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Flight Protection Rip Off
Posted by RW01776 on 08/30/2009
Expedia sold me a flight protection plan in case my plans changed "i wouldn't have to pay any cancellation or change penalties." Expedia also said if you need to make a change just call us and we will take care of it.

After arriving at my destination my meeting schedule changed. I call Expedia for rebooking my flight. They say ....Oh I'm sorry you have already used part of your ticket, we can't help you...you have to call the airline"

I ask "what if the airline charges me for changing my ticket?"

Expedia "Then call the insurance carrier not us. By the way, why are you changing your flights? The insurance company will decide if your reason for changing is covered."

In other words....no insurance, tough luck. This is not what was told to me by Expedia. Just another rip off scheme by an insurance company!!!!! I expected much better from Expedia...guess I'm just another sucker to the Expedia management!

     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-30:
This is why it is always better to book directly with the airline, especially if you are traveling on business for meetings. It may cost more than using Expedia or Priceline but will save you a lot of frustration. Don't kick yourself too hard, you arent the only one thats been screwed by Expedia.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-30:
Isn't the insurance handled by a 3rd party? I haven't had the pleasure of using Expedia but they may be taking the rap here unnecessarily.
Posted by goduke on 2009-08-30:
The insurance is handled by a third party, and unless you bought the really expensive insurance policy (not the $13 one), changing your meeting plans is not going to be covered.
Posted by MaggieMcT on 2009-08-30:
What does the actual insurance document say?
Posted by Ben There on 2009-08-30:
Travel Insurnace does not covered delayed meetings, even if you purchase the policies offered by the airlines. While travel insurance is designed to protect your investment if you get sick, someone dies, your houst burns down, etc... There is just to great a chance that a meeting time will change (and no way to prove it) for any insurance company ever to thing that is a good idea.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-30:
That's exactly what happens when part of your flight has already been taken. It now falls on the airline to make necessary changes (at a cost.) I know this because I used to work for an airline and a travel agency. Also I am quite sure that changing a business meeting is not covered by any policy.
Posted by godofwar on 2009-08-31:
benthere and justthefaxx are correct. flight insurance allows you to cancel for "covered" reasons "prior" to the start of the trip.
Posted by MzDLBrand on 2009-08-31:
I agree with the above posters, Trip Protection covers extreme emergencies, such as serious illness or family death. I also agree that it's always easier to book with the operating carrier instead of outside travel sources. In some cases (depending on airline) you have a reissue fee if you have to make a change through the airline and you bought it with an outside agency such as Travelocity, Expedia or Priceline.
Posted by RW01776 on 2009-08-31:
My point is that Expedia's sale tactic is misleading! I, for one, resent a service provider who takes the aggressive attitude of "buyer beware."

An insurance company is free to offer insuarance as they see fit, for whatever they wish to charge. BUT far to often the insurance business operates on a kind of 'beware the small print ....Got'cha attitude.

In my book this is unethical.
Posted by Ben There on 2009-08-31:
Did you read the policy, or did you assume all changes would occur for free regardless of the reason?
Posted by Eloise on 2009-08-31:
Ben There, All answers, best answers!
Posted by godofwar on 2009-09-17:
you have to understand that this is business. those policies are in place to protect the business, otherwise, if people can just change flights at their whim, the airline will go out of business. the problem with those who don't thoroughly read policies is that they want the rules bended to their command. you agreed to the terms and conditions, you bought the tickets, and you're covered by those policies.
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Tried to Cancel a Flight With Expedia - Good Luck
Posted by Ronaldens on 08/07/2013
NANAIMO -- I just got off the phone with Expedia trying to cancel a ticket. It was well within the 24 hrs. but I was informed that it had to be in the same calendar day (not what I had read from people on the net that had cancelled). I bought the ticket last night before 9:00 and I called them back just before 9:00. They informed me their 'system' was 'down' and I should call back in an hour which I did. Their system was still down just before 10:00. I was told to call back in an hour at which time the system was still down so I called back until I got hold of someone and the system was finally working. I thought I would l just change the ticket but they wanted 200.00- this was midnight so I decided to cancel the ticket in the morning only to find that the 24hr. cancellation period had expired because it is not really a 24 hr. but a calendar day period (when the calendar date changes you are out of luck so never book with them in the evening).

So while their system was not working and I was waiting, my 'grace' period had passed. When I explained this to the individual they were not willing to make any kind of concession and when I asked to speak to the manager I was told that unless it concerned something not covered in their policy I could not speak to the manager.

What I wound up getting was a 200.00 penalty and a credit for the balance although they put a different spin on it - I was getting a full refund but would have to pay 200.00 to use it. I have spent three or four hours working on this as well. The girl I spoke to had a strong accent and seemed to struggle when reasoning which probably didn't help either.
     
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Posted by Weedwhacked on 2013-08-07:
Once your reservation is ticketed the money goes to the airline. Any changes after that would incur a change fee and the difference in the fares.

Since the airline is definitely going to charge Expedia for the change, why wouldn't they charge you for it. They are most certainly not going to pay it for you.
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Not Getting Seats on a Flight!
Posted by Jinghzhou on 07/17/2013
I first discovered and started using Expedia in 2009. I used to go to a local travel agency for all my flights and hotel reservations but I much preferred being able to see all my options laid out for me and doing the looking myself. My family and I booked several round trips going to Florida, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, China, and Taiwan. In a year my cousins would travel to Canada two-three times and to China at least once so I would say that my family and I were pretty frequent users of Expedia. We'd book the flight and hotel, receive confirmation e-mails and when the time came we would check in using our passport.

My cousins came to visit me in Canada in the winter of 2011 (December) but had to cut their trip short because of a family emergency in China. We immediately called Expedia and got them on the next flight back to Los Angeles. They knew they would probably be gone for a while this time so they had to return home to pack and take care of some things first. We made flight reservations to China leaving in two days. The payment went through and as per usual, we received e-mails confirming that we made reservations.

However, when they arrived at the LAX airport and tried to check-in they were informed that there were no such reservations. They were puzzled but thought it was probably a misunderstanding. I quickly called Expedia and explained the situation to their Customer Service agents. After asking us to speak to the people at the airline counter and putting us on hold several times they finally informed me that Expedia never actually secured seats for my cousins. I did not understand how that could be possible and they explained that there was most likely a communication error between them and the airline so they weren't able to reserve our seats. We were panicking at this point.

I was upset and flustered and asked the agent what they could do for us to remedy the situation and she said to ask to speak to an individual at the counters by the name of ****** because that individual understood our situation and would do their best to help us. I thanked the agent for her help and asked for her name. Then I went to look for said person. There was no such person working there. I called Expedia again, explained the situation and asked if I could speak to ******* who had previously helped me before. They told me that they could not transfer calls and this agent said that they were unable to help me with the predicament (that they put me in). I asked to speak to a supervisor/manager and was put on hold.

When the supervisor picked up he told me that he could assist us in booking another flight leaving in the next day or two. Now this is a family emergency and we needed to get on that plane or the next plane out of there. He told us there was nothing they could do and that it was our fault because even though they had sent us confirmation e-mails they did not ever e-mailed us the e-ticket numbers so we should have called to inquire about it rather than assume that we had seats. Aside from being no help whatsoever he basically told me that it was my fault. I asked for his name and he gave me his first name and refused to give me any further information. We ended the call and spoke to the airline again and luckily were able to get a spot on a flight leaving in a few hours (at a steeper price than our original ticket).

I'm generally not a person to hold a grudge and am pretty silent about my complaints but this infuriated me so much that I still remember the experience to this day. Since then we have traveled to Europe, Hawaii, Asia (a few times) and within North America a few times too and if I could help it I would not book with Expedia because they're unreliable and irresponsible. I'm finally sharing this with everyone out there. Please be aware and triple check everything if you ever decide to book with Expedia because they honestly don't give a rats ass about their customers.
     
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Posted by Val in AZ on 2013-07-17:
You may want to just utilize the airline's websites. This way it is between you
and the vendor (airline) directly, with no "middle man".
Posted by Bobby on 2013-07-17:
Whenever I travel I check hotels directly at my destination and in years of travel I have only found a cheaper deal ONCE at a 3rd party vendor.

For airfares I saved $50 once by using a 3rd party vendor but I got in late and had three changes of planes instead of two, hardly worth it to me.

The 3rd party vendors may be barely adequate in any circumstance that does not require a change of any type. But if there is a change be prepared to endure like jing did.

A very well written review.
Posted by Weedwhacked on 2013-07-18:
Yes they booked you a reservation. What they didn't do was pre-assign seats. If the flight is oversold then those without pre-reserved seats end up on the oversold list.

I worked for an airline for 8 years and can tell you that this is common practice. You need to request pre-reserved seats. A travel agency doesn't want to be bothered by issues like not finding seats together for families, so they don't assign them and leave it to the airline to sort out.
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Careful of Expedia, they don't care
Posted by Photomuse on 10/09/2012
BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON -- I booked a trip to Brazil for myself and my wife 3 months prior to departure. 6 days prior to departure, I received a phone call from Expedia saying that the airline had made a schedule change, and Expedia couldn't do anything about it but cancel my flight with a full refund and try to help me rebook.

Working with them, I cancelled my existing flight and arranged a new flight (costing $600 more) that more or less met our needs. Luckily we had the flexibility to stay an extra day in Brazil, although this was not ideal.

I was upset about this turn of events, but Expedia passed the buck and said if I wanted to call (US AIRLINE HERE) directly with a complaint, they may do something about the additional fare.

When I did call the airline, they said that the schedule change had been sent to Expedia 1 and a half months earlier, and therefore the fault lay with Expedia. They also said that they get lots of angry calls from Expedia customers, and overall they feel like if you want good customer service from the airline, you should book with the Airline. (After this experience, I tend to agree).

So I called Expedia back and asked about this schedule change. Did they really sit on it for 1 and half months before calling my only to cancel my flight? It turns out yes, and they weren't culpable because they sent me a *single* e-mail at the time of the schedule change which asked me to call them, and therefore it was my fault that the schedule change didn't occur.

I could go into detail into why this email got overlooked at the time (I did call Expedia about a schedule change in the time frame and thought there was a single schedule change where there were two), but I don't think it this is important. More important, in my opinion, are the following points:

1. Expedia made no effort to contact me after the original single e-mail, over the course of 1.5 months, about this issue. I think this is unacceptable and irresponsible for a company that claims to be in the business of arranging travel.

2. Expedia sent me on a wild goose chase to contact the Airline, when they could have informed me right away that this schedule change came in a month and a half earlier and nothing was done about it.

3. When dealing with customer service, I was hung up on once. I was told they would call me back after looking into it once (they never did). It took me repeated attempts to finally reached someone who told me that they understood what had happened, and no they didn't take any responsibility and could do nothing for me.

Did I have zero culpability in this situation? No. This tempers my anger with Expedia a bit. At the same time, I feel that their policy in this regard is very odd and irresponsible. It seems to be a policy that holds the customer in very low regard. I doubt that I am the first or last customer to have a last minute surprise.

     
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Posted by Alain on 2012-10-09:
This is a persistent problem with all the third party travel contractors. If any difficulty occurs, they will always try and divert the customer to dealing directly with the airline (hotel, rental car company, etc.) knowing full well that those companies are not under any obligation to help you since the contractor, not you, is their customer. You may or may not save money by using a third party contractor, but if there is any type of problem you probably won't receive any help from them and most likely will lose money. You are almost always better off dealing directly with the service provider when traveling.
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-10-09:
I would never use a third party website to book air travel, but in their defense they did contact you with sufficient time to rebook without a huge fare increase.

As far as sending you to the airline, that was the only remaining option since you hadn't responded to the email sent over a month earlier. I don't see what they did wrong.
Posted by CowboyFan on 2012-10-09:
This is a good review for showing why one should take responsibility for their own actions, and not blame others. The OP should not minimize his responsibility for not reading and responding to the e-mail. If that is the method by which one is to be contacted, then it is important to check them. One cannot expect a company to try repeatedly to make sure you get the message.

The airline changed the flight, Expedia notified you 1 and 1/2 months before the flight, and offered a refund. That certainly met any obligation they had. It is doubtful the airlines would have done any different in terms of notify the OP.
Posted by traveler on 2013-08-02:
I had a very frustrating experience with Expedia recently. I had to cancel my reservation , and received an email from Expedia stating that I have an ariline credit, and that to rebook I would need to call Expedia.
But when I called for some sepecific flights that I was able to see on Expedia for a certain price, they kept quoting me a price that was much higher than the one that I was seeing on the web site. They could not explain exactly why that was the case.
So I did not rebook the first time, because I was unwilling to add $2000 to my fare.
I called them again after a couple of months to use my credit. I spoke to an agent and told him which flights I wanted. He quoted me a price that was acceptable, so I told him to go ahead and book the tickets.
Within the few seconds it took him to get to the next screen to finalize the payment, he told me the ticket price had gone up by $161.
So I asked to speak to a manager, and guess what? She was able to give me the original price quoted!
Made me wonder if they have a way of increasing the price on their own.
I will never use them again for booking flights.
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Refund Not Refunded
Posted by Dconklin58 on 07/12/2012
BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON -- Despite repeated attempts with dropped calls, emails that go answered they would not issue a refund (even when they told me how much it would be!) and instead they closed the account! And again, despite repeated warnings that I would sue to get my refund, they ignored it. So, yesterday I filed suit and today mailed a copy of the complaint to the King's County Sheriff for them to serve on Expedia.
     
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Posted by onlooker on 2012-07-13:
Good for you, wait a while and be prepared to settle with your costs included in the amount.
Posted by idontthinkso on 2012-07-13:
Keep us updated.
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Beware of bait and switch
Posted by David.maki on 05/08/2012
FORT WAYNE, INDIANA -- I found a price of $1,282.00 to England and went through the process of buying the ticket. When I completed the transaction the price was $1,326.00. I called twice to find out the problem and both times they explained that the final price is real time and that they cannot help me. Both my phone calls were cutoff before I could get any satisfaction. I have never had this kind of problem with other online reservation sights. I will not use Expedia again and I would advise that you stay away from this bait and switch kind of business practice.
     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-05-08:
The explanation would fit the right set of circumstances. I wasn't there, so I don't know the sequence of events between when you received the quote and got the final price.

Personally I would never use any of these sites, for different reasons.
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EXTREMELY rude customer service
Posted by Ashleyowl28 on 08/29/2011
Recently, I had booked a flight through Expedia for the day that Hurricane Irene was predicted to hit my departure airport. As soon as the airline I was on announced that they would change flight schedules free of charge, I called Expedia to change my flight. I was on hold for OVER 2 HOURS. When I finally reached an agent, he was very nice, but could not speak understandable English. Despite having to repeat myself (and ask him to repeat himself) over and over, we finally established that I needed to change my flight. I asked for a flight a day earlier than the one I had booked. I was on hold for 20 minutes while he looked for a flight and he came back on to offer me one later on the same day I had booked. I explained again and even told him flight numbers I was interested in. He put me on hold repeatedly for 10 or 20 minutes at a time and never returned with any useful information. He 'could not tell' if there was room on several flights. By this time it had been more than three hours since I had placed the call. My cell phone was running out of batteries. He asked if an agent could call me back later. When I complained and said my phone was running out of batteries, he said he would connect me to a manager immediately. I held for more than 35 more minutes until my phone ran out of batteries. I purchased a car charger and a manager did eventually call me back. He said that there were no flights available to which I could change and said they would credit the purchase price of my flight. I said I also had a return flight I needed credited back. He told me that was not possible since it was on a different airline than the first leg of my trip. This was not clear at all when I booked my flight. When I complained, he snidely said "well, you booked the flight, What did you expect?" When I expressed that my biggest frustration was Expedia's poor customer service and long wait time to speak with a representative, he said "Well it's not our fault there's a hurricane you know." I said "I'm not upset about the hurricane. I'm upset about your customer service," with which he continued to argue that the hurricane was not their fault. When I stated my complaint once again and said "Let's be clear, I'm upset with your service, not about the weather," he ended the call by saying "Is there anything else I can help you with today?"

Aside from unclear policies, Expedia's customer service is absolutely unacceptable. I will NEVER use them again and will advise everyone else I know to avoid Expedia.
     
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Not honoring their mistakes
Posted by Zenmanda on 04/18/2011
I booked a flight for my boyfriend (a fisherman from Alaska), and we just found out today that he would be able to come home 1 day sooner than we originally booked the flight for. I called Expedia and spoke with a customer service representative and he told me that we were eligable for a complimentary flight change at no cost (normally around $100.00) and he gave me a reference number to use when I call back with a new flight time. I tried calling Expedia twice but after being on hold for 10 min. both times and never getting through to anyone, I had to have my boyfriend call from the airport (I was at work and was too busy). He called me back a bit later and said that we in fact did have to pay to change the flight plan and even though we had a reference number and the name of the customer service person who originally told us about the one time complimentary flight change, Expedia wouldn't honor that stating that we were given the wrong information. He ended up changing his flight plan directly through the airlines and paying for the change. I will never use Expedia again.

     
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Posted by Ytropious on 2011-04-18:
It sounds like the service guy made a mistake. Mistakes happen I suppose. If every company paid for their employees mistakes and misquotes there'd be even more companies going belly up. They should have told you they'd made a mistake sooner, but perhaps they were busy.
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Expedia Can't be Trusted When Booking a Flight
Posted by Bigmoteldaddy on 09/16/2010
I booked two airline tickets from Expedia and received a "Travel Confirmation" that confirmed my booking. The next day I was called up by a service representative who told me that they wouldn't honor the booking at the price quoted, because they had made a mistake and the airline would not accept the price. I ended up having to be re-routed and pay 10% more for the trip.

Here's the problem; At no point in the process did Expedia explain that the booking was not a booking, and there was absolutely no mention of that in the travel confirmation email either. I believe I should be entitled to relay on the written communication from Expedia.

A rude service representative was arguing and bantering, and I finally got hold of his supervisor, who admitted that Expedia had not informed me of this, but they would not pay the difference.

I believe Expedia clearly overstepped any normal business practice boundary and will not be using that company in the future.
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-16:
Ah, I see how it is. These 3rd party websites have non-exhistant customer siervice. Expedia and all these other 3rd party websites are allowed to make mistakes and do as they please, charge you extra at will but if a CUSTOMER makes a mistake. SORRY, no refunds! Heres a stick for you to shove up your @$$
Posted by trmn8r on 2010-09-16:
No, that isn't how it works. They aren't going to just give you the shaft. They charge for that stick.
Posted by Weedwhacked on 2010-09-16:
Here's the problem. Everyone across the world is booking flights and Expedia's website is not directly connected with the airline's website. This means that if a certain fare sells out and goes to the next higher fare, the travel agencies (Expedia) don't get the information automatically (in real time). This means that if the airline is going to charge them more than what you paid them, they are not going to pay the difference for you. Why not book directly with the airline? I really don't understand why people subject themselves to TWO companies' terms and regulations when they don't have to!
Posted by IhateExpedia on 2010-09-20:
Weedwhacked's right. Expedia's site isn't always correct. They can easily say it's not their fault. But the general feeling that I get, and it seems many others do too, is that Expedia counts on little mistakes like this to occur. If they or their partners make a little money off of you because of these error/misinformation/bad whatever, then many customers are being nickle and dimed to death.
Posted by getoverit on 2010-10-12:
Weedwhacked might be right. But I've had the experience of seeing published fares on Expedia go up as I was in the process of booking a flight. So, if it's not "real time" (whatever that really means), it looks pretty close to me.

I agree with the OP. The business practice s/he describes is totally unacceptable, given that once you confirm a flight on Expedia, you are locked into the flight time, fare, and everything.

If I had gotten that call, I truly think I would have told Expedia that they needed to make some form of recompense or just cancel out the entire transaction. Odds are, I'd be able to book the same thing elsewhere under virtually identical terms.
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No accountability
Posted by Hehobbie on 07/24/2010
I recently booked a work trip through Expedia using their "Flight, Car, Hotel" package grouping. BIG MISTAKE!!! At the time of booking I did not receive a price breakdown as expected (i. e., X costs for flight, car and room rate). I emailed Expedia to inquire about this (as I need a detailed breakdown for reimbursement purposes) and was told I would have to take that up with the vendors used. I then contacted the hotel and was told that they cannot provide that information because I actually paid Expedia. This back and forth went on for 2 weeks prior to my trip. Every time I asked Expedia for this information they just referred me back to the hotel.

Fast forward to checkout. I did not receive an itemized bill from the hotel, so I requested one from the front desk. After some back and forth, I was told there was nothing they could do because, again, I had actually paid Expedia for this trip - not the hotel.

I contacted Expedia for some type of resolution. After approximately 10 minutes on hold I was connected to a very helpful and friendly representative. She immediately recognized the ongoing issue I had been having and apologized (unexpected, but not enough to get me to EVER use them again). After another 10 minutes she was able to provide me a breakdown.

Since when are receipts reflected how much you paid for something state secrets? I did not realize that Expedia dealt with classified information. All I wanted to know was my room rate and car rental amount.

I don't care if Expedia has a rate that is $500 better than another site, I will pay more to avoid the headache of dealing with them.

P.S. Their fabulous package deal ended up costing me about $250 more than if I had booked each item separately. Nice huh?
     
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Posted by Ben There on 2010-07-24:
Often airlines and hotels do not want the price breakdown to be given out when they are sold in a package. If you need the price for each for expenses, then book each separately.
Posted by getoverit on 2010-09-08:
I'm not at all surprised that you can do better than an Expedia package deal. Airlines, hotels, and car rentel companies do all kinds of discount deals and the discounts Expedia advertises are, of course, discounts of the top-end price.

I'm also not surprised that they were reluctant to disclose what you really paid to each vendor. If you were getting reimbursed for ne or more of the expenses, why didn't you just book those separately?
Posted by IhateExpedia on 2010-09-08:
This is very inconvenient to the customer, especially business travelers. They should expect people needing this break-down and should have been ready with the information.

I'll see your $500 and raise you another $500: I will pay $1000 dollars more then Expedia's quoted price to avoid the toothache of dealing with them.
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