Changing Reservation Dates

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Aug 15, 2018
Success! My issue has been resolved. I wrote a clear & concise letter to Expedia & emailed it to the execs listed on this site; since my timeframe is limited I sent it to all four of them at once. I also, as some of you suggested, sent that letter to a hotel executive. A hotel exec & an Expedia exec responded, the latter being extremely helpful. She called the hotel on our behalf & had them cancel our reservation & give us a full refund. We had only wanted a change of dates for our booking but if that’s the way Expedia wants to roll, we are happy to roll with them! We are very grateful. The lesson is what some folks on this thread have said: don’t try to save a few bucks by booking through Expedia or the like. But also the lesson is: don’t give up - if you make a goof (like my husband - the lawyer! - did), appeal to the best in others & don’t be afraid to share some personal details about yourself & why the help you seek would mean a lot to you. Thanks again to those of you on this thread who were encouraging & helpful & supportive, especially Chris in NC, jsn55 & Neil Malley and all Elliott staff too.
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Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
Good job ! As I said, we’ve seen well written letters turn no’s into yes’s. I have found when you write and admit you made a mistake the Executives are much more sympathetic than someone who writes and blames the booking system, or berates the hotel. Everyone makes mistakes and folks seem to want to help someone who admits it and asks for consideration to correct it.

Never book a nonrefundable rate. When they say no refunds, that means no refunds or changes.

And thanks for letting us know you were successful. It shows others it can be done.
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Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
Actually, I would recommend a brief, but polite letter to the general manager of the hotel before appealing to Expedia.
As I posted earlier, the fact that the booking was made via Expedia may be an issue, but it may be the simplest solution. The general manager (or front desk manager) has the authority to make these changes.

I never book non-refundable or non-changeable rates, but have had 2 instances in the past where I needed a waiver.
1) Flight was cancelled, and the 1 night stay at the arrival airport hotel was past the cancellation period. A phone call to the hotel, that they offered me a refund. No questions, no hassles
2) Bonehead me booked the wrong date and I doubled down on the bonehead move by not checking the reservation until the night before. The front desk supervisor changed the date when I called.

I have friends that work in hotel management, and have confided that when someone books a non-refundable, non-changeable rate, they are willing to work with the customer. If the customer needs a date change (provided they aren't trying to move the dates to a time period where there is high demand ie I booked a resort hotel by Disney accidentally the week before Christmas and want to move it to the week between Christmas and New Years), they will usually accommodate. A refund is almost always out of the question.

Granted, I always book direct, and have status so I am more likely to get a waiver. However, I gave the same advice to a friend who booked a non-refundable, non-changeable rate that he couldn't use. An e-mail to the general manager got him a credit that could be used for the next calendar year at the same hotel.
Agree with you, Chris. I've run my life on asking people for what I want and can't remember the last time someone said no. People such as a GM got into the hotel biz because they like people and want to take care of them. I always bank on that personality trait in the travel biz.

I once asked a supervisor at Virgin Atlantic to fly us home to SF from London when our London-New York flight was cancelled. And he did, in Upper Class. The walk-up fare was about $6K each. People in the Clubhouse had been screaming at him and his staff for two hours, I just lurked around and came up last when all the rest were gone. He said "I can't do a hotel ..." and I interrupted to tell him that I'd take care of the hotel. Bingo, off we went to a nice dinner and a lovely flight home the next day. It's not that I'm some special person, it's just that everyone else is so rude and mean and self-absorbed, I look like a nice little dumpling in comparison.

Just saw that sugarduk won - YAAAY! This is great, I'm so happy we could help.
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Reactions: Carol P
Jul 2, 2018
I have recently been through exactly the same situation....booked a non-refundable ticket but later wanted to change the dates (did not want a refund, just to change the dates). One advantage that I had was that the reservation was made directly through the hotel company website. Even though the reservation was non-refundable, the Ibis Zurich Messe Hotel made an exception due to the circumstances. I was fully prepared to pay any extra costs because of a higher rate, and because the hotel was helpful, then I will keep using it again.

Slowly, I have learned the hard way that the online booking agents, both for airlines and for hotel rooms, are not the best way to go. Cheapest is not always best. Booking direct has many advantages.