ODD: Orbitz Issues Me a Slightly Different Ticket Than I Paid For!

I can file this under "things I've never seen before."

As you might know, I've been really frustrated with online booking sites. They have been showing all sorts of cheap prices, only to actually not have that fare available. I had been looking for a cheap fare for my girlfriend and I to go to Puerto Vallarta to spend a long weekend at the St. Regis Punta Mita.

We already had award tickets to return from Mexico, but we needed one-way SFO-PVR tickets out there. We only wanted to take a single day off of work so the plan was to fly out there on a Thursday. We would also be open to taking a connecting flight on Wednesday night to Denver / Houston, and then fly to PVR on Thursday morning. My girlfriend is getting close to hitting Premier with United so if the price were right, every extra mile counts with her right now!

I had kayak fare alerts, and pretty much every day I'd get an alert for some fare that didn't actually exist once I went to the booking site. But finally... I got one that worked! It was an SFO-DEN-PVR flight. We would land in Denver at 10PM, burn one of my Megabonus free cat4 night certificates at the Airport Marriott, and then leave for PVR at 8:30AM. That would give us plenty of time to enjoy the afternoon and evening at the St. Regis.

So I got the following fare: 

I didn't think that was too bad, given how high the fares were at one point. Just over $250 all-in for each of us.

Great. I didn't think about it for a few weeks. Then the other day while I was on United.com looking for something completely unrelated to this trip to Puerto Vallarta, I noticed something... 

Wait... what??? You're telling me that I'm supposed to fly to Denver, spend the night there, and then fly back to San Francisco at 6AM, only to get onto a plane to go to Puerto Vallarta - that's somewhat ridiculous! I opened up the itinerary, looked at the e-receipt, etc, and it's all there.

It really boggles my mind because the SFO-PVR non-stop flight was well over $350 when we were first looking, and so how did we get that flight, plus two more, for $100 less? And why did Orbitz e-mail me a confirmation that was different than what I was issued?

I actually haven't changed the ticket yet. As I mentioned, my girlfriend is getting close to Premier status, but she has a few more business trips this year before we go to Puerto Vallarta in December. I think we have pretty good grounds for a ticket change, without a change fee, but we might need to go through Orbitz. If she has already hit Premier, then we'll probably just take the Thursday non-stop, but if she needs the miles, then maybe we will take this retarded itinerary?

Has anyone seen anything like this before?


Nick August 31, 2011 at 10:25 pm

I've never seen something like that, however it does look like a nice mileage run. If it happens again, we are all going to be using your Orbitz account to book simple flights for mileage runs :P

Rob August 31, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Sounds like a schedule change that Orbitz automatically accepted on your behalf.

I think Rob is correct. Is the DEN-PVR flight still operating?

Typing DEN-PVR makes me thing of dear TED...

Roland September 1, 2011 at 06:03 am

Just think of the miles ;)

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