Expedia and British Airways

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Mar 31, 2020
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My flights were cancelled by British Airways. I waited until 72 hours prior to my departure date and now Expedia is saying they will not refund my flights even though the airline cancelled all flights for the rest until sometime in late April to London from Newark, NJ last week. I spoke to BA and was told had I booked through them, I would be entitled to a refund but I needed to go through Expedia since I used them. I am currently sitting on hold for approaching 2 hours waiting for a supervisor because the agent I was dealing with said the best they could do was a voucher. I feel I am entitled to a refund as I did not cancel, the airline did. They are claiming the covoid-19 rules of BA are different than normal circumstances and I am only entitled to a voucher. What happened to the DOT rules that state airlines operating to, from or within the US have to give refunds?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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Such a shame, I wish we could help but you're caught in between by using an online booking service. Do they have any kind of chat function? Even if they offered a call-back service, I suppose you'd only get connected to a regular agent, and you need a supervisor, or even someone higher than that. My colleagues will be chiming in here with better ideas, I hope. I haven't used an online service for ten years, since I found out what they really are.
 
Mar 31, 2020
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Such a shame, I wish we could help but you're caught in between by using an online booking service. Do they have any kind of chat function? Even if they offered a call-back service, I suppose you'd only get connected to a regular agent, and you need a supervisor, or even someone higher than that. My colleagues will be chiming in here with better ideas, I hope. I haven't used an online service for ten years, since I found out what they really are.
As a former travel agent myself, I never use Expedia or other online booking agents but this time I was lured by the lower price on a bundled deal. I have never regretted a moment of weakness more than I do now!!! I am still on hold waiting for a supervisor. BA website also clearly states when the airline cancels passengers who book through them are entitled to a refund. I am now in Expedia hell. I spoke to two agents at Expedia and when I politely cited the DOT rules they became flustered and repeated what was clearly a script which directs consumers to accept a voucher or credit that must be used within one year of original departure. Being held to a voucher for an industry that may or may not still be in business in its current form, is not appealing. Plus I purchased 3 business class seats so the cost was quite high. A lot of money to lose.
 
Mar 31, 2020
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YAY!!! I have confirmation in writing from a lovely BA employee who said I am absolutely entitled to a refund. However, I must go through Expedia to arrange. Now if I can just find an email at Expedia to actual person who will read it, I can send them a copy of the official word of the airline!
 
Mar 31, 2020
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Now Expedia is saying that the direct message from BA customer service is not a valid form of proof. They are claiming that only an email directly from BA will suffice for a refund. I am again on hold waiting for manager. They did forward me the “rules” for BA Expedia is working with but no where does it say refunds are not permitted when the airline cancels flights. Refunds are not permitted for those already holding a voucher or for passengers who are asking to cancel. The carrier cancelled my flights not me.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
I think many people are going to re-think using these OTA's going forward. Had this been booked directly - you wouldn't be going through this.
I would go to the first executive we list and write to him. This is ridiculous.
 
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Mar 31, 2020
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I think many people are going to re-think using these OTA's going forward. Had this been booked directly - you wouldn't be going through this.
I would go to the first executive we list and write to him. This is ridiculous.
You are absolutely right! I know many that will never ever use an OTA again. I think I'm more angry at myself since as a former travel agent, I know better!!! Ugh. But 3 business class tickets are too expensive not to fight for a full refund.
 
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Jan 11, 2019
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This could very well be the end of Expedia if they don’t realize the goodwill they are losing and eat their losses. I for one will never book through them again. Once bitten ....
 
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Sep 25, 2018
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BA/IB are two of the few European carriers allowing refunds through a travel agency. Almost all of the others are having you go through the website.
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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You are absolutely right! I know many that will never ever use an OTA again. I think I'm more angry at myself since as a former travel agent, I know better!!! Ugh. But 3 business class tickets are too expensive not to fight for a full refund.
Oh, I can so empathize with you, I would be livid. But if you have BA's info, you will prevail ... eventually. I agree with my colleagues, handling this in writing is about the only way you'll get it taken care of without losing your mind. I was so pleased to read your fist post about BA agreeing; I should have known that Expedia wouldn't even be able to take care of this with that info. Don't attach anything to your emails, but tell them you have the proof. I know you'll be polite, persistent and (well, maybe not) patient. I'm just so sorry that you have to go through this. Back in the day, small (usually very interesting) hotels couldn't be booked online, especially in Europe; I used Expedia several times without issue. I'd rather sleep in the street than use an online booking service ever again. Every time I make a booking using my points at Chase Sapphire, I grind my teeth ... but Chase has assured me that they would be handling any issues, Expedia just does the booking. Best of luck for an early refund, and please keep us updated.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,919
10,722
113
San Francisco
This could very well be the end of Expedia if they don’t realize the goodwill they are losing and eat their losses. I for one will never book through them again. Once bitten ....
While I'm glad you see the light with an online booking service, don't worry about them ... they'll just dial up their advertising budget, create even slicker websites, and barely slow down. 95% of the travelling public is so enamored with cheap that the services can't lose. All hail Barnum & Bailey!
 
Mar 31, 2020
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Oh, I can so empathize with you, I would be livid. But if you have BA's info, you will prevail ... eventually. I agree with my colleagues, handling this in writing is about the only way you'll get it taken care of without losing your mind. I was so pleased to read your fist post about BA agreeing; I should have known that Expedia wouldn't even be able to take care of this with that info. Don't attach anything to your emails, but tell them you have the proof. I know you'll be polite, persistent and (well, maybe not) patient. I'm just so sorry that you have to go through this. Back in the day, small (usually very interesting) hotels couldn't be booked online, especially in Europe; I used Expedia several times without issue. I'd rather sleep in the street than use an online booking service ever again. Every time I make a booking using my points at Chase Sapphire, I grind my teeth ... but Chase has assured me that they would be handling any issues, Expedia just does the booking. Best of luck for an early refund, and please keep us updated.
After another fun filled day of long holds and talking with a beleaguered and sad Expedia agent, who by the way was an agent working from home in Spain, I called Chase and explained the ordeal. Chase has begun the credit card dispute process and also said if the airline cancelled you are due a refund. It seems everyone in the free world knows this but Expedia. Oh and I emailed my Senators and Representative in DC as well as filed a claim with the DOT.
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
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Unfortunately, we are seeing a lot of complaints where the airlines are not refunding even when they have canceled the flights. If your credit card was charged directly by the airline, then Expedia will have to coordinate through the airline for a refund. I have a feeling that many airlines are trying to hold on to capital to remain solvent at this stage.

The DOT is aware of this and has told us they are looking into it. Right now we are recommending writing the airline/booking agency and politely insisting on a refund per DOT guidance. If they refuse (hopefully in writing), then file a dispute with your credit card providing any written documentation showing the airline canceled the flights and is refusing a refund. It is also a good idea to keep the pressure upon the DOT to examine this practice by filing a complaint. Writing your Congressional representatives is not a bad idea either.
 
Mar 31, 2020
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Update: After posting here I filed a DOT complaint and then emailed the first person on listing of Expedia execs including all my documentation. I received an email back saying her dept would open an investigation. Late last night I got an email saying I would receive a refund. The email did not say why but it is 850.00 less. I’m okay with them holding their fee as I did use their services. I assuming that was why 850.00 is being retained. I want to thank Elliott and the awesome advice!
 
Mar 31, 2020
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Well considering the total was 12,500. I’m thrilled to get most of it back! Of course, I’m cautiously optimistic that the refund will actually occur.
 
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