Really, Orbitz? Beware this promo code.

Yesterday, I posted about a new promo out from Orbitz – you can earn up to $110 for sharing vacation photos. Not a bad promo, and could be worth it if you’ve got a paid hotel stay coming up.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 10.58.06 AM

In theory, you should be able to stack this promo with another $25 by using a friend’s referral link:

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 9.15.30 AM


HOWEVER, this is not what has been happening. So far, three of my readers who have signed up using my link have only received a $10 promo code. I reached out to Orbitz via chat, and they were incredibly unhelpful and confusing (also, they got a little snippy)!

I have not been able to find anything on their website that states referrals earn $10 versus $25. While $15 is not a huge amount of money, it’s so uncool that Orbitz is not providing what they claim they will provide. It’s VERY misleading.

Has anyone else experienced this?

In case you’d like to see, here is the transcript from my chat this morning. Please let me know if you can figure out how $25 really means $10. I’d love to know. In the meantime, be aware that if you sign up through a referral link, you will likely only earn $10.

Orbitz: Hi, my name is Orbitz. How may I help you?
Me: Hi! A couple of people who signed up for Orbucks through my link are only earning $10 instead of $25
 Me: Can you please help to fix this?
Orbitz: Hi, Kendra this is for referring a friend promotion right?
Me: yes

Several minutes pass…

Me: hello? are you still there?
Orbitz: ok, just to complete all the information did they booked a hotel reservation, right?
Me: yes
Orbitz: ok, I am checking that program
Me: Thank you. Just to be clear, the website states that my friends will earn $25, but they have only earned $10

Several more minutes pass…

 Me: Hello?
Orbitz: Well according to the website it states that when your friends joy with us they get a $25 promo for the first hotel stay that is booked no 25 Orbucks, since the promo code is an e-mail that they will get and the Orbucks are posted in the account
Orbitz: now they got 10.00 Orbucks due to the hotel booking.
Me: Yes, they got $10 instead of $25. Why?
Me: Are you saying that they got a $10 promo code and then an additional $25 in orbucks?
Me: so they actually received TWO things from you – $10 in email and $25 in orbucks?
Orbitz: they got 10 Orbucks for the hotel stay, and what the website promised for them is 25.00 discount in a promo code please allow me to show with this link
Me: I’ve seen the link
Me: I’m still confused, though
Orbitz: since they received 10.00 Orbucks there are a few hotels that offer those in the first booking.
Orbitz: do you have the e-mail address of one of those friends so I can check
Me: That doesn’t seem fair if the website says they will get $25?
Orbitz: Yes, it says When friends join, they’ll get a $25 promo code for their first hotel stay. it says promo code
Me: So I’m still confused about the $10?
 Me: That’s great if they got a $10 credit AND a $25 promo code
Me: but it’s not so great if they only got $10
Orbitz: I said that if they received 10 Orbucks as you said, this is possible since some hotels offer this promotion for your fist booking.
Me: Where does it say that on the site, though?
Orbitz: no, it is good because is what it was promised, we are not misleading our customers, the information is clear in our website
Me: Can you show me where it says $10? I would like to show my friends
Orbitz: please reed this about Orbucks and this is the one from promo codes Do not worry the difference between both can be found in our FAQ list
Orbitz: The 10 Orbucks are offered by some hotel reservations, not all so I assume that they booked a hotel reservation because some hotels, do offer this when you search them in the booking path
Orbitz: Please note that a promo code applies a discount to the original price of purchase but, not all the reservations allow promo code, now the Orbucks are earn every time you book a flight reservation or due to promotions this can be used as money.
Me: thank you
Me: I think it would be more clear if you stated on the site that some hotels offer $10 in Orbucks when you sign up and some offer $25
Orbitz: please note that this is on the site, but is not in the refer a friend space due to this are two separate things
Me: That just seems really misleading to me!
Orbitz: Kendra, I believe you should check well the instructions before clicking [snippy, right?!?]
Orbitz: I found the information it states that you will get $50 discount in your statement credit, after you spend $200 in the first 90 days, this information can be founded at
 Me: This is actually for the credit card
 Me: not for the refer a friend program
Orbitz: Please let me know if you check the detail on the website
 Me: yes, I checked
 Me: I’m not sure what the Visa Credit card has to do with the refer a friend program?
Me: Do you have any more info on the refer a friend?
 Me: Or is the final thought that we should carefully read everything before clicking?
Orbitz: Yes, Please click on this link Your will find all about this program

Is it me, or is this shady?


  1. Heavenlyjane says:

    Looks like you got an agent on her first day of work. She is completely confused and is determined to not admit it.

    I hate using chat for issues because it is supremely slow and often the communication is incomplete. I hate that most chat forms have eliminated the time stamps so you cannot tell how long a issue take to complete (or how long until one bails). Your transcripts reinforce my opinion.

  2. Take it up the food chain. I don’t believe this CSR knows what he/she is talking about.

  3. I think that part of the confusion is that there is a difference between a Promotion code and Orbucks. As I read the referral information, someone using your link gets an email with a $25 promotion code. This is different from earning Orbucks (which is what you earn after booking a prepaid hotel or flight). It still doesn’t explain why the promotion code that your friends received was for $10 instead of $25, but I think that conflating Orbucks and Promotion Codes led to some of the confusion in the chat. (And the website certainly could be a LOT clearer!) Maybe try again asking why your readers are only getting a $10 promotion code instead of a $25 promotion code (and don’t use the word Orbucks at all!)

    • Points Pixie says:

      Reader – Thank you! Very helpful language to use. I’ll try again and see what happens. Will post if I learn anything new.

  4. I used your referral link also. I received the $10 bucks. I tried the chat last night and the csr said that it would take 5 days to hit my acct. I don’t know if she really knew what she was talking about.

  5. I signed up yesterday as well and I only got $10 in Orbucks, no promo code email.

    The chat is confusing as anything. English certainly isn’t their first language, they keep pointing you to seeming random, unrelated pages. Very unhelpful.

Speak Your Mind