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.
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 me 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:
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. 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.
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 reach 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.
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.
Is it right that the travel agency charge you with a “reschedule fee” when your flight is canceled and you have to reschedule your flight because you can't make the time of new flight? Is it right to hold up the “good” flights and only release crappy flights with very late/early/sleepover in the airport flights to customers who reschedule flights? Is it right to reject the customer's request to cancel a flight leg? If your answers are “NO,” read on.
I am a student in Texas A&M University and will attend an academic conference in Boise, ID in October 2009. I have been ordering tickets for my personal trips with Expedia for a couple years so I still trust their service this time. In the first place, I booked my flight to leave College Station, TX on October 4 and return on October 9. The outbound flight is basically following the order of “College Station, TX – Houston, TX – Boise, ID” and the return flight is in the reversed order.
Four days later, I received an automatic email, telling me that my flight is canceled by Continental and a new schedule is provided in the email. I wasn't given a chance to reject or accept the new flight schedule. I scrutinized my new schedule and found out that my return flight (Boise, ID – Houston, TX – College Station, TX) was put forward to depart in 11:35 AM in Boise, almost four hours earlier than my original plan (3:04 PM) and I definitely cannot make it.
I called their customer service to reschedule my flight. I told them clearly what has happened. The first representative told me that she needs to call Continental to confirm my information and will call me back. I waited for a whole day and no one called. I called again. This time Expedia insisted that I have to pay the reschedule fee of $150, or they cannot reschedule the flight for me. It is totally not right because the whole situation is caused by the airline company. But finally I succumbed and agreed to pay the reschedule fee.
The interesting part follows. When I asked to choose a flight I saw on their website, I was told that I am not allowed to choose that flight. The only flight that is available to me is in a bad time: I will fly to Houston at late night and the final leg (Houston – College Station) is in the next morning. I asked if I can cancel my final leg since no one likes to sleep over in the airport. My request was rejected.
In the end, I lost $150 for no reason and was put in a flight with worst schedule. I have to spend another $30 to take bus from Houston to College Station on that night because like I said, no one wants to sleep in the airport. No compensation of any kind is provided by Expedia.
I sent them a complaint letter, and this is their response: “…We are more than willing to assist our customers in any way commercially possible. We, at Expedia, are dedicated to providing knowledgeable service and support to our customers. But we are constrained by the policies of the vendors whose services we provide on our website. When a flight itinerary or hotel itinerary is purchased on Expedia, we act as the agent between the client and the vendor. Any transactions are governed by the rules and restrictions put in place by the vendor providing the service.”
Even though they have their own “secret rules” with vendors, what about consumer rights? This is the worst service I have ever experienced. If anyone is interested, I have kept all correspondences for future references.
ONLINE, ALASKA -- My family has been a customer of Expedia for years. I booked a flight/hotel package to London which I need to change as my father passed away yesterday. Well, I've talked to several people, the last person is "talking" to Virgin Atlantic supposedly, but I'm sure she's gone to dinner and has left me on line. They want to charge me DOUBLE. And I guess this is a tactic to wear me down. Unbelievably terrible service - I'm so surprised. I've always thought highly of Expedia. And Virgin won't help me directly because I booked thru Expedia. Screwed either way.
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 cut off before I could get any satisfaction. I have never had this kind of problem with other online reservation sites. I will not use Expedia again and I would advise that you stay away from this bait and switch kind of business practice.
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.
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?
We booked a trip to Lisbon Portugal using the flight/hotel package option. After reading almost 100 glowing reports about one of the hotel options, we chose it. We also selected and paid for the airport/hotel and hotel/airport transportation. Because another travel website had shown that particular hotel as being fully booked, I was very concerned that perhaps Expedia had booked us in by mistake. I emailed them 3 TIMES asking them to confirm that we did have a room. I NEVER received any response from them. I finally had to call the hotel itself to confirm the room. I then called the transportation service in Lisbon and confirmed with them.
On the flight from Newark to Lisbon we were given the seats at the rear of the plane next to the bathrooms. This has happened before when we've used either a site like Expedia or "free" mileage tickets. This is retaliatory on the part of the airlines and Expedia should not allow it. We arrived in Lisbon to find NO car service waiting for us. We waited for an hour and finally had a representative at the Tourist Info booth call them. They arrived very flustered saying that they had no booking for us but would take us to the hotel anyway. We made absolutely sure, in the car, to make them reconfirm for the trip back to the airport because they said they did not have us down for that, either.
At the hotel we expected the best based on the reviews - a terrace to relax on, a decanter of Port in the room on arrival, a coffee/tea service. We saved almost no money by booking through them but decided it was worth the price (nearly $300/night) anyway. We were given a "cheap" room - no terrace, no Port, no coffee/tea service. Again, I believe it was in retaliation for booking with Expedia and not directly with them or a local Lisbon company.
I have already submitted a review to TripAdvisor about that. Expedia also had us pay for the option of having breakfast at the hotel. After checking in it was quite obvious that breakfast was FREE and for ALL guests. I will not use Expedia ever again based on their total lack of response to questions, and the apparent policy of other companies to offer the basest of services to Expedia's clients.
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!