Expedia Can Give Me A Refund If I Build A Time Machine

Maybe Expedia isn’t the best choice if you want to make a same-day travel booking. Eric was going to get stuck on a layover in Atlanta, so he booked a hotel before arriving. Less than hour later, he missed a connecting flight and would be traveling through a different city. Oh, well, it shouldn’t be all that hard to cancel a hotel reservation that’s only an hour old. Right? He could try to cancel the reservation all he liked, but he’d still have to pay 100% of the booking price.

He writes:

Be wary of any online bookings you may make using Expedia, the cancellation fees make this service almost unusable.

On a recent return trip from San Francisco, my flight was delayed and I was forced to take a layover in Atlanta and complete my trip on the next day. Unfortunately, a subsequent delay prevented me from making that connecting flight and since I couldn’t have a layover in Dallas I was forced to pick another destination city.

In the meantime, I had booked an overnight at a hotel adjacent to the Atlanta airport. When attempting to cancel this, despite the fact that my booking was less than an hour old – Expedia forced me to pay 100% of my stay as a penalty.

According to multiple Expedia representatives, the only way I could have avoided a 100% penalty was to have cancelled the day before I booked it. Since this was a same-day booking and cancel with arrival on that day – my itinerary did not exist the day before. Perhaps what was even more insulting about this was that my inability to get to this hotel was entirely out of my control. Had my original re-routed flight been able to get me to Atlanta then this would have been fine.

Expedia is unable to make any consideration for a distressed traveler. What they should have done is pro-actively convert my overnight stay into another hotel in my newly re-routed destination city. Since they were so keen on getting the full amount for the stay that I would be unable to make, I obviously had no interest in making my next reservation with them.

This is a deplorable level of customer service. Expedia claimed this was the policy of the hotel, but after talking with the hotel manager they made it clear this was not their policy at all. Expedia is merely taking advantage of stranded travelers; forcing you to pay for services that you won’t be able to use.

Expedia may hide behind their policy, but maybe try contacting someone higher on the food chain. Chris Elliott’s customer service wiki offers higher-up contact information for people in the company.