Travelocity; Genius, Evil or Evil Genius? (We’ll find out Monday)

When I went to book my upcoming trip I found the best deal at Travelocity.com, but at what price? The answer may surprise you.

It sure as hell surprised me, and perhaps not in the good way.

I booked a one-stop flight for a competitive $1,118, only to find two days later that it wasn’t simply booked for the wrong days, but the entire wrong months. I should have caught this in booking, but I didn’t, and since a few minutes past 24-hours had passed, it was not eligible for cancellation.

There are countless stories online how Travelocity may not honor cancellations even within the window, so I guess the point is moo.

I called to change my dates but was informed I’d have to pay an extra $200 to correct my dates, a premium of 18%, which I begrudgingly, reluctantly agreed to pay.

The next morning, my itinerary arrives and I find it hasn’t been fixed. Seems the Travelocity Gnome has been hard at work effing up my bee’s nest.

The next five calls were as curious as they were time consuming and wholly unproductive. I can detail them if you like, but they were four hours of jumping through the same pointless hoops over and over, frequently being disconnected, ending Friday evening with the word that I would be notified between Tuesday morning and Wednesday night if my ticket would be changed.

If they choose not to honor their mistake, they want me to pay an additional $1,150… That’s more than the original ticket just to amend my return flight to what I already paid $200 for. That would put me at 221% of my original ticket price.

Every day that passes, ticket prices climb. Every day they delay in their response is one more where my solutions will be less and less affordable.

I’ve booked countless trips on Travelocity over my globe trotting career to China, Puerto Rico and Las Vegas and I’ve never seen a single problem. Have I lost all sense, or have they?

The (mostly useless) lady at the offshore call center (who has no authority to do anything, despite being a supervisor) assured me that, if my confirmation on the change was indeed incomplete or not understandable due to language difficulties, they would honor my change without additional fee. I asked if I could hear the recording and the answer was a resounding NO.

I thanked her for time but assured her that, with $1,150 on the line, there’s just not a chance in hell they’re going to rule in my favor.

But today is Saturday and I won’t hear back until Monday, Tuesday or later.

When I do, I assure you, I will post an addendum to this story and follow up with a second story about how amazing Travelocity is, or how incredibly greedy and incompetent they are.

Listen, we all make mistakes. I paid the $200 change-ticket fee for mine. To ask me to pay more than the original flight to correct their error is unthinkable.

But we’ve got a few days to find out if they’re the greatest or worst company ever.

Share your experiences – good, bad or otherwise – in the comments below, and stay tuned for my update.

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4 comments on “Travelocity; Genius, Evil or Evil Genius? (We’ll find out Monday)

  1. I’ve had a mixed bag but nothing as overt as your experience.
    I DO notice their ‘tendency’ to try and pass off errors while making it a little difficult to verify the details.

    Plus, the flights are always packed. They are frequently delayed. I’ve had to do the ‘gate chase’ across the airport when they decide to change them at the last minute. If I fly these carriers with a regular ticket, no such KeyStone Cops antics.

    Then there are those phantom $15 charges that can show up on your credit card on “the back end” that kind of look like baggage charges…but by the time you realize that the carrier you flew doesn’t charge for one bag, it’s too late, And if you’re flying for business, you aren’t paying for them anyway.

    I think you CAN get a good deal with Travelocity, but realized that the ticket is so cheap because there’s something not top notch with it. It’s up to you to find that little flaw.

    Their site HAS changed dates on me during a search before and I took it as user error until it happened again. So it may be they are intentionally trying to get you to misbook so they can charge you more.

    Having said that, I’ve gotten some real cheap seats before. Downside….they sent my bags to the wrong baggage claim and didn’t tell us for 45 minutes and the airline charged me for a single checked bag even though my reservation assured ‘one bag free’. The plane was older, the seats smaller and it was completely packed.

  2. Gnomes are notoriously known for having shitty administrative and customer service skills. Hope it works out in your favor!

  3. “Pretty much good luck” only counts when you don’t need customer service. Every company gets five-stars when nothing goes wrong. I don’t judge a company for sometimes making mistakes, I judge them by how they respond and react to mistakes that were made.

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