Did this traveler accidentally book duplicate tickets with Priceline and Orbitz?

Marilyn Kinniry booked a one-way ticket on Icelandair from Reykjavik to Philadelphia for $299 through Priceline, an online ticket agency. Two weeks before her flight departed she discovered that her reservation had been canceled.

She purchased a ticket directly from Icelandair for double the cost of her original ticket and waited for Priceline to refund her money.

Two weeks after her flight, she received another cancellation email, but no refund, so she contacted Priceline to ask about her refund. It told her she had not been charged for the ticket so she wasn’t owed anything.

Strangely, the cancellation email she received after her flight was from Orbitz, and it claimed she was a no-show for her flight. But Kinniry did board that flight.

Confused? So were we.

Our advocates asked Kinniry for the portion of her credit card statement that showed the charge and noticed that there were two charges for a one-way ticket on Icelandair — with two different ticket numbers.

Kinniry says she bought two tickets, but the second one was the ticket she purchased directly from Icelandair for $589 only two weeks before her flight, immediately after she learned that her original ticket had been canceled.

Kinniry’s cancellation confirmation from Priceline shows that she was never charged and that the flight was canceled on the same day that it was originally booked.

Our advocates contacted Icelandair and learned that a ticket was also purchased through Orbitz, but that ticket was never canceled. Since Kinniry checked in for her flight with the ticket she purchased directly from Icelandair, she was listed as a no-show on her Orbitz ticket, and this is why she received the email after her trip. No-show tickets are nonrefundable.

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Kinniry could have contacted each of the companies involved to try to sort out this mess before she left on her trip. We list the contacts for Orbitz, Priceline, and Icelandair on our site.

Kinniry seems to have confused Priceline and Orbitz, and we believe she may have thought they were the same company, which, of course they are not.

In the end, we couldn’t help Kinniry and had to dismiss her case. Our best advice to travelers who choose to purchase tickets online: Save your confirmations and receipts in a place where you can easily find them, and be sure you know what company you’ve used to purchase your tickets.

Michelle Bell

Michelle worked in the travel and hospitality industry for almost two decades. Born in Germany, she has lived in 15 states and two foreign countries, and traveled to more than 35 countries. After living and working in Southeast Asia for several years, she now resides in New Orleans.

  • SirWIred

    I’m trying to come up with a reason for making an Orbitz AND Priceline reservation, and I’m drawing a blank here. It’d be nice to know which came first.

  • Chris_In_NC

    Was it that she discovered her reservation was cancelled, or when she contacted Priceline that she learned that a reservation did not exist?
    Based on the sequence of events, it seems that the OP made the reservation with Orbitz and forgot she made the reservation with Orbitz. She subsequently checked her Priceline account and found there was no reservation. So, it seems that she never made a Priceline reservation.
    Seems this one is user error.

  • Michael__K

    She should ask Icelandair for at least the taxes back on the redundant ticket.
    Did she not receive an email from Orbitz prior to departure reminding her to check-in for that ticket? Did she checkin online and not check baggage at the airport with a live agent, who would likely have noticed a duplicate reservation?

  • Lindabator

    if they put in a confirmation number, they would not have seen a double booking — ONLY if they put in her name without a confirmation number would it show 2 bookings

  • Bill___A

    I guess it is troubling when you lose track of things and can’t find them. In conjunction with online travel agencies, one needs to use online access to credit card transactions so one can track down where charges come from in case you forget which travel agency you booked with. There should also be confirmation emails. The OP made mistakes and it cost her. Unfortunate but not much can be done. Keep track or use a professional travel agent.

  • LeeAnneClark

    I couldn’t even follow this one!

    I’m baffled how she could have booked two tickets for herself on the same flight, even if she did book them through two different OTAs. Aren’t there controls in place to prevent one person from being issued two tickets on the same flight?

  • Noah Kimmel

    Especially without a frequent flier number, hard to have controls. People do share names and you don’t want to have an exception every time a common name books again. Most of the checks that do exist are time based in a web channel or integration layer (not in the reservation system itself) to ensure the same ticket isn’t booked by a “refresh page” type of thing, not two identical names on same flight.

  • BubbaJoe123

    I’ve been on a flight where the duplicate name thing has happened. Guy walked down the aisle during boarding, said to the person across the aisle from me “I think you’re in my seat.” As it turns out, they both had the same name, and when one had checked in at the gate, the gate agent pulled up the name, thought he was already checked in and just needed a new boarding pass printed, and printed a second boarding pass. This was before the barcode scanners at the end of the jetway. It got worked out, and both guys flew. Once everyone realized what was going on, it was pretty funny.

  • Chris_In_NC

    My college roommate shared the same name as his father. He was a Jr, but never used the suffix. Once, he and his father both booked rooms, and the hotel was proactive and cancelled one of the reservations, thinking it was a duplicate. Well, it wasn’t. It was ultimately fixed, but these things do happen

  • Gary K

    No, and why should there be? After all, if you were one of two people named Jane Smith and were refused a reservation/ticket because there was already a reservation in that name on that flight, I suspect you wouldn’t be too happy.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Y’know you’re right – so many of my flights are international and I’m just used to having to enter my passport number for every ticket. I forgot that you don’t have to do that for domestic flights. Mea cupla! :)

  • jsn55

    This is such a shame. I see people blithely booking travel on the internet without really understanding what they are doing. If you don’t have a system on your computer to keep track of things, you need to write it all down on a piece of paper. All travel arrangements made on the internet need to be reviewed and/or reconfirmed monthly online.

    Travellers need to realize that booking travel on a computer is fun, but it is not a game for everyone. The consequences for inattentiveness and ignorance are nasty … you may have found the cheapest tix to Podunk and can tell all your friends, but if you don’t understand what you purchased, you might as well burn up $20 bills.

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