Orbitz works directly with airlines to help you quickly find the type of flight you are looking for. It has several filters so you can narrow your search by number of stops, departure and arrival times, and flight class. The Flexible Date search looks for tickets within three days before or after your preferred date, which may give you even better rates for your flight. Each flight listing gives a full itinerary with transfer locations, time, terminal and length of your layover. Orbitz is upfront about everything – a rarity in an industry known for obscuring important details.
Orchestrating an overdue vacation takes a lot more planning than packing sunscreen and a towel. Online travel sites give you many ways to find the best times, methods of travel and destinations for a fair price. It's no problem if you want to book a flight, hotel or rental car individually, but Orbitz specializes in combination packages. When you purchase reservations in bundles, it costs less than booking each component individually. The more package deals you purchase, the more rewards you earn for even cheaper travel. This makes Orbitz a great online booking site for frequent flyers or families needing to book at least four or more tickets for a trip.
Hotel searches display results based on distance from a city's center by default. However, you can adjust results based on the lowest price, star rating and reviewer score, to name a few. Hotel results on Orbitz include interior and exterior pictures of the hotel, customer reviews and a quick description of the amenities available. Within the hotel's profile, you'll find a list of nearby points of interest so you can find a hotel nearest to your favorite attractions.
If you aren't flying to a location with plentiful public transportation options or shuttle services, you may want to consider renting a car. When you search for rental cars on Orbitz, you'll see an easy-to-follow grid with dealerships and prices. You can search for rentals based on the car, price, transmission type, pickup and drop-off locations, and even features like AC.
If you plan to stay in a hotel and rent a car at your destination, you can purchase package deals that can cost you less than if you booked each one individually. Packages come in different combinations based on your needs. You can book any combination of flights, hotels and rental cars quickly and easily. If you're a frequent flyer, select your preferred airline and enter your frequent flier number to earn more miles through Orbitz.
Of course, travel isn't limited to landlubbers. You can book cruises online with Orbitz, too. Just like the other travel searches on this website, booking the right cruise only takes a few tweaks on your initial search. Cruise searches are based on destination, with the most popular locations at the top of the list.
Orbitz lists cruise destinations all over the globe, not just popular Caribbean cruises. You can choose your preferred cruise line and departure date up to two years in advance. Orbitz can book cruises that last from two to 12 nights, and it lists all ports of call. If you have cabin preferences, you can choose from interior, ocean view, balcony and suite rooms at the listed prices.
The Activities section of Orbitz helps you reserve tickets to events you can enjoy once you unpack your bags. This feature is handy for avoiding long ticket lines for big destinations and popular activities. Of course, activities vary from location to location, but most locations offer at least a shuttle or car service option to or from the airport. You can search your destination and the dates you'll be there to find out what's going on in the area. In our research, we found the most popular activities were tickets to Cirque Du Soleil, Disney World and Grand Canyon tours.
Orbitz also lists deals to popular destinations like California, Florida, Las Vegas, Mexico and the Caribbean on the front page. Deals are often for last-minute trips to popular vacation destinations. You can often find last-minute packages up to half off, but the deals usually have a limited list of participating hotels.
Orbitz has two features that make travel searching easier: predictive searching and calendar-style date selection. Predictive searches save time by completing the name of your destination as you type it. Orbitz provides calendar-style selection for dates so you can see what day of the week you're making your reservations. Ticket prices often change based on the day of the week, so if you don't have a date preference, you can use the flexible date feature.
While searching for reservations, Orbitz lets you compare prices to other travel websites. Once you make your selection, Orbitz guides you through the booking process one step at a time. If you only book a flight, for example, Orbitz offers a chance to book hotels and rental car with your flight reservations.
Like the best online travel sites, Orbitz sends email confirmations as soon as you book your seats, car or room. Within the email confirmation, you'll find all the necessary details about your reservation.
Orbitz also allows you to view and manage your itineraries in the My Trips portal. You can change flight seats, update alerts or cancel altogether. Unfortunately, for itinerary or cancellation changes, Orbitz charges a service fee with possible additional charges. You can cancel your trip at any time, but you won't get a complete refund. If you cancel before your departure date, you can apply the amount of your ticket to future domestic travel.
For extra help, you can opt for travel alerts about flight delays, cancellations, gate changes and airport advisories. You can set preferences for these alerts to notify you three to five hours before your departure and even opt for a wakeup call if you have an early morning flight.
Since more people use their phone for tasks that used to be completed on laptops and desktops, we took a look at Orbitz's app. We found the iOS or Android mobile app for Orbitz to be excellent and easy to use.
Orbitz has a loyalty rewards program called Orbucks. It is straightforward and easy to use. One dollar spent equates to one Orbuck, and you can redeem Orbucks instantly. You can save up to 5 percent off hotels, 1 percent off flights and 1 percent off package deals. When you use the app, you'll earn more points. You can also earn extra Orbucks through referrals or booking family and friends.
Orbitz offers easy methods of support, such as telephone and FAQs, but the company falls short elsewhere. The FAQs are the most reliable type of first-string support, but they're not in an obvious place on the website. Orbitz offers live chat, but it is ridiculously hard to find.
While Orbitz doesn't offer every type of support imaginable, the company makes it easy to send feedback. There is a feedback feature that lets you add suggestions, send praise or alert Orbitz if you have a problem. Each of these feedback options opens to a blank text box so you can talk to Orbitz in your own words.