Orbitz Rewards is offering their customers with Platinum Status up to $50 per calendar year in baggage fee reimbursements which I managed to claim for the first time.
Orbitz Platinum status requires a minimum of 12 hotel nights per year booked via Orbitz itself and comes with a variety of benefits (some more or less useful).
The benefit of baggage fee reimbursement has been added in January 2015 and John wrote about it back then (see here).
In order to be eligible for this reimbursement the flight has to be booked through Orbitz and the payment receipt has to be submitted after the trip. If the claim is approved US$50 in Orbucks will be added to your account which can then be used for hotel bookings.
The following T&C apply:
As a tier benefit, Platinum members are eligible to receive up to $50 in Bonus Orbucks each calendar year (January 1-December 31) as reimbursement for qualifying checked bag fees incurred during the calendar year. Checked bag fees must have been incurred on stand-alone flight bookings or flights booked as part of a vacation package made on Orbitz.com or the Orbitz mobile app beginning January 1, 2015. You must have Platinum status at the time the claim is submitted to be eligible for this benefit. To submit a claim, send an email to ZapThatBagFee@customercare.orbitz.com that includes your first name, last name, Orbitz Rewards email address, and record locator number of the flight booked through Orbitz.com in the body of the email, and attach a photo of your paid bag fee receipt to your email. These Bonus Orbucks will expire if not redeemed within 365 days of issuance. Offer is non-transferrable and not redeemable for cash. Expect a response to your claim within 48 hours. Once verified, Bonus Orbucks will be deposited in your Orbitz Rewards account within approximately 7-10 business days.
I recently booked a one way flight from Abu Dhabi to Cairo on Egypt Air through Orbitz and had to transport something bulky which incurred an extra charge. I just remembered that I had the Orbitz Platinum Benefit so yesterday I decided to give it a go and submit the receipt to the customer service email mentioned above.
The answer came promptly within just a few hours:
Thank you for submitting for your baggage claim, a benefit of being an Orbitz Rewards Platinum member and for being one of our most valued customers! We are glad to inform you that your claim has been validated.
Your $50 Orbucks has been deposited into your Orbitz Rewards account. You can check your balance by visiting My Orbitz Rewards and logging in with the email and password associated with your Orbitz Rewards account.
You are allowed up to two claims per calendar year for $25 each or if you are traveling internationally and the baggage fee is $75, you may be reimbursed one time for up to $50.
I was surprised by the quick and positive answer as I already prepared myself for a denial of my claim (maybe too many bad experiences with these types of promises from various travel providers).
Overall a very positive experience and a painless, straight forward process. These $50 are as good as cash to me as I often use Orbitz to book independent (non-chain) hotels at destinations where I don’t want to go out of my way just to stay at a chain hotel or where there are simply none available.
I think all benefits (see here) considered it’s a good deal to pool such bookings on Orbitz especially because there are always some good discount codes available that bring down the rates by up to 15% and I was able to score some great deals through the Orbitz Insider Prices as well, especially in Japan.