expedia.com Complaint - Expedia & British Airways - an unfortunate partnership
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- Last month, my two children, ages 21 & 23 had to cancel a vacation to Nice & London on British Airways because my daughter had to have emergency appendectomy and then an extended intensive care hospital stay because of a life threatening infection. She was off work for two months and the hospital bill was enormous. Naturally, a trip was not then financially possible. When I called British Airways & Expedia, I fully expected that the trip would be non-refundable, but I was surprised to hear that it was also non re-applicable. In 30 years of flying, although I have sometimes been charged a fee for the change, never have I not been able to use some of the ticket’s value to apply to another ticket.
Not only that, but there is a dispute between BA and Expedia (where I foolishly booked the trip) about whether the over $400.00 in taxes and fees is refundable. This is totally beyond comprehension, considering there is now nothing to tax. BA says they refund taxes and fees….Expedia says they don’t.
The agent admits that this is a new policy (2003) of totally non-transferable and non-refundable airfares for British Airways, but that I should have read all the small print. These companies should be required to state when a major policy like this changes in a significant way. Every day in every transaction we are faced with a myriad of small printed disclaimers, from internet connections to bank cards to soap detergent…certainly we should read every one thoroughly. However, sometimes our experiences of many years, in one case makes these boiler plate warnings seem all the same and in the other, leads us to believe we can’t understand them anyway. And for years, airlines have warned of tickets non-transferability and then done it anyway.
I think the flying public should know that these airlines, dying from their inflexibility have decided survival lies in even more mind numbing rules. I for one will never use Expedia or fly British Airways again. I guess it’s Lufthansa for me! (And good old cheerful, customer-kindly Southwest Airlines.) The fact that you can go in a train station in Europe and buy a ticket on the spot without being gouged, makes me wonder, why is traveling so difficult and punitive and why do we stand for it?