Expedia: Losing Faith in Customer Relations. Today after an hour of arguing and being placed on hold I gave up. Tomorrow would have been one month of attempting to attain compensation for faulty information that will put me out at least a stack of cash.
For the past month I have been told repeatedly that this situation is my fault however, today I was told that the situation is my fault because I did not know that in some cases Expedia customer service representatives tell customers things to make them happy. Translation: a representative lied to me to make me happy?
I was also told that the only compensation the company could give me was a $50 voucher for a hotel (no flights). Unfortunately, that voucher would mean using Expedia again for something I don't usually use a third party to book. No Thanks. I was told over 72 hours ago that within the next 72 hours I would receive a callback concerning multiple ongoing inquires pertaining to my flight change. I have also been told the following:
* It is possible to only take only the second leg of my flight however I would not be refunded. (This e-mail prompted me to buy tickets to stay in Europe and not take the first leg of my flight). ** 6/3 via e-mail.
* That the airlines were the ones that were charging Expedia to change the tickets --** 6/20. (After calling the airlines I was told Expedia was the only one who could change a booking).
* I could change my reservation for a fee and would be able to conference call with the third booking party -** 6/21 (This never happened even when I called at the time we discussed on the phone).
* I can not change my reservation at all and will get a call back within 72 hours to talk about compensation for hours on the phone and miss information from Expedia --** 6/25. (I NEVER received this call back after waiting almost a week).
* My case had been moved to high priority and I would receive a call back in 24 hours. (This never happened either).
This serves as a written record of the slew of misinformation I was fed. Apparently customer service agents at Expedia and Expedia UK are taught to appease customers by telling blatant lies or to hang up if they do not know what to do. When I finally talked to someone who could give me a straight answer (Either buy a 1,400 pound one way ticket or revert to your former plan eating whatever cost I put into the other tickets).
And P. S. there is NOTHING Expedia will do to compensate you for the money and time they have put you out) there was nothing I could do. Why would a company lead me in circles by telling me I could have conference calls and that they were looking into my case when that is all they needed to do? I talked to as many supervisors as I could and was told different things by each. I will never use Expedia again.
I booked a hotel room in Manor, TX through Expedia for May 22nd. When we arrived at around 10pm, the hotel first told us they didn't have any rooms with a King bed, then they said there were not vacancies at all. To make it worse, we were then told there was no record of the reservation. We called Expedia and waited on the phone for over 20 minutes (the hold message stated it would be 15 minutes) before getting a representative to help us. She asked us to hold while she called the "hotel."
While we were on hold, the hotel manager/worker told us their phone didn't work (which made sense because I had called earlier as we were having trouble finding it). When she came back on the line, I told her the situation. She asked to speak with the hotel worker, who then refused to speak with her to verify that they did not have a room or record of our reservation. He then called his manager/the owner and began speaking in a foreign tongue as I relayed this information to the Expedia representative
He handed me his cell phone and I told the owner to please tell his employee to talk with the lady from Expedia and let her know that she needed to give us a refund as something was very wrong here. He agreed, I handed the phone back to the worker and the worker verified the information with the Expedia Rep. When I got back on the phone with her, she said she hadn't understood his English (she was not native either, so the entire thing - if I had not been so tired - had become a Monty Python episode).
I told her that I heard him verify that she needed to refund us the money. She then asked for his name, so I turned to ask him and he had disappeared. I asked his wife his name, but she wouldn't answer me. We yelled until he came back in and told us his name, which I then spelled for the representative. She then gave me the really great news, I would receive a refund in "two weeks." I asked her to see if she could book us into another hotel, but she said there were no vacancies.
I really think Expedia should have found something in nearby Austin for us then paid for it even though it would have been more than the "hotel" in Manor was booked at. Seriously? We had to drive another hour to stay with a friend who graciously stayed awake until we finally arrived at a bed at midnight.
The ENTIRE point of getting a hotel was to be closer to town as I had an appointment in the morning at 9am. As it was, I had less than 8 hours of sleep and I'm still waiting for the refund to credit to my account - hasn't been two weeks yet. I have NEVER had this kind of experience with other travel sites. USE EXPEDIA AT YOUR OWN RISK!
AMITYVILLE, NEW YORK -- This will be somewhat long but if anyone reading this is going to use it to base their decision to book with Expedia please be patient. The first thing I want to say is that I'm someone who travels a fair amount of time. I consider that taking at least 3 trips a year through flight to both domestic and international locations. I've been doing this since 2010. I have booked all of my flights through Expedia. The reason for this is because I find their website to be very easy to navigate and great prices.
I have to commend them on having an amazing website with a very easy interface. One would think that with such a great website that their human interaction is just as good. I want to say this without any exaggeration at all, as I know many people exaggerate when writing reviews. Expedia has THE WORST customer service out of any company I have ever dealt with. That of course is a personal opinion but let me give some personal background.
I've work in customer service for several years and as a professional, trained, created, and ran an entire customer service department for a call center on two different fronts. Both internally as well as outsourced. I felt I did that with at an extremely high level so when I deal with other customer service departments for other businesses I give them the benefit of the doubt and try to make their jobs as easy as possible since I know the ins and outs of the business.
The sad thing is with Expedia, I truly believe that 90% of the agents are either incompetent, which I know can be awfully mean to say, or they have 5 minutes of training and then are expected to handle live customers. I've had 3 absolutely awful experiences where on the 3rd I had a friend of mine on 3-way just to witness how bad they are so we could laugh after. The #1 question anyone could ask is "If they're that bad why continue to book through them?" Fair question so here are the answers.
I don't need to rely on their customer service to complete my bookings. If I've taken 20 trips I've probably spoken to their customer service 4 times. As I mentioned before the website and prices are excellent. I'm a huge fan of rewards points and I earned several through my years of booking with them. After this last interaction I'm going to redeem my rewards points and never booking with them again. So let's get to it.
I'm going to Israel for Good Friday to have an amazing religious experience. In doing that, I wanted to book a tour that takes me through Jerusalem and Bethlehem. There are several that Expedia offers and the one in particular I wanted to book says it's going to one of the sites I really want to go to, the Wailing Wall. The thing is, the main description says that's one of the sites you get to go to but in the detailed description it says you only see it from a distance. So my one and only question for Expedia is do I actually get to go to the Wailing Wall or do I see it from a distance.
I call Expedia and it literally takes about 3 minutes to speak to someone. I tell them the tour I want and then my question. The person I speak with tells me that they need to transfer me to customer service. OK fine. I'm then transferred and have to wait 20 minutes to speak to someone. Finally I get someone. She says her name and asks me for my name and how she can help me. I tell her and then out comes the question.
Me: I'm trying to book a tour and had a question about it. It's the Full Day Tour to Jerusalem and Bethlehem. It says in the description that I go to the Wailing Wall but it also says I just view it from a distance.
Representative: Is this the Rome tour?
Me: No. I said Jerusalem and Bethlehem. This is a tour in Israel. It's called the Full Day Tour to Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
I hear her typing and then reading very silently. This let's me know she's simply looking at the website. She has the same exact access I have. I could literally help her with her next customer if they had a question the same way she's helping me. I'm on hold for about 3 minutes.
Representative: OK Sir, is this the Full Day Rome tour with entrance to the Coliseum??
Me: ....... Ma'am. Can you please get me someone who can help me. I've been on the phone for 40 minutes. Maybe it's just been 13 with you but it's been a total of 40.
I got off the phone with a slight headache.
I had a death in the family and had to book a flight ASAP using Expedia. I booked a round-trip ticket from Miami to Montreal March 17 in the am returning that same evening just enough time to go to the funeral. I made the reservation March 15 at 9 pm, but I never received the immediate confirmation, which I always do, so I went to bed. I woke at 3 am and tried to check in for the flight or choose my seat, I do not recall. When I finally received the confirmation I realized what the problem was. I booked the ticket departing Montreal to Miami, so the opposite considering I was in Miami.
Please keep in mind that this was just 6 hours after I booked my ticket. I called Expedia at 3:30 am because I was sure that they would refund or credit me the ticket. I am a long time customer of Expedia and spend at least $10000 a year with them so I was very confident. Wow was I mistaken.
The initial call didn't take very long as they would only give me a credit on a FUTURE travel because they would not change the routing of the ticket. They said it HAS to be the same ticket so Montreal Miami round-trip. I told her about the death in the family and she said to send the death certificate. I told her there was no way that I would ask my brother in law who just lost his son for a death certificate and that I would just pay the penalty. Very simply no penalty they said I had to buy a ticket all over and that they would credit me the 2100$ for future travel. Being that it was 4 am at that point I dropped it and went to bed.
When I woke up I called my travel agent and told her what happened. She said what they did was completely illegal and that I could use the credit towards any destination. I took her advice and called them. After a one-hour wait time and back and forth with the agent he finally agreed to give me a full refund and said that the email confirmation would be in my inbox shortly. He also said that it would take 3 to 5 business days for the credit to appear to my bank.
One week went by and no email. I checked my credit card statement and sure enough a charge of $2,159.19 CAD was processed. I called Expedia to make an official complaint on March 24th and they told me that the phone conversations had to be reviewed and that they would get back to me in 72 hours. Five days went by with no call back so I called them once again to speak to another supervisor. ** I mean more unethical than that I have never seen. To go as far as to claim that I made up a one hour conversation with one of their reps is just disgusting!! Can you help me?
NEWARK, CALIFORNIA -- Here is my story of a rental car that I booked through Expedia. I believe that it is very important to check the customer service like Orbitz is doing prior to put them in your list as clients. (Itin# **). It is the first time that I am using Advantage Rent a Car and for sure the last time. From the beginning the reservation went wrong by not specifying where the offices are, not at the airport but at a hotel that you have to use the shuttle.
Upon my arrival there were two gentlemen at the desk, I was dealing with the agent **. From the beginning he was pushy about the full coverage insurance and the gas. He was not trying to sell. He was demanding to sell. I was using my debit card, and he told me that they would do credit check because it is their policy and they would take $350 deposit. I had just left a car in NY that I had rented from All Rental Car and two weeks prior had rented again from Enterprise Paramus New Jersey as I am here often on business and that was not the case with both locations. I asked to talk to a manager.
A “gentleman” showed up who told me “Madame do you see the sign?” pointing at the Advantage sign, “this company said that the customers who use debit card will have to go under a credit check and deposit $350. Now listen there are other 8 car rental locations at the Newark Airport.” I was so surprised by his behavior. Could not believe it. I asked his name and he said “** you spell it”. Obviously that “manager” did not even think of giving a business card or a last name.
After that he disappeared back to his office. Meantime the system was down and it took almost 30 minutes for the procedure to finish. The two gentlemen ** and the other young man on the counter were putting efforts to excuse themselves about the system by joking around which was very silly. After my encounter with the “manager”, agent ** started asking about my first name and laughing about it because it is hard to pronounce which was rather offensive. After that agent ** asked me to sign the car inspection while still at the office without bothering doing a walk through with me around the car. I was so surprised but did not want to stay there anymore.
On my way out after signing everything he run after me to make sure that he gave me the car that I asked for. What if it was not the right car, I would have to do all this all over again? I am in the customer service industry as well and travel a lot. I was under the impression that by trying a different company it would be a good experience. Advantage provided the worst experience I ever had as a customer at Rental Car Services. I am sure that it is not the company but those that you put to represent it...
Could not be worse. I cannot complain too much about the agent when his manager himself has worse attitude. It is my first day I have rented the car and honestly do not even want to go back to that location to return it! It is too bad I have taken so much of my time to write such an awful experience instead of being happy by customer service and saying to everyone to hear it...
I went on a trip to Las Vegas with some buddies from work. A friend's wife booked the trip through Expedia on their credit card and we all forked over the cash. There were seven of us leaving from the East Coast to Vegas and we were staying at the MGM Grand.
We had booked two rooms for the seven of us. Each room had the usual two beds and we were told one room would have 2 extra pullout beds and the other room would have 1 extra bed to solve the problem of having an odd number of people (7).
We land in Vegas and go to check in. The front desk clerk explains they only can have one pullout bed per room due to Las Vegas fire codes and that Expedia was aware of it. So basically one of us is screwed. I call Expedia and explained what happened. To basically sum up the 45 min conversation with the customer service **, I was told that I can either sleep on the floor or in one of the other beds with one of the other guys. I didn't go to Vegas to sleep with another guy.
The MGM Grand manager was very nice but explained to me when you use a middleman type of company to book a trip, there is nothing really the hotel can do for you, it's Expedia's job to deal with it. All he said he could do is give the odd man out another room for a good deal. But a room was paid for already, not a spot on the floor.
Being from New York I ended up stealing another pullout bed from a room down the hall while the lady was cleaning it. I guess Vegas still isn't ready for the East Coast people yet. Both our rooms managed to complain to the front desk for the 5 days we were there and we scammed free meals for each of the nights.
Now a week later and back home. I called Expedia back and explained my story to customer service. They offered no help and probably had the IQ of a houseplant. The man told me they can't book a trip to Vegas and have 4 beds in one room due to the fire code. I gave him the itinerary number and said look they did book one. He transferred me to another genius and I had to start all over and explain everything to this mastermind.
I asked why did they book a trip, take our money and then offer no resolution to the problem in knowing that you cannot have 2 pullout beds in one room. And why was I told to sleep on the floor or in another bed with a guy by one of their representatives? No answer.
I hung up and called back and I pretended to book a trip to Vegas. I told them it's a seven person trip and we want to stay at the MGM Grand. I want 4 people in one room with 2 pullout beds and 3 people in the other with 1 pullout bed. "No problem sir, we can do that".
I told the representative I want to reserve this trip and call my friends and give them the price and then call back to pay for it. She had no problem with that, she was more than happy to take $3200 from me knowing that you can only have 1 pullout bed in each room and that when we actually get there one of us is screwed.
I called them back and asked to speak to a supervisor. I eventually got someone claiming to be one and explained to him the entire situation and about the trip I just booked. He was so stupid or just pretended to be that I had to explain it all over again to him. He said he was going to transfer me over to customer care. I thought that's who I was already talked to. I was transferred and the ringing of the line was a weird ring and didn't sound right. I was waiting to get hung up on.
A woman answered the phone and I could barely hear her. She had a thick accent and could not understand a word I said. I explained to her I was transferred to her and told her the whole story. She couldn't comprehend anything I said to her. She told me she was sorry and she was tired and that she had been working all day. It was 10:30 am where I was and the customer service hero from before told me he was in Florida so I assumed so was this rocket scientist. I asked her was she located and her answer was... Manila, Philippines. So Expedia outsources to other countries just like AOL does. I basically told her where to go and what do with it when she gets there and hung up.
I did some investigating online that day and tracked down the company that owns Expedia. They are called Expedia Inc. They own other companies and are located in Washington state. I called them and got some secretary and explained to her what happened. She couldn't believe it. She transferred me to a gentleman and I talked to him for a bit. I think he was in Investor Relations or something more because when I gave him my full name he read back to me all the names of the people on the trip. He wasn't some schmuck that I have been dealing with since this all started.
He told me he was sorry and I explained to him I will never use Expedia again due to this experience. He credited the money back of all the people who stayed in my room for the cost of the hotel. We had to still pay for airfare which was fine. I said my thanks and within 2 weeks my friend got some money back and gave it back to us.
I will never use any booking company again. You can get better deals through the actual hotel itself and through the airlines. And if there is ever a problem, the hotel or airline has to fix it. When a middleman such as Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz or anyone pretending to be a real company screws up, they don't have to do anything to fix it. They just tell you to sleep on the floor on your vacation or transfer you to the other side of the world and forget about you all for your hard earned money.
SAN PEDRO, CALIFORNIA -- If zero stars was an option that's what I would have chose instead. I booked a trip 6 months in advance to Puerto Vallarta with my fiance… airfare, hotel and activities for ~$5000 USD. They were supposed to have a penthouse with private Jacuzzi, snorkeling trip on secluded beach with reef and a zip line tour.
First problem with them is they never allowed us to choose our seats on the plane, and sat us very far apart. The airline said to take it up with Expedia they just did what they were told (annoyed not ruined yet). Second problem, they gave us a Jacuzzi suite instead of penthouse and when I looked online again at the hotel from Expedia's website they changed all the names and categories of the rooms and the hotel blamed it on Expedia (a little more annoyed, not yet ruined).
Third problem, I followed all directions on Expedia's site and paperwork to take boat to secluded beach. We were already checked in and arrived 30 min early just like we were informed to and the boat was already a couple hundred yards down the channel and was not going to come back (aggravated).
Fourth Problem, showed up for our Zipline adventure and found out they didn't run that tour that day even though it was already booked for that day and I was already checked in according to Expedia (very aggravated, trip almost completely ruined).
Fifth Problem was the hotels, our Jacuzzi overflowed and flooded our room and the hotel didn't do anything to remedy the situation, even knowing that my fiance slipped on the water above mirror finish granite floors. (MAD! Ruined!)
Sixth problem again on the flight home Expedia put us on two different areas of the plane despite booking months in advance (ANGRY, that despite our best efforts to continually make the best of this trip all our plans were ruined by a company that could care less… they got their money!!!). After we got back I spent about twelve hours on the phone with them talking to supervisors managers and their corporate office, all I got for all my wasted efforts was a $200 credit for use at a hotel (still mad, but at least I got $200 back lol).
I booked a trip using this credit, then found out my father passed away and had to cancel this trip to go to the funeral out of state during the same time period, and was told I would get the $200 credit refunded to my account. While booking the funeral arrangements I realized I never got the credit refunded back to my account.
When I called to complete the booking using the missing credit, I was very rudely told that they do not refund credits and since I cancelled the reservation with it that it's gone now. I asked to speak to another supervisor and after being on hold for an hour and twenty minutes I was hung up on. I HAVE HAD IT WITH THIS COMPANY!!! I will never use again and will avidly go out of my way to tarnish their name and reputation because in my eyes they have neither.
I booked a 5-night cruise with Carnival Cruise Line through Expedia on Dec. 22 for a surprise Christmas gift for my wife. Somehow we were double charged and my bank notified me immediately so I was able to contact Expedia hoping to get the charge taken off as fast as it went on but that did not happen. I was assured the charges would be reversed before they cleared the bank and that too did not happen.
On Dec. 24 the charge went through my bank and cleaned out my account on Christmas Eve. When I called Expedia they said there was nothing they could do and when I suggested that they give me some kind of compensation for what had happened the representative said that she would not authorize any money on this issue. I was not nasty but clearly upset and she said to me, that it does not affect her, she would be getting off soon finishing up her shopping and enjoy the Holiday. This only made this worse for the fact I no longer had money in my account to do the same.
I then called Carnival and my bank and after a great time on the phone fixed it on my own. I at that time called an Expedia supervisor to lodge a complaint. She was very nice and researched it but made no effort to do anything to compensate. I was not asking for a lot just something to let me know they were sorry for what happened and wanted my return business.
My conclusion is this: There is no benefit to book with Expedia, they are not cheaper, they do not stand up for their customers, they do not back their promises and they do not care if you do business with them again.
My bad experience with EXPEDIA. I have to use also "attempt to commit fraud" because after almost 7 month, with the help of my credit card VISA I was able at least to recover 1,294.95 U$S that EXPEDIA tried to keep for services that EXPEDIA never provided. The rest of the document remains the same. PLANNING TO USE EXPEDIA FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP/VACATION? THINK AGAIN. This is my personal HORRIBLE experience with EXPEDIA (I'll make it short):
I bought (online from USA) a round trip from Europe to South America. For this trip I needed a paper ticket that EXPEDIA failed to deliver to me (one ticket was lost and the second they sent me to a wrong address). Anyway, one of their representative, advised me by phone to go to Europe and they will arrange with the airline I get a ticket at the airport. They never did it.
I called to EXPEDIA many times from Europe and the airline that I was supposed to travel with also contacted EXPEDIA. EXPEDIA never did anything to solve that problem that EXPEDIA generated and they didn't give me another solution. I had to buy (in Europe) another ticket from a different travel agency and I had to spend 15 extra days in Europe plus one extra week in South America.
I've also lost many days at my job. I had lost a lot of money and my trips were useless because I had to use the money I had to solve this problem instead of enjoying my trips. TO MAKE IT SHORT, I WAS ABANDONED IN EUROPE BY EXPEDIA AFTER THEY FAILED TO PROVIDE ME A TICKET I HAD ALREADY PAID WITH MY CREDIT CARD.
Now, after more than 5 months EXPEDIA claims that it was my fault. EXPEDIA claims that they had put all the information in the airline system. But when I asked where and when they cannot give me that information. I have documentations showing how many times I called them (and copies of e-mails I sent to them). I also have an e-mail from the airline telling me that EXPEDIA never contacted them and never put on their system the information necessary to issue me new ticket from Europe.
Well, this was what I get from EXPEDIA. EXPEDIA'S supervisors repeatedly gave me wrong information and/or lied to me: I asked many times by phone for a complete addresses where I could send my case. They promise me three times they will send that information by e-mail but I have never received that information. My e-mail address is working properly, so there was no excuse in that sense.
EXPEDIA lies about the product they are selling online. EXPEDIA promises customer support including fast response by e-mail (within 4 hrs). During the duration of my trip, I had sent e-mails to three different addresses (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, as well as to a web based e-mail at EXPEDIA'S customer support web page) but I never received any answer. This is a form of ONLINE FRAUD.
EXPEDIA selectively (and repeatedly) ignored my e-mails when I was complaining about my ticket and all the problems I had. But they send and answer if I was asking for information about a trip. SO, IF YOU ARE GOING TO BUY SOMETHING, THEY WILL ANSWER YOU.
EXPEDIA abuses the EXPEDIA-customer relationship: the continuous silence of EXPEDIA about my case during the duration of my trip was a clear abuse of EXPEDIA'S power since EXPEDIA'S supervisors knew that when I was abroad, I could not do anything else than calling to their customer support or send e-mails to different EXPEDIA'S addresses. In any of the cases, EXPEDIA never tried to solve my problems. EXPEDIA was always asking for things I cannot do from abroad. EXPEDIA knew I'm was in a foreign country with limited possibility to send information and still did not take care of my case using the e-mail addresses I provided to them.
EXPEDIA hides information and MAKES THINGS DIFFICULT FOR YOU WHEN YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT THEIR SERVICE: EXPEDIA doesn't put information in its web page about how to submit information to the right place. When I was abroad they told me that the only way you can put a complain is by sending a letter (not by e-mail). They asked me for all receipts, otherwise they will not be able to reimburse me anything. Even now, they are denying me a phone number or e-mail address from someone on their legal department. So all I can do I send a letter and wait.
Irresponsible behavior. My problems originated by EXPEDIA that were originally easy (and cheap) to solve were and are still getting worse because EXPEDIA did not do to stop. I WAS IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY. ANYTHING COULD HAVE HAPPEN TO ME. I'm still losing money for all these troubles. This was an irresponsible behavior.
EXPEDIA'S CUSTOMERS' SUPPORT IS TOO BAD. Every time I called, I had to talk to a new agent. He or she had to retrieve all the information about my case every time I call EXPEDIA. This cost me considerable expenses in international calls. More important it is probably the reason why different agents are never able to give me right information and fix the original problem generated by losing the first ticket. Nobody has to pay for this inefficient customer support system.
EXPEDIA DOES ANYTHING TO DENY ITS RESPONSIBILITY. EXPEDIA WILL MALICIOUSLY GIVE YOU WRONG INFORMATION. One of the customer specialists at the "Customer Advisory Department" told me if I wanted to pursue this issue I should write to EXPEDIA'S "Legal Department". I did it. But I never received any response from the "Legal Department". Finally, this Customer specialist told me later that "Any letters addressed to our legal department, that do not involve pending litigation, are transferred and are replied to by members of our department."
EXPEDIA WILL IGNORE YOUR CASE. After that last letter EXPEDIA'S never responded my e-mails. So, if you are planning to buy something from EXPEDIA, cross your finger if something goes wrong.
Some advises if you are buying something from EXPEDIA:
- Never believe what EXPEDIA'S representative tells to you.
- Record all phone conversations: they say they record the conversations for "quality purposes". They will probably use that recording against you, but If the recordings are for your benefit they would say "Well, we random record conversations" and you will not have any proof of what the agent told to you.
- If you cannot record the conversation, ask them to send an e-mail. In that case you will have later something that can save you from their lies.
- Never send a message using their web based e-mail system. YOU WILL NOT HAVE ANY COPY THE MESSAGE YOU SENT TO THEM. Always use your personal e-mail account that allows you to save a copy of the message you have sent to EXPEDIA.
If you have a similar case or if you are unsatisfied with EXPEDIA'S service send me your case. I'm collecting many cases to initiate a legal demand against EXPEDIA.COM.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- I recently booked a business trip to Japan through Expedia. My trip had three legs: Fort Lauderdale -> Tokyo (NRT) -> Fukuoka (FUK) (by train back to Tokyo) -> Fort Lauderdale. I purchased the Total Protection Plan option that Expedia presented to me upon booking my tickets, in case I had to change or cancel any of my flights between now and the business trip in late October.
Sure enough, our client's itinerary changed, requiring me to change my flight from Tokyo to Fukuoka to a different date. When I called Expedia to make the change, they told me I would be incurring a charge of $426.30 from the airline. I explained that I had purchased the Total Protection Plan, which (according to Expedia's website) covers one cancellation or change made prior to take-off. They explained to me that I'd need to file a claim with the insurance company, and I wasn't guaranteed to get a refund.
So I switched gears. I told them to leave my trip as is, and that I would purchase a new ticket through the airline (the ticket I needed from Tokyo to Fukuoka was only $96.00). Expedia told me that if I failed to show up to my original flight, Expedia would have to cancel all my return flights. They also told me they could not cancel one leg of the trip without cancelling the entire trip because I had booked it as a multi-leg trip. Are you kidding me? I ended up having to pay quadruple what the $96.00 ticket would have cost me or risk getting stranded in Japan.
I called the insurance company (www.travelclaim.com) and explained the situation to them. They explained to me that I was only entitle to a refund if the change or cancellation was a result of the death of an immediate family member or a serious medical injury - both would need to be supported by documents. I tried arguing that Expedia's travel protection plan includes one free change or cancellation, no matter that reason.
The woman told me that technically that is only for people who book their trip as a "vacation," which means I would have had to have booked a hotel room or a rental car at the time of booking my flight. I told her I couldn't possibly have booked my hotel at that time as I needed confirmation from my clients as to what areas we'd be meeting at. Too bad, apparently - since I didn't book my trip as a "vacation" I'm subject to this ridiculous charge.
It's an absurd loophole hidden from customers for this exact purpose - to scam out of money. The woman told me my best bet was to contact the airline, which I did. The airline told me since I booked the trip through Expedia and paid them directly, there was little they could do. I will never book through Expedia again, and I will be disputing this crazy charge to American Express.