Webjet is an Australian based online travel agency – in fact it’s really the only independently owned Australian travel booking site. This means that a lot of their offerings are targeted specifically towards an Australian and New Zealand audience. While Webjet, as the name suggests, mainly sells flights, they do have a hotels offering as well which is solid, but generally not as strong as the global travel sites.
|The first and most important thing to note about Orbitz is that it’s owned by Expedia. In fact, is basically is Expedia. In case you haven’t noticed the two company’s website are almost (but not quite identical). While originally started as a company to compete against Expedia, it was ironically purchased by them in 2015. As Expedia did with most of the other sites it purchased, Orbitz slowly became more and more similar to it’s parent, until what we are left with today is basically Expedia in a different skin, and slightly more aimed at the North American market.|
|We found that the search functionality of Webjet is reasonably good for finding hotels within Australia, but not so good for finding hotels overseas. While it supports searching by city, country, state and point of interest, we found that a lot of major overseas attractions weren’t findable, and you can’t search by airport or railway station. It also doesn’t support some of the advanced functionality that other sites do such as searching by a specific address. Webjet offers both prepaid and pay-at-hotel type rooms, with the labeling of the two fairly clear. We didn’t find their map functionality to be particularly helpful with the only thing on the map being the hotel you’ve selected, and no way to see nearby attractions, restaurants etc. They do have satellite view enabled though as well as street view which is a nice touch which lets you see the general surroundings of the hotel before booking. We were a little bit disappointed by the Wi-Fi information for the rooms. While the site mentioned that the Wi-Fi is charged, they didn’t give any indication as to how much it might cost. In addition, the breakfast information isn’t particularly clear – we couldn’t work out which rooms come with breakfast and which don’t. This is a fairly big issue which we’ve never come across before of any other travel site.||For a full list of features we recommend you take a look at our article on Expedia as the functionality between the two different websites is almost the same. One thing that is different however is their loyalty program. Orbitz has one of the better loyalty programs in the industry, rewarding you with 3% of your booking price in the form of their virtual currency. Book with their mobile app to get an even bigger 4%. In addition to that you start off as a Silver member, but booking just 4 nights in a year will get you Gold membership where you can unlock perks like free breakfast and Wi-fi as hotels. Booking 12 or more nights within a year and you’ll be upgraded to Platinum which allows you to reimburse up to $50 for things like seat upgrades on flights, you get TSA Pre thrown in, as well as further potential hotel upgrades like room upgrades and early check-in.|
|Pricing & Fees||Pricing & Fees|
|Generally speaking, we found that Webjet’s hotels are slightly on the expensive side, but not by much. While Webjet doesn’t charge any kind of booking fee like they do for flights, they do charge a payment fee, which we be dependent on which payment method you use, and will range from 0.26% to 1.15%.||Like other Expedia Group companies, there are no booking fees charge for hotels. And also, unlike their flight offering which often charges a payment fee depending on your payment type, there’s no payment fees when it comes to hotels. The pricing, generally speaking, is exactly in line with Expedia. While you might find some special deals from time-to-time that are Orbitz-only, the vast majority of pricing is exactly the same, right down to the last cent. The pricing is generally speaking quite good across the board, although it’s generally possible to find a cheaper price on other sites if you look hard enough, however you always know that Orbitz will still be around tomorrow, unlike some of the brands where you can save a few dollars.|
|One thing to realize though is that much of Webjet’s success comes from its other business which specializes in wholesale hotel rooms. What this means for that consumer is that they have a great range of rooms, especially across the Asia Pacific region.||As with Expedia, availability on Orbitz is excellent, generally speaking. You’ll find the exact same hotels are available shared across all the Expedia Group platforms, which allows them to have good coverage in most corners of the globe. Naturally, their coverage is best in their home market, but is generally still very good elsewhere as well.|
|Webjet is available as a desktop website, mobile website and a mobile app, as with most other sites. Unlike most other sites however, Webjet is only available in English, so you’re out of luck if you’re not an English-speaker. This really emphasizes the fact that Webjet is only really aimed at audiences in Australia and New Zealand.||You can book hotels through Orbitz’ website, mobile website, or mobile app (both iOS and Android available). In terms of language options, Orbitz is very basic, only supporting English and Spanish, a clear nod towards it’s target market of North America.|
|Payment Methods||Payment Methods|
Webjet offers a wide range of payment options on their platforms. For credit and debit cards they accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and JCB. If you’re paying via mobile you’ll have the option to use either Apple Pay or Google Pay which not a lot of competitors offer, especially local ones. You can also choose to pay with PayPal, or pay in four installments through Afterpay. They even have options to pay through American Express Membership Rewards, or HSBC Interest Free. Overall, a very impressive suite of payment options. Not only that, you can also get Webjet gift cards which of course can be used to pay for hotels.
In terms of Credit and Debit cards, Orbitz offers a wide variety of options. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, UnionPay, Diners, Discover and JCB are all accepted on their platform. In addition to that you can also pay via PayPal as well as Click-to-Pay. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear that their app or website offers any other 3rd party options like Apple Pay or Google Pay.
|Webjet’s reputation, like that of most online travel agencies, isn’t particularly great. While for the most part your not going to have any problems, internet talk tends to indicate that they can be difficult to deal with when something goes wrong or you need to change or cancel. Make sure you know what you’re booking before you press the book button!||Orbitz is a long-standing company owned by one of the biggest travel companies in the world. This alone is worth something in an industry where new companies seem to pop up and disappear overnight. As with Expedia, their customer service has a reputation for being a bit hit-or-miss, but in most cases it’s unlikely you’ll have a to use them anyway, especially if you’re booking hotels with free cancellation.|
|Customer Service||Customer Service|
|Webjet claims that you’re able to message them through their website or app 24/7, and that they are available by phone during Australian business hours. Where exactly they show their phone number we don’t know, as we weren’t able to find it anywhere. Presumably they only give it away once people have actually made a booking.||As with other Expedia Group companies, Orbitz can be difficult to contact. While they do have a contact information on their website, they deliberately make you work to find it in order to reduce their call centre volume. If you search hard enough though you can indeed find a phone number you can call. Before that stage though you’re probably going to be directed to their chatbot. Fortunately, the chatbot is more than capable of taking care of regular tasks such as cancelling and changing your booking, so if you don’t require talking to a human this is a quick and efficient option.|
|If you’re Australian, or looking to travel In Australia, New Zealand, or in the Asia pacific region in general, Webjet is worth checking out. While their website feels a little bit out-fashioned it actually has all the features you might need when booking a hotel. If you’re not travelling within this area we’d give it a miss, as the experience is quite localized for the Australian market.||Generally speaking, unless they have a special deal at the time you’re going to book, booking with Orbitz doesn’t make a huge amount of sense and we’d probably stick to their parent. They do have a relatively good amount of “cashback” through their loyalty program when booking hotels online, so if you’re travelling frequently for work or leisure it’s a good way to eventually earn some free nights.|