Big Boo to Expedia and How Should We Deal With It?

Dimfer

Member Sponsor
May 8, 2010
460
13
18
Canada
#1
We have booked at least 10 trips with Expedia the past couple of years and they were ok, good rates and everything went smoothly, until recently.

My wife asked me to book a flight for her cousins who are migrating from the Phils. to Canada.

She told me to get the cheapest available rate, so I checked Expedia online, but decided to call and book on the phone. It went smoothly as usual. couple of days later, we got a message from my wife's cousin requesting to re-book their flight because online search led them to find out that they are required to get a US transient visa because their layover in Honolulu is more than 4 hours, and this visa usually take 30 days to get in the Phils.

We called Expedia again, explaining that the passengers does not have enough time to get a visa. The agent initially told me that the tickets are not refundable. I said please help us cancel or rebook this one - and I argued that their booking agent failed to inform us about an important requirement, and their website does not inform passengers of that requirement either. The guy argued that it is passenger's responsibility, not theirs, but will try to find an alternative anyway. He said he will call us back in an hour. We waited for 2.5 hours and nobody called, so we phoned back. Of course, we got another agent. We explained the whole story again, and the agent told us he could cancel the original booking, but we have to pay $100 penalty per passenger. We agreed to that and booked another flight with Japan Airlines. He gave us a confirmation number for the cancellation of the previous flight.

2 hours later, we got a call from Expedia, telling us that their agent made a mistake and will only credit us $2,750 of the original $4,415 we paid for the Hawaiian/Air Canada tickets, but they can still cancel the Japan Airlines flights if we will rebook with HA/AC. Since I was driving, I said can we call you back when we get home - said ok and gave us a reference number again.

When we called back, we got another agent, gave him the reference numbers again and so on. This time, they will only credit back $2,500. We argued for hours, and requested them to find an alternative flight for Hawaiian or find a work around. Since it was already 11pm already, the agent told us he will get somebody to work on it and somebody will call us back.

I sent Expedia an email telling them that due to the numerous mistakes of their staff and because we get different answer from different agent all the time I would like to put all future communications in writing, somebody replied and explained that due to security reasons, they don't do that and gave another number to call. I said no, but they replied again saying the same.

I got a call from Expedia in my office yesterday, now from a department manager who is supposed to be handling the case. Since I was busy and my wife happened to be there, I let my wife deal with the guy. Now Expedia refunded $1,008 to my credit card, and offer $200 in travel coupons but won't refund the rest of the $4,415 paid to Hawaiian Air/ Air Canada and won't cancel the flight with Japan Airlines anymore. The ticket holders have a $4,415 credit which they have to use within one year - my wife said she will only take this offer if the credits are transferable because she know that the ticket holders cannot afford to pay the HA/AC $4,415 (less $1008) and the JAL $4,715 at the same time because they are new immigrant and don't have money to travel that often. The guy argued they are not travelling by choice and no the tickets are non transferable.

The guy admit that their agent made a mistake, but always point out that we were told that the tickets are non refundable when we booked the flight. We argued that we booked a second flight because their agent told us it is refundable (less $400 penalty) and why should we be held financially accountable for their staff mistakes? It is clearly Expedia error and Expedia should be accountable for it. The guy said yes they made a mistake, but they are not financially accountable.

We did not agree to close the case and now thinking of hiring a lawyer to pursue the case, or escalate to upper Expedia management.

is it worth taking this case to court?

anybody has similar experience?
 
Apr 3, 2010
15,814
2
0
Seattle, WA
#3
I would think they have their back pretty protected by the fine print in the tickets/agreement. The problem they have is that they are the middleman and have to eat the cost of the change which they don't want to do. Did you deal with US or do they have a Canadian subsidiary? If the latter, I suggest filing a complaint with your local authorities first. They will at least send them a letter asking for an explanation. That might get them to do something. In addition, your credit card company may be of some help. Call them and say the second booking was not authorized by you. Long shot but without much cost.

All in all, it is surprising that they would be so difficult to work with. The visa situation is something they should have notified you about.

BTW, I am dubious of the 4 hour visa rule. In my experience, if you stay in the international terminal, there is no time limit to how long you can stay there and no Visa is necessary. I don't know where "Phils" is but if it is another country, I don't think they needed to do anything. The way to check this is to call the airline. They would have confirmed if a visa would have been required because they would be the ones having to check for it prior to departure.
 

Dimfer

Member Sponsor
May 8, 2010
460
13
18
Canada
#4
problem 1 has not been resolved, the passengers arrived by Japan Airlines, we paid the visa bills and secured the tickets for the original booking. As it stand right now, the family was issued credit for the original booking amount (they refunded $1,000 and gave the passengers $4,415 flight credit, which they have to book within 1 yr. They can book a flight up to one year after May 2013. Could be a good deal, but they are forcing a family who is just starting to get settled here to book a major travel within two years. We still intend to make a complaint at better business bureau and other parties who could possibly help us. We were dealing with Expedia Canada. complained to TD, they said the issue is beyond their jurisdiction.

Amir, Philippines is a small South East Asian country, and unfortunately, Philippine visa holders are not as accomodated as Canadians and Americans when it comes to international travel. The family confirmed about the visa requirement at the US embassy in Manila and the airline offices in Manila and it was confirmed with them they needed a transient visa for the said flight. Things changed a bit since 911.

now here's the juicy part...

My auntie in the Phils died morning, last request was that me and my mom attend the funeral. I had to scramble to book a flight to fly on Tuesday. I cannot get hold of local agents (maybe because it is Sunday), so I was forced to go back to Expedia.

I was checking the website, started with a couple of ticket at $1,386 per person, when I clicked to start confirming the bookings - price suddenly changed to $1,900 per person. I called their 1,800 number and I was quoted $1,386. Since I had booked with the before, they have my name on their file, just added my mother's name on the reservation and everything went through smoothly. When they sent me the email confirmation - the last letter on my maiden name (which also appears on my passport) was missing. i hurriedly phoned them back - now I am being told that the only way to correct is to cancel my orginal booking and rebook at $1,900. I said they should rebook me for the same price, they said no they cannot do that. Again, this is clearly their staff mistake, the correct middle name was previously used in their system and the telephone booking agent read it to me properly, but retyped wrong.

I re-checked other flights I booked with Expedia in the past - some of them does not even have the middle name which had always appeared in my passport. I never had an issue with them missing on the booking. My wife said just proceed with the flight and play dumb later.
 
Apr 3, 2010
15,814
2
0
Seattle, WA
#5
Amazing. What a screwed up situation. These days I book on airlines site as they match prices with expedia and I figure I have more recourse with them should anything go wrong.
 

Dimfer

Member Sponsor
May 8, 2010
460
13
18
Canada
#7
Expedia is a major partner of my TD Visa Travel Rewards card where I collect average of $7k - $10k travel points per year, I am paying most of the trip with the points I collected after the cruise (also done with Expedia)... lot's of incentives for me to go back to Expedia, and they have been good in the past. Just these 2 recent trips they've been awful, their telephone reps are terrible with spelling, they're quick to say this time that they will refund the ticket - but they cannot fix the pricing. My original plan was to go with the local agent - but I cannot get hold of the ones we've used before. A little bit of panic on my side because I was trying to coordinate our arrival time in Manila with that of my sister (from Phoenix) and my cousin (from Yakima) and a peek to the flights left told me that there are not very many seats left on the flight from Edmonton that coordinates best with them.. We want to arrive in Manila at the same time so that we can take the 4 hour trip to the province together.

I tried booking at the Philippine Airline website - ticket pricing for the same accomodation is almost double of the Expedia pricing.
 

Dimfer

Member Sponsor
May 8, 2010
460
13
18
Canada
#8
by the way, Expedia agent originally said I must rebook to correct the spelling, then talked to managers to confirm that the missing letter P in my middle name is a non issue, they repeatedly said that, so we just left it at that. Still a big boo for Expedia. Most of the previous flights I booked with them were done online, not by phone - so I guess the phone agents are the sore spot of the company. They have thick accents (I have too, but they're a lot worse than mine), and they try to use international phonetics (alpha brave charlie) with lot's of modification.
 
Oct 2, 2016
1
0
0
#9
I booked a reservation at this location from September 25 to October 1. I PAID EXPEDIA IN FULL AND IN ADVANCE.

On September 26, I learned of a family emergency back in the US. I checked out early on September 27.

I was told by the hotel manager (Daniel) that they could not refund my remaining four days since I had made the original reservation through Expedia. I was cautious so I asked for a letter from the hotel stating my actual length of stay and that only Expedia could refund my balance. THEY GAVE ME A LETTER SAYING SO.

On September 30, I contacted Expedia. The agent promised to get me the refund once he called the hotel to confirm. Daniel was not available so I called back on October 1.

On October 1, "Mark" from Expedia (a supervisor) told me that Expedia refused to refund my amounts because THE HOTEL could only do so.

I am outraged. These two businesses have defrauded me of SEVERAL hundred dollars and refuse to assist me.

I STRONGLY recommend that you all: (1) avoid NAIROBI SAFARI CLUB at all costs; and (2) take your travel business anywhere EXCEPT Expedia. They are thieves and accomplices.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#12

rbbert

Active Member
Dec 12, 2010
3,416
4
38
Reno, NV
#15
No, they own Travelocity, Hotels, Hotwire, Orbitz and many more
 

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