OK… This has very little to do with my usual beat of online communications, but I’m totally baffled by a situation I find myself in. I’d like for someone to help me make sense of this.
In a couple of weeks I have back-to-back on-site jobs with several east-coast clients. So I went onto Travelocity and booked a multi-leg trip. Simple enough. When I finished my complex reservation and booked the ticket, I was duly charged a total fare for my trip.
Each of my clients is covering travel costs only for their portion of the trip which means I need the itemized cost for each leg in order to get reimbursed.
I figured Travelocity could tell me that, since they charged me the total fare. They had to have numbers to add up in order to arrive at that total, right?
Guess again! So far I’ve spent a few hours talking to Travelocity and each of the airlines involved, and no one can tell me how much each leg of my trip costs! As far as I know, Travelocity pulled that $1500+ fare total out of a hat.
Wait it gets even better…
When you book a multi-leg trip on Travelocity, you aren’t allowed to get electronic tickets. They must ship paper tickets off to you. No big deal, except it seems that when paper tickets are involved in a trip, Travelocity and airline customer service agents become strangely unable to provide information about the trip to you over the phone.
After numerous phone calls and a LOT of Muzak, the bottom line is: If I want to get my per-leg fare information, I have to go to the airport in person (45-minute drive each way for me) with my paper tickets, ID, etc., just in order to ask what my per-leg fares were.
Since a different airline is involved for each leg of this trip (joy!) it’s quite possible that I will have to walk to each airline’s ticket counter, and wait in whatever inevitable lines exist there, just to plunk my paper tickets down on the counter and ask them how much their leg of my trip cost.
…And maybe maybe I’ll be able to get that information. Maybe not. No one’s making any guarantees. It’s all very mysterious.
Travelocity informed me that after the completion of my trip, I can call them and request an itemized receipt bearing the cost for each leg, and they’ll happily send me that.
Hmmmm…. let’s review…. Travelocity already charged me the total fare. They don’t know how they arrived at that total fare. But magically, after my trip is done, they’ll suddenly have access to the per-leg costs.
Why can’t they just tell me now?
Why can’t anyone just tell me now?
This is absurd. Most multi-leg trips are booked by business travelers. Of course we want to know how much each leg costs! It’s business, after all. Itemization is not an unreasonable expectation or request.
I would love it if someone could explain to me a way to avoid this hassle for multi-leg trips in the future. Do other travel services (Expedia, CheapTickets, Orbitz, etc.) have better reporting of per-leg costs?
Why is this such a hassle?
If you have any information, I’d love to know. Thanks.