Here we go again. Expedia is out with yet another survey on the most annoying passengers on a plane.
With Expedia’s $3.9 billion acquisition of vacation rental website HomeAway, the obvious question is, What does this mean for travelers and consumers?
Maybe I should change the name of this feature to “Help Me Get a Refund, Chris!”
Here’s Eileen Rees’ problem with Expedia. She’s trying to get a refund for a flight to Patagonia — a refund to which she is entitled.
Expedia says it can’t reach the airline.
Susan Veazey took Expedia at its word when she booked her hotel room in New Orleans recently.
The online agency promoted a “free” cancellation, so Veazey figured she could make multiple reservations and then cancel the one she didn’t want.
She figured wrong — and now she’s stuck with several rooms she can’t use.
Everything looked set for Adam Khammixay’s trip from Thailand back to the States, a flight booked through Expedia on EVA Air.
He’d received his confirmation booking information, including references to both EVA Air and Expedia, for himself and his companion.
But everything was not set.
Companies rarely ask us for help. On most days, it’s usually the other way around: We’re asking them to help us with a case.
Almost every day we hear from readers who are helped by our executive contacts information. But can the information on this site actually change a company’s customer service culture?
How do you even respond to someone like Harley Feldman? There are no words.
Let’s just call Expedia’s $280 million acquisition of Travelocity, and the reportedly imminent sale of Orbitz, what it is: the latest chapter in an online-travel soap opera.
When Arthur Waskow and Phyllis Berman cancel their flight, Expedia offers them credit for a year. But that’s not entirely correct. Are they going to lose $2,775?
Karen DelSignore is flying from Newark to Fort Lauderdale in February. She’s just not sure when.
Allison Ruark’s infant daughter doesn’t have a ticket. Who’s responsible for this mess?
Question: Earlier this year, I booked tickets through Expedia.com for myself and my infant daughter to fly from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Billings, Mont., on British Airways. Our return flight was from Chicago to Johannesburg.
I purchased an infant-in-lap ticket for my daughter, and the confirmation I received from Expedia showed a fare of $283 for her ticket. A few weeks later, I got an email from Expedia alerting me to the fact that it could not ticket my daughter’s reservation.
Unfortunately, I didn’t notice this email from Expedia. I also later realized that Expedia had never charged me for the infant ticket. My Expedia profile showed that the itinerary was “booked and confirmed,” and my infant’s ticket was marked “ticketing in progress.”
I arrived at the Johannesburg airport two hours before my flight, and the British Airways agent at the check-in desk told me that she could not locate a ticket number for my daughter. She asked me to go to the ticketing desk in the terminal. I did, and for more than an hour various agents worked steadily to try to ticket my daughter.
I still do not understand exactly what the issue was, but my best understanding is that they were not able to modify the Expedia reservation, nor were they able to ticket my daughter separately from my reservation. At any rate, the flight closed while they were still trying to ticket my daughter, and I missed the flight.
The British Airways agents insisted that it was Expedia’s responsibility to rebook me, so after 2 1/2 hours at the ticket desk, I left the airport, checked into a hotel and called Expedia. After many hours on the phone, Expedia offered to refund the ticket. I had to buy another ticket, which cost nearly a thousand dollars more than the cost of my original ticket. I also incurred the costs of more than a day in a hotel, and meals.
In Expedia’s view, it fulfilled its responsibility by sending me that email notification about my daughter’s ticket, and it had no responsibility to follow up with me by phone or by posting information alerting me about the problem in my online account. In British Airways’ view, Expedia is at fault, since the airline had no idea that my infant was not ticketed prior to my attempted check-in at the airport.
In my view, they both bear blame. Expedia should not sell a fare that it can’t ticket. I also believe that Expedia had a much greater responsibility to alert me to the issue, through follow-up emails or by phone calls, or by putting information in my online account, where I would have seen it.
It seems to me that British Airways also should be able to tell, prior to check-in, when a passenger has not been ticketed, and then be able to issue an infant ticket onsite. Several agents worked on the issue for more than an hour and could not get it done.
Neither company is admitting any responsibility, and neither one has done anything to reimburse me for the extra costs incurred. Can you help? — Allison Ruark, Corvallis, Oregon
Answer: When you’re acting as your own travel agent, you have to stay on top of things. On domestic flights, infants are not required to have their own seats. But on international flights, they’re charged a percentage of the adult fare. British Airways’ infant fare is 10 percent of the adult fare, when the baby sits on an adult’s lap.
Expedia should have notified you about the failure to ticket your daughter, and simply sending you an email wasn’t enough. A phone call or a follow-up email would have helped. Its system should have been able to detect that you had tried, but failed, to buy a ticket for your baby and that you were about to fly without your daughter’s airfare. Certainly, British Airways could have had a more flexible system, too.
Ultimately, a quick check of your itinerary at least a week before your departure date would have revealed the missing ticket, and then none of this would have happened.
As I reviewed your correspondence, I think you might have benefited from using the phone, email or possibly even social media to fix your problem. An email to the right person at Expedia or British Airways (I list the executives for both on my site), or perhaps a message sent to either company’s Twitter account, might have led to a quick resolution.
I contacted Expedia on your behalf. The online agency refunded most of the extra cost of spending the night in a hotel and rebooking a new ticket. Expedia also issued $400 in coupons to cover your other costs it couldn’t reimburse.
When Barbara Kaplan checks out of her hotel after suffering an apparent allergic reaction, a manager promises her a refund. So where’s the money?
Here’s a trick question: If you fly from point “A” to point “B” on the same airline how many times do you have to pay a luggage fee?
When Peter Hodges’ flight to Norway is canceled, United promises him a prompt refund. But three months later, the airline still has his $2,086. What gives?