To Africa and Back
Thanks, Orbitz. Apparently confirmation numbers don’t mean much anymore.
After all the excitement of booking my flight yesterday, I got a phone call this morning complete with a voicemail that I could barely understand. What I got was “Melanie . . . Orbitz . . . flight has been canceled.”
This was about 18 hours after booking the flight, so I was completely confused. Was there a problem with the credit card? A problem with the airline? Whoever called had spoken so softly that I couldn’t understand what the reasoning was, and she never left a direct phone number to call back to find out what the problem was.
So began a half hour wait on the phone with Orbitz only to be connected with someone who wanted to get rid of me as quickly as possible. He told me the flight had been canceled and that I needed to call the airline. Which airline? I asked, since the flight utilizes both AirFrance and South African Airways.
He kept telling me it wasn’t Orbitz fault, and that I had to talk to the airlines. I of course kept telling him he needed to tell me which airline to talk to. He told me I’d need to talk to their International Flights call department and that he would transfer me directly to them.
He did not.
He put me back in the queue for the same customer service line on which I had just waited half an hour to speak with him. When I finally got an agent (thankfully not him) I had to go through the same questioning. Which is funny since he said he was transferring the information over. Thanks, guy.
The woman I spoke with was super nice and helpful, apologized for the hour wait and found everything out for me. There was no need to contact this non-existant International Flights call department, either. It was my South African Airways flight to Port Elizabeth that had not been confirmed and caused the trip cancellation. She even canceled the insurance on the trip for me.
I’m not sure I even want to go through Orbitz again, but I did email SAA’s customer service department to find out if there’s something wrong with that flight or if it could still be booked. Once I hear back from them, I’ll probably just book directly from Air France and SAA since the price difference is minimal – and I don’t trust Orbitz.
So it looks like I have still have some time for last minute trip changes – hopefully, though, I won’t need to make anymore after this.