Will Orbitz Rise To The Occasion? Is This A Great Twitter Success Story?

Update #6: The rest went so bad, it gets a special blog post accordingly.

Update #5: First half of flight completed. Only one of the two seats was in position promised (although both were certainly in the up front / window/aisle category). In a totally unrelated issue, missed connection in Pheonix and had to be rebooked on later flight. Orbitz did that automatically. Here at hotel, gift card for local steak house (and it looks like a good one) was waiting for me. Thanks Carly. Next report, the flight home …

Update #4: Finished call with Carly At Orbitz. I’m still on the US Airways flight but they promise seats near front with window or aisle. Not reflected at site yet but we know how reservation systems are. I will arrive at airport tomorrow expecting good seat. They also promised a $100 credit with Orbitz (I don’t see that in the system either – but, again, computers). They seems a bit surprised that I was already booked on this flight (did I note make that clear in the blog post below) but the better seats and $100 credit is a good thing. Think they did enough? I’d love to hear in the comments below. For the record, I got #2, not #1, and #3 – do you think they made it right? I would love to hear you thoughts?

Update #3: Carly At Orbitz promises to call at 3p with the details for the fix. Will report here.

Update #2: Carly At Orbitz has contacted me via direct Twitter message. We’ll see what happens here. 40 minutes before I was going to do web check and see about paying for a better seat too. Will this end well?

Update #1: John Jaworski suggests we follow Carly At Orbitz to see how this ends up. Great idea. Carly, make this great please.

Read this one all the way through – it is going to get interesting.

I fly to Atlanta Wednesday for Stomper 6. I’m looking forward to it on multiple levels.

I booked this flight on Orbitz for some reason. The reservation was Santa Barbara to Vegas to Atlanta. Not bad. Delta too for the biggest part. I’ve got miles with them and my relationship with Stomper has had me slowly moving from a United Premier flyer to whatever they call the Delta guys.

I checked my flight this morning with Orbitz to make sure all was well.

This is what I got:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 Flight #1
US Airways #2922
Depart: 9:40am
morning Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Barbara Municipal (SBA)
Arrive: 11:15am
morning Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix Sky Harbor Intl (PHX)

PHEONIX? HUH? WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 Flight #2
US Airways #4
Depart: 1:34pm
afternoon Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix Sky Harbor Intl (PHX)
Arrive: 2:43pm
afternoon Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Mccarran Intl (LAS)

THEY ACTUALLY ADDED A FLIGHT TO PHEONIX ON MY ITINERARY. DON’T WORRY – IT GETS BETTER

Delta Air Lines #1080
Depart: 9:44am
morning Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Mccarran Intl (LAS)
Arrive: 4:54pm
afternoon Atlanta, GA
Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson ATL (ATL)

YES, THAT’S RIGHT, THEY ACTUALLY HAVE ME OVERNIGHTING IN VEGAS (NOTICE THIS FLIGHT IS THE NEXT DAY) AND DIDN’T THINK TO TELL ME

The flight back …

Sunday, August 24, 2008 Flight #3
Delta Air Lines #1091
Depart: 6:50pm
evening Atlanta, GA
Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson ATL (ATL)
Arrive: 8:08pm
evening Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Mccarran Intl (LAS)

THAT ONE WAS ALMOST WHAT I ORDERED. DON’T WORRY … KEEP READING

Sunday, August 24, 2008 Flight #4
US Airways #605
Depart: 6:10pm
evening Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Mccarran Intl (LAS)
Arrive: 7:23pm
evening Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix Sky Harbor Intl (PHX)

YES, YOU READ THAT RIGHT, THEY ACTUALLY HAVE ME DEPARTING LAS VEGAS TWO HOURS BEFORE I ARRIVE

Sunday, August 24, 2008 Flight #5
US Airways #2725
Depart: 8:00pm
evening Phoenix, AZ

BACK TO PHEONIX??????

Phoenix Sky Harbor Intl (PHX)
Arrive: 10:17pm
evening Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Barbara Municipal (SBA)

AND I’M HOME. I WONDER IF THE RIP IN THE SPACE TIME FABRIC THIS FLIGHT REQUIRES WILL HURT

——–

So, I get on the phone with Orbitz.

While the gal on the phone is trying to make things right, I tweeted the following:

Tweet #1 – http://twitter.com/colligan/statuses/891503352

Tweet #2 – http://twitter.com/colligan/statuses/891511056

And more … you can read them all here.

After a long chunk of time on the phone I was rebooked with lousy seats on a US Airways Flight, (yes, the airline who charges you $2 for a soda and threw out the inflight entertainment machines because they weigh too much) I tweeted the following:

So, one more time, Orbitz, you lost this customer – and my thousands of blog readers, Twitter followers and online friends will know why.

Yes, I was trolling for someone at Orbitz to respond. You bet I did. The gal on the phone I think did the best she could (and got me to Atlanta on time) but this kind of customer service is simply unacceptable.

This came back in the Twittosphere

@colligan I read your tweets about Orbitz and I’m listening. How can I help make this right?

So now this gets good.

I tweeted three simple requests, you can read them here, here and here. I asked for decent seats on an airline I trust and something for my time. Reasonable I think …

I also Tweeted

@CarlyAtOrbitz Finally, please do something. I want this story to end well for Orbitz. Right now, … not a chance. You have the power.

It’s funny, I’ve already had one run-in with a Twittered customer support rep who promised me the world and delivered squat.

There is something about the embracing of New Media by some companies that says this is a two step process – A) use New Media to promise and B) DELIVER.

So, I’ve put this online hoping Orbitz will deliver.

I’ll will report everything – you know me …

And I’m taking bets on the final outcome in the comments. Please predict how you think this will end.

This should be fun.

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