https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/orbitz/
https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/british-airways/


https://forum.elliott.org/threads/resolving-consumer-complaints-and-developing-a-paper-trail.8903/
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
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#4
I don’t believe one letter in your middle name will ever be an issue. But Orbits of course would Love to sell you new tickets. I’m not a gambler but I’d risk this one. Most airlines will correct one letter some will fix two. JMHO

It’s really unfortunate you chose to book thru Orbitz and not direct thru Alaska or BA. would have been easier to fix.
 
Likes: jsn55
Jul 23, 2019
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#5
Thank you for your responses. Though not the solution I’m looking for, it is helpful to hear that this matter is a losing battle and I should just let it go.

I’ve learned many hard lessons from this mistake. Yes, I will never use a site like Orbitz again and will always purchase directly from the airline carrier. I’ve also learned just how important it is to double and triple check the spelling of names. Believe it or not, I’ve always had identification in front of me when purchasing airline tickets and double checked my spelling against it. I recall being in a rush the day I purchased the tickets at issue and I was a little too confident in the correct spelling of their middle name, Allan (never again to be mistaken for “Allen”).

It’s just so frustrating to see the airline and Orbitz gain a windfall due to what I think is a minor error. It seems like gouging to me. I have filed claims with Orbitz and BA, but it’s looking like they’re not going to do anything.

I’ll chalk this up to a stupid tax and will never make this mistake again.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#9
I am so, so sorry to read your post. A horrible way to learn the importance of all the details and booking direct. While of course you could have brazened it out at the airport and everything would have been fine ... probably ... how could you take that chance? I find the airlines' sheer greed to be absolutely disgusting.

Now I'll get yelled at because "those are their rules, their policies, their procedures". Who made these rules? Not a traveller. To charge you $9500 for new tix is blatant gouging. The travelling American public needs someone in government to stand up for them. The airline lobbies have very deep pockets, and nothing will change until we elect someone who is more interested in their constituency than what the airlines are handing out. It's a matter of ethics and values.
 
May 30, 2019
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#12
Unfortunately, the time to correct the error without penalty was within 24 hours of the booking. This is why it is imperative to read carefully your confirmation email to be able to spot the errors and fix them relatively painlessly.
Given that the OP booked though an OTA, did the 24-hour rule apply? Doesn't that consideration apply only when booking directly with the airline?
 
Jul 13, 2016
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#13
Given that the OP booked though an OTA, did the 24-hour rule apply? Doesn't that consideration apply only when booking directly with the airline?
I wondered that as well. I have never used Orbitz, Travelocity, Priceline, etc. so I am unsure about their policies. But I seems to vaguely recall that some OTAs do follow the 24 hour rule.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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#14
Given that the OP booked though an OTA, did the 24-hour rule apply? Doesn't that consideration apply only when booking directly with the airline?
Orbitz policy on flight cancelations:

Cancel your flight


Change of plans? No problem. We’re here to help make things as easy as possible.
Conveniently, you can cancel most flights online – including flights booked with points.
Before you cancel
Be sure to review the Airline rules + restrictions in your itinerary to see what the airline will let you do and what fees they charge for flight cancellations.
Full-service airlines
If you booked:
  • In the last 24 hours: Some airlines will let you cancel your flight for free. Not sure this applies to you? Check the Airline rules + restrictions in your itinerary for details.
  • More than 24 hours ago: Airline cancellation fees come into play at this point. See the Airline rules + restrictions in your itinerary for more info.
  • Non-refundable fares: You won’t get a refund if you cancel, but you might get an airline credit to use later. If you do get a credit, be sure to read up on how to Book a flight with an airline credit.
How to cancel your flight
  1. Go to My Trips.
  2. Select Cancel Flight and follow the instructions.
And you’re done!
Low-cost airlines
Low-cost airlines, like Frontier and Spirit, like to handle their own changes and cancellations. But we can help you get in touch. We’ve got a list of airline phone numbers right here.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,927
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#15
Given that the OP booked though an OTA, did the 24-hour rule apply? Doesn't that consideration apply only when booking directly with the airline?
An OTA doesn’t have to honor the 24 hour rule- that is only when booked directly with an airline but most OTAs do.

OP didn’t notice it until they were almost ready to leave so it’s a moot point.