Orbitz, you godamned thieves. Here are some objective facts.
1) I reserved a hotel in Sau Paulo for ten nights through Orbitz.
2) A visa debacle meant that I missed my check in. By the time my situation was set–after noon on the day I was supposed to check in–I could not cancel or change my reservation.
3) When I arrived at my hotel, my reservation was not honored because I had missed the check in, AND Orbitz would not refund a penny of my money, despite numerous e-mails.
4) Everyone who works for Orbitz likes to give golden showers to children.
As I’m writing this, I am sitting in a hotel room that I paid for through Orbitz. I’m here on one of the days that I reserved through Orbitz. But I have to pay for the room directly, because I missed my check in time and Orbitz took all of my money for a ten day stay and did nothing to secure my room. Oh, and this was a ten day reservation. In other words, I’m paying twice for the same real estate. What a scam.
I’m going to appeal to you on two points. One, think of your own pocket book. If you travel much, you realize that shit happens. You can be delayed. Documents can be held up. Flights can be canceled. Spouses and children can get sick. You can get sick. Consider if you really want to reserve your hotel in such a manner that A) you cannot cancel or even change your reservation on the day of check in and B) if you miss that check in, you will not only be charged for the full amount, if you do make it to the hotel where you have a reservation after the appointed check in time, the reservation will not be honored.
So here’s a pretty reasonable scenario. You book a two week stay in Chicago at $150 a night. You are to check in on the evening of May 9th. You are set to leave for the airport on the evening of May 9th. Your car konks out. Your kid suddenly takes ill. The car service doesn’t show up. You oversleep. Pick any reason you like, it doesn’t matter. If you reserved your hotel through Orbitz, the will not be able to adjust your reservation, you will be charged the full $2100 for your hotel, and if you are able to make it to Chicago the next day, you will not have a room. The beauty part of the scam for the hotel, is that after the exhausting ordeal of traveling to an unfamiliar city, you’ll just give up and pay for at least one more night. What are you going to do, hire a cabbie and ask him to take you to some random hotel? In spite of any money you might save with reservations through Orbitz, this only has to happen one time to make it greatly unprofitable. My suggestion is this: Use the filthy crooks at Orbitz to find room prices and pictures of rooms and so froth. Then bypass those enema bags, call the hotel directly and make your booking. After that, send a box of dog shit to the central offices of Orbitz.