Stuck between two companies

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Nov 9, 2015
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I made a reservation for my daughter and I to fly to London from Philadelphia with Expedia on British Air New Year's Day. My daughter is flying onto Madrid after a week and then home to the US, while I am flying home after the week. Expedia separated the intineraries as necessary. However, they booked her ticket in premium economy and mine in regular economy, unbeknownst to me. When I went to the British Air web site to pay for seats in advance to ensure we could sit together, that's when I realized the issue. After several phone calls to both Expedia and British Air, I have been unsuccessful in downgrading my daughter's ticket to regular economy without paying a $275 change fee and difference in fare for the entire ticket which comes to about $1200 (original ticket was $1500). Without the tickets both being in economy class, British Air will not allow seats to be purchased together. Expedia will not change the London leg without all of these charges and claims no responsibility for making the error in the first place. I escalated the Expedia calls to corporate customer service 3 levels ending with Ashley Cross who stated that premium economy must have been the cheapest airfare for the itinerary at that time and that's why it was booked the way it was. Any suggestions on how to get these two companies to work together and allow my daughter and I to sit together?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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10,723
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San Francisco
Oh dear, this is annoying. Hang up your phone and handle this in writing. Write a concise, polite email to Expedia Customer Service explaining the situation and asking their help to arrange for the two of you to sit together. Expedia is your travel agent and needs to help you. I'm sure that BA will not refund the extra charge for PE, though, so you might consider asking for an upgrade for yourself to PE. Expedia could take care of this and absorb the charge to make up for their error.

If no response from Customer Service, or if you don't like the answer, use our Company Contacts to send your request to one executive at a time, climbing up the ladder and waiting a week between each submission. The good news is that you're both on the same plane and it's surely possible that a New Years Day flight will be sparsely filled, allowing you to get it all worked out onboard. You will also have an opportunity at the airport to convince the checkin agent, and later the gate agent, to put you up beside your daughter. Good luck!
 
Jan 5, 2015
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This kind of thing is actually why we always suggest booking with the airline directly vs. an online travel agency. Generally speaking the prices are close, and you eliminate the middleman in the event of a problem.

My first question is, is there only premium economy left on your daughters flight now? Because if that's the case, then the ticketing makes sense and there is no point in fighting it.

Our contacts for Expedia and BA are at the top of the page under "company contacts". My suggestion is to write the primary Expedia contact a short, polite email explaining you'd like a downgrade and a refund as you never wanted premium class to begin with.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
Techo took the words right out of my mouth. Had ytou booked directly, this most likely would not have happened but once you book with Expedia, they are responsible for handling it and they usually won't accept their error. Did you call them to book it or did you do it yourself on their website. Didn't you notice the pricing at the time was very expensive?

You have to deal with Expedia because the airline will not touch this once you have used a travel agency.
 

kenish

Sep 1, 2015
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KSNA
Not to sound dismissive, but put things in perspective. You won't be seated next to your daughter for 6 hours. That's certainly annoying, but unless you or your daughter needs special assistance from the other, how much of your personal time and effort does this warrant? You may decide to drop the matter or escalate it, after a quick "gut check".

If your daughter booked her reservation separately from you, are you sure she didn't request PE, not realizing the consequences?
 
Aug 28, 2015
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New York
Are you saying they just assigned her to premium economy at no extra cost? If so then ask them to do the same for you. I am sure On the plane she will easily be able to ask someone from economy to swap seats anyway so no point in contacting anyone.
 
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Mike Z

Jan 8, 2015
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I guess I'm a little confused. Because you want to sit with your daughter, you are willing and want to put her in a WORSE seat than she has currently? I'm guessing she isn't disabled as she is going on to another city without you after a week. You also apparently are going to be spending time with her, so why worry so much about an airplane seat? Most people want to sleep, listen to music, or watch videos on a tablet when they are on the plane. This means talking and together time is very minimal.

If this is very important to you though, I would skip Expedia and appeal to the airline and see what the fee might be to upgrade your seat. The CS there may have already said no, but perhaps one of our executive contacts can help you out.
 
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