Why I Refuse to Ever Use Travelocity Again…and Why You Should Too
I was probably one of Travelocity’s most loyal customers. I’ve been with them since the 90s; since the concept of online travel was new. I’ve booked hundreds, yes hundreds of trips on Travelocity–from flights to hotels to rental cars. Faithfully.
Travelocity even sent me their Roaming Gnome for being a loyal, longtime and frequent customer. Seriously, the Gnome…they sent it to me, in a box. I was pretty stoked.
But as I became a more seasoned traveler–especially over the past three years, and my itineraries a bit more complicated–naturally, the odds of travel complications increase. The problem is, Travelocity does an absolutely horrible job at “fixing” problems; problems not caused by the customer, but the airlines; specifically flight cancellations.
1) Their customer service reps can’t fix complicated problems; they only know how to read scripts and aren’t in any way travel “experts.”
For “normal” travelers, who stay at an international destination for more than just one or two days, a canceled flight usually isn’t a big deal; normally this just means waiting a day or two for the next flight. But what if you’re seeing multiple counties in a row in a short amount of time, spending just a day or two in each one, and one canceled flight affects multiple other flights? Well, you get screwed if you’ve used Travelocity, that’s what happens. It’s happened to me three times, and finally I am through.
I won’t bore you with the details, but the big problem with Travelocity, is that if you have problems with your flights, it is almost impossible to get adequate help. Instead, you’re transferred to a call center in the Philippines and get to talk to someone who reads the same script to you, over and over again. No offense to these customer service reps–it’s not their fault, I blame management–but these guys can probably solve only the most basic of problems. When it comes to complicated itineraries, and a canceled flight that effects other flights, you’re outta luck.
Example: Say I have a flight on Tuesday, that leaves Barbados at 2PM and arrives in St. Lucia at 3PM; and the the next day, a flight from St. Lucia that leaves at noon to arrive in St. Vincent at 1:00PM. Then say the Tuesday flight is cancelled by the airline, and Travelocity is now insisting on re-booking me the next day, to arrive in St. Lucia at 3PM. Do you see the problem? I’d arrive in St. Lucia after my next flight already departed for St. Vincent at noon! For some reason, the customer service reps at Travelocity have a hard time understanding any circumstances outside of the “one” flight that was canceled or changed–they don’t realize that the one canceled flight may affect other flights and even hotel reservations on the same trip. And as the “travel agency,” it’s up to them to fix it all and make everything work. But somehow this concept has been lost.
2) They pass the buck to the airline
One of the main reasons I (and most people, I’m guessing) book with a service like Travelocity, is because they assure you that they will take care of everything should any issues arise, which has proven to be just absolutely false. What’s worse, is that on multiple occasions when my flights have been canceled or changed, Travelocity has actually instructed me to contact the airlines directly for the refund. But I booked the flight with you, ya dicks! That’s just bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S! Have you every tried to get help from an airline on a ticket you booked on Travelocity…they pretty much you laugh you right off the phone, while sternly reminding you that since you booked with Travelocity, you have to work it out with them.
CHECK OUT MY CALL TO TRAVELOCITY BELOW…dude had the nerve to tell me to call the airline to get my money back!
3) They lie
On multiple occasions I was promised a call back within 24-hours and it never happened. Thanks guys.
4) Their call centers and customer service reps have been outsourced to other countries
Of course they’re not the only company to do this, but it doesn’t make me feel any better about Travelocity, when so many of our brothers and sisters are out of work. No thank you. I’ll deal with the airlines direct from now on, whose customer service reps are here in the US.
5) You lose out on hotel points
This is a big one…and shame on me for missing out on years of hotel points by using Travelocity to book rooms. If you’re trying to build up your hotel loyalty reward points–which you should be doing–don’t ever use Travelocity. Most hotel chains (if not all) won’t credit you with points unless you book directly from them. Although I liked Travelocity to compare prices, not getting your hotel points is a huge negative. Don’t even tell me about Travelocity’s own “rewards” program–I am disgusted with them. At least when I call Marriott, Hilton or SPG, I get someone in this country that can address and solve my problem.
7 thoughts on “Travel Advice: 5 Reasons You Should Never Use Travelocity”
When I booked my flights to Brazil for World Cup 2014, I did it almost 10 months in advance with FlightHub – one of Travelocity’s competitors. My flight was with Air Canada and the itinerary was Toronto – NYC – Sao Paolo – Rio de Janeiro.
Unfortunately, the flight segment from Toronto – NYC was cancelled at the last minute due to inclement weather. So, we were told to call Air Canada’s Customer Service line to help book us on the next available flight. I wrote a few entries on my blog about the debacle I had to go through just to get down to Brazil, so I will save you the details here for now.
What I didn’t realize was that the moment the Toronto – NYC flight segment was cancelled, our return flight was automatically cancelled, as well. That’s right. My Girlfriend and I had tried to check in our return flight home – a flight that we had booked through FlightHub 10 months earlier – only to find out that we were not in the Reservations system. What the F&%$?!?
No explanation was given as to why that happen and both Air Canada and FlightHub tried to pass the buck off to each other much like Travelocity did with you here. When it comes to booking multiple flights through a third party with different airlines on a trip in a busy travel period, it’s just not worth it. I thought I could save myself about $300 or so just to fly down to Brazil for the World Cup. Instead I was out $1000 because my cancelled flight resulted in me missing out on the first two days of my Brazil tour. You are not alone in this dislike for third party booking sites!
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I’m sure you wrote this a long time ago, but I just wanted to give you a thumbs up on this piece. Travelocity has descended into the dumps these last couple of years. I have been using them on and off since maybe 2007, and they are totally useless at this point. They can’t seem to help with ANYTHING.
I booked a trip through them (two one-way flights) and tried to cancel one of the flights and the rep – just like yours – told me to contact the airlines. I was like “Why did we book with you if you can’t help with anything?” She had no idea how to answer since it was off her script. The outsourcing by all these American companies is truly ruining customer service. Like you said, it’s not the reps’ fault because they’re just trying to make a buck, but the quality of service is SO low now that I dread hearing a filipino or indian accent when I call customer service. I just know I won’t get anything resolved. Travelocity needs to get it together! I’m never booking with them again.
Thanks Norma, and I’m so sorry to hear about your troubles, but no surprised. 🙁
All the best and safe travels!
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I probably do this backwards, but I do use Travelocity to book my trips, etc, and contact the airline/hotel/rental car agency directly with issues. I usually only go on one big trip per year. Only once have I had an issue where one flight was delayed, causing problems with layovers. In this instance, I contacted the airline directly and was promptly taken care of (including free upgrades). I hope that I don’t get into a situation where I have to truly deal with Travelocity outside of booking the trips.
Ahhh, you have been lucky! I still try and go direct, but have started using booking.com for hotels and have had some luck.