Expedia.com Complaint - Worst experience with on-line travel agency
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/sleep over 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 11:35AM in Boise, almost four hours earlier than my original plan (3:04PM) and I definitely cannot make it.
I called their customer service to reschedule my flight. I told them clearly what was 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.