Saving on Flights with Orbitz
Every seasoned traveler has heard about Orbitz, especially if he or she ever looked for flights online. The company has been in business since 2001 and is known as one of the best flight search engines and online travel agencies (OTA).
Competition in travel industry is tough, but Orbitz has been able to keep audiences loyal with its Rewards Program and big savings on booking travel packages that include accommodations, flights, and rental cars. Orbitz currently belongs to Expedia Group, together with Trivago, Travelocity, and Expedia.
Compared to others, Orbitz offers consistency and a wide range of services – loyalty program, great search capabilities, and deals.
When searching for affordable flights, sometimes it’s not enough to just open Orbitz. There are special tips and tricks along the way. Let’s take a look at best ways to save money and enjoy the process of booking:
What’s good about Orbitz:
- You can see what it would cost to upgrade your flight right before you pay for it, so you can make a quick decision to add a few dollars for more comfort.
- Rewards Program is there to reward loyal customers with points and Orbucks, better rates for hotels, and future savings. You will earn Orbucks while booking flights and hotels, but will be able to redeem them on hotels only. 1 Orbuck = $1. When you book lots of trips on Orbitz, you will become Silver, Gold, or Platinum Rewards members, which will bring increasingly more perks and upgrades. Everybody starts with Silver, become Gold after 3-nights at a hotel booked through Orbitz, and Platinum - after 12 nights.
- Cancellation policy is very straightforward and clear about every flight.
- Baggage fees can be significant these days and Orbitz helps finding those fees for every flight, especially for budget airlines.
- Bundle travel components on Orbitz and you will see some serious savings.
- Flights feature various scores and can inform you about the travel time, aircraft, and amenities available on flight.
- Member pricing is great and can help you save 10-50% on select hotels.
- Orbitz Rewards Visa credit card will earn you 8-10% back on hotel stays if booked through Orbitz, 6% on flights, 5% on all other purchases, and 2% on the rest. All of this is earned in Orbucks, which can only be redeemed on hotels.
- Orbitz app is a great tool for discounts of all sorts. In addition to some spectacular in-app deals, you will also have easier time managing your trip on the app.
What’s not so good about Orbitz:
- It’s hard to see the prices for flexible travelers. Unlike Google Flights, Orbitz only shows prices for +- one day within selected dates.
- If your travel is taking you to multiple cities in multiple countries, Orbitz will have trouble helping you with such an itinerary as it gets very complicated very fast.
- Orbitz has limited results, so your cheapest flight might not even be there.
- You can’t book directly with an airline when searching through Orbitz.
- There is no map option to look for cheapest flight in the entire region for your destination.
Overall, using Orbitz is pretty simple. When you first start, you’ll have to select just flights or add hotel or car rental to your search. Then choose one-way or round-trip, or multiple city. Add number of travelers, including children with ages, select origin and destination airports, and select desired dates for your trip. It helps to have flexible dates for absolutely best rates.
If you have some specific requirements, go to Advanced Options menu, where you can choose non-stop or one-stop flight, preferred airline, refundable option, and class. Always be weary of budget airlines, because by the time you’ll figure in the price of the luggage, the best deal might be so good any more.
The results are always presented from the cheapest flight and up. You will see the time of the trip, the duration, the name of the airline and flight number, the number of stops, the price, and amenities, such as Wi-Fi, TV service, and power. The price displayed is total for one person for a round trip, taxes, and fees. Luggage fee might not be included. You can filter those results further with a button on left side.
This first page is for the departing flight. After you select the best one, the next page takes you to the selection of the return flight. After you select his leg of your trip, Orbitz will show you the entire itinerary on one page before you pay for it. Make sure everything is correct. Choose available upgrades if desired and pick class.
Next you will have to put your information and seat request. If you are interested, there is a section about extra fees, such as insurance and Price Match Promise. Orbitz will also charge you a booking fee.
All airlines are required by law to allow passengers cancel their flights up to 24 hours before the flight, if booked directly with the airline. Orbitz and other online travel agencies don’t have to do that, but most still offer the same deal. Orbitz doesn’t charge change or cancellation fee, but uses airlines’ policies for that. This means that you will get your money back or credit issued as long as you cancel before 24 hours. After that fees will be high.
Overall, Orbitz is a great tool for every traveler who’s willing to play around with dates for the best deal possible.