Flight or Hotel bookings at ExpediaBack to Forum
Anonymous18 Feb 2016
Has anyone had any bad experience with flight or hotel bookings with Expedia other than the one that appeared in this forum about auto-cancellation?
Reason for asking is that a bank (not in UK) has tied up with Expedia offering very generous miles per dollar spend.
Looking at Expedia website, I am concerned about “no refund for cancellation” and fee chargeable for any change in itinerary.18 Feb 2016
All I would say is that Expedia is basically an automated execution platform and when it works, it is fine.
I’ve always found the personal service behind the platform okay, but then again I have limited myself to reasonably simple transactions.
I do use Hotels.com (part of the same stable) regularly and have nothing but praise for the site, once again noting that the transactions are non-complex.
In summary, if you are unlikely to change itineraries or only book refundable tickets, then you will likely have few problems, but if you book non-refundable itineraries, they will likely be non-refundable. Fees will be levied, where they are stated, expect no flexibility.18 Feb 2016
@TS-Andy – 18/02/2016 09:05 GMT
While on the topic of OTA’s such as Expedia, if you are a member of a hotel loyalty program, be aware that most hotel companies do not grant the benefits of their loyalty program to members booking through OTA’s such as Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com etc. Not necessarily germane to your question, but something important to know as well.18 Feb 2016
I’ve had bad experiences with all of them – Expedia, Opodo, et al.
Most recently, for a personal stay, I booked a hotel with them – using the ‘pay at hotel’ option as this was the option with flexibility of cancellation.
The same day, the hotel took the full payment from my card – which was only being used as a guarantee. When I contacted Expedia, they said it was between me and the hotel. When I contacted the hotel, they said it was between me and Expedia.
I cancelled the booking, got a full refund (as per the terms of the reservation) and vowed to use neither Expedia, nor the hotel again.
I don’t mind paying in advance, but on this occasion I had selected to pay a higher rate so that this would not be necessary!
Moral of the story – book direct with airlines and hotels. Cut out the middle-man. Unless, of course, it is a true travel professional who provides you with exemplary service.18 Feb 2016
I have made a few more complex bookings with Expedia (hotel and flight combos), and not had any problems to date. I also make quite a lot of hotel only bookings and have to say I think Expedia are fantastic. There has been the odd booking where the following problems have arose:
– Guest charged even though payment was given at time of booking
– Hotel not receiving confirmation from Expedia and don’t have room in place for guest
However I’d say this has been on less than 0.05% of all bookings I’ve made with Expedia, so overall I’d say the service they provide is very good.
The one downside which others have touched on is communicating with hotel/Expedia. Neither seem to take responsibility when something arises or amendments need to be made at late notice. If they could scrub this out it could possible change from providing a good service, to a great service.18 Feb 2016
I am with the book direct with the hotel brigade. Main reason being is even with non flexible rates there is some flexibility, once you build a relationship with the hotel.
For airline tickets, I will only book with a TC or airline direct.
If problems occur, far easier to deal with the hotel or airline direct than through an agent (except of course when a good TC is involved)..18 Feb 2016
Keep in mind, Hotels have to pay an extortionate amount of commission to a number of these OTA’s (18 to 22% in some cases depending on where you want to appear on the landing page) so when something goes wrong, the hotel will almost always refer the client back to the booking agent, as they have been paid substantially and should deal with their clients. Its also why so many Chains are doing their utmost to entice clients to book direct. As Martyn so rightly states, booking direct has its benefits. The main and truly only benefit the OTA’s offer is the opportunity to shop amongst various brands, but if you know your hotel of choice in the city you are going, it is always better to book direct with the hotel.18 Feb 2016
OTAs are also quite useful for booking simple itineraries that are not available on the airline’sown websites or at prices that are better.
For example, when I lived in Malta, Expedia would offer some very well priced KM/BA/AA J class itineraries to the USA.18 Feb 2016
On the topic of hotels, part of the deal of buying via an OTA is sometimes getting less desireable rooms.
When this happens to me (via Hotels.com) I tend to accept it as part of the game – do others feel the same way, or does it annoy you, if it occurs.18 Feb 2016
FDOS_UK, and the likelihood of an upgrade due to loyalty scheme is minimal as the chains do not extend benefits to reservations booked via OTA’s so yes, quality of room can be less than if booking direct.18 Feb 2016
I used the flight + hotel feature for my trip to Orlando next week. It was on special offer and i got the hotel for free by booking the flight at the same time – great value for money.
I “clicked thru” from Virgin’s e-shop too and earnt 3 Flying Club points per £ spent. I’m not staying in a chain hotel so wouldnt have earnt hotel points anyway.
From a professional point of view (i work for a TMC) we use Expedia a lot as their rates are excellent, but their customer service can sometimes be lacking. Having said that, in a recent review meeting, they told about improvements and additional training for their call centre staff so we might see some difference soon.18 Feb 2016