Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia – Which travel website is best?

Orbitz VS.       Expedia VS.      Travelocity

When searching to book travel on the internet, should you use Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia?   There are an amazing variety of travel websites on the internet, and I personally find the selection a bit overwhelming.  If you simply Google the words “travel website”, you will find upwards of 132 million results!   Interestingly today, Orbitz got top billing on Google.    But, is Orbitz really the best website to use to book your vacation just because it shows up as the first travel website on Google?    Well, of course any rational person knows that’s not necessarily the case! There are many factors to consider when comparing travel websites.  Things to compare include booking fees, cancellation polices, price guarantees, coupon codes, price-wars and sometimes even membership fees.  In our travel website reviews, we look at each of these variables, including what real travel website users have to say in the comments.  You will find these comments, real experiences, and cautionary complaints under each of our reviews for Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia.  As with anything you find on the internet, don’t believe everything you read.  However, the amount of complaints about one travel site versus another is a good indicator that there may be a real customer service issue with the travel website.

Fees and cancellations

Let us start with the travel website fees*.   In our latest review, it appears to us that Travelocity has the least amount of fees, along with the easiest to find cancellation policy.   Keep in mind that if you cancel a vacation package or flight, you will be charged approximately $200 by the airline (per ticket).  This cancellation fee is charged by the airline, and the travel website will pass this charge onto you.   In addition to this airline fee, most travel websites will also charge you their own cancellation fee.   Expedia claims that they do not charge to cancel flights or hotels.   But when it comes to Expedia’s policy on canceling vacations… it gets blurry.   Does Expedia offer refunds for vacation packages?   That is a question that remains unanswered when browsing their website.  Travelocity’s claims that they do not charge a fee to cancel a vacation, albeit you still need to pay those pesky hotel and airline fees.  Orbitz claims they will tack on an additional $25 fee if you cancel a vacation.  At least we could find their policy!

User reviews and comments

Now, let’s move onto the user comments.   As far as users of this site are concerned, the Expedia travel website has the most complaints.  Travelocity is not trailing far behind and Orbitz has relatively few.  I take this information with a grain of salt because we are talking about the biggest names in online travel and they are bound to have more complaints than the smaller companies.  Take a few moments to read through these user comments, just to familiarize yourself with what you may need to watch out for on a particular travel website and possibly pick up a few insider tricks along the way.

Price guarantees

Looking at the price guarantee policies* of Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia, I’d say that Orbitz takes the cake on this one.  Expedia offers you a $50 coupon if you find a lower price within 24 hours.   Travelocity gives you a longer period of time, but otherwise their guarantee appears identical to Expedia’s.  For both Travelocity and Expedia, you need to search for a lower price on your own and submit a claim to get this benefit.   Orbitz takes their guarantee one step further with their new “Hotel Price Assurance”.   Although only good for hotel bookings, “if another Orbitz customer books the same pre-paid hotel as you for less, you’ll get a cash refund for the difference… automatically“.  Oh, and Orbitz also offers the same $50 price guarantee that Travelocity and Expedia offer.

Coupon codes and deals

What about those coveted travel coupon codes (aka.  promotional codes)?  Not every travel website has coupon codes, and they do not make these codes easy to find by the public.  Travelocity is the winner of this group when it comes to coupon codes.  We get new Travelocity promotional codes every month here at Travel Site Critic.com, and try to be the first to post them in our travel deals.  I’m not sure how much this weighs in on making Travelocity the best travel website, but if coupon codes are what you seek, you can easily get them for Travelocity.  The downside of coupon codes is that they often expire within 30 days or less, so you need to search for new codes every time you book a vacation.

You decide

Ultimately, it’s up to you to arm yourself with relevant information and decide which travel website is best for you.  You may find that a smaller travel website may be just what you are looking for.  Our top rated travel websites are listed on the left side of this page.  Explore our other travel website reviews and see what you find.  It may surprise you.
* Please note that our commentary on travel website fees and policies may be inacurate.  Fees and policies change often, so make sure you read the respective policies for yourself on the websites of Orbitz, Travelocity, or Expedia prior to booking.
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