Another canceled flight! Why won’t Expedia help?

She needs Expedia help after her canceled flight!

Here’s a simple question: What is Expedia’s Total Protection Plan worth? If you ask Ruth Meyer, she’ll tell — not much.

And she should know. After Air New Zealand canceled her flight from Melbourne to Hobart, she needed help from Expedia. And its travel insurance was — how shall I say this? — less than protective.

Meyer’s story is a cautionary tale about the value of travel insurance, the perils of booking online, and how to handle a trip disruption. But, as with many other requests that require Expedia help, this one has a resolution that’s not entirely awful.

A canceled flight, a disrupted trip — and assurances

Meyer and three traveling companions booked tickets through Expedia, all on the same itinerary, for flights from Queenstown, N.Z., to Melbourne, Australia, and then from Melbourne to Hobart. They returned from Hobart to Sydney and then flew home to South Florida. It’s a complicated itinerary. More on that in a moment.

New Zealand canceled the first flight about an hour before departure, sending Meyer and her and her companions on an odyssey to save their vacation.

“An airline representative told us that we had travel insurance and should book our own flights and later file a claim,” she recalls. “Through Expedia, we booked the earliest flight we could get out of Queenstown two days later, which meant we could not go to Hobart, but instead flew directly to Sydney.”

Why won’t Expedia help?

So Meyer never made it to Tasmania but spent extra money to get back to Australia. That’s a classic trip disruption, which a traditional travel insurance policy should have covered. But not Expedia’s Total Protection Plan.

“When we filed a claim to cover the cost for canceled flights we discovered it does not cover cancellation by an airline,” says Meyer, adding that the protection plan was “a complete misnomer.”

“I spent numerous hours on the phone with Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, and Expedia, but each representative passed the problem onto others,” she says. “Virgin finally told me they do not process refunds if a person booked through a travel agent, which is Expedia. I went back to Expedia which contacted Virgin Australia. The response was that we would not receive a refund because we were no-shows.”

That’s an error, of course. She and her travel companions didn’t show up because Air New Zealand canceled the flight.

What a tangled web.

What went wrong here?

A careful review of Meyer’s itinerary shows all of her flights were on the same itinerary. When Air New Zealand canceled her flight, it owed her a complete refund.

The industry standard is that the flights must be used in the order they were ticketed, or your complete ticket is invalid. Per Virgin Australia’s Conditions of Carriage:

(d) Tickets used in coupon sequence. You must use the Flight Coupons or Electronic Coupons in your Ticket in the sequence they appear on your Ticket, and you must commence your journey with the first coupon. If you do not, your Ticket may be invalid, and we reserve the right to refuse to carry you, and to cancel the Ticket.

A lot of things went wrong here. Air New Zealand gave Meyer incorrect information about her coverage. By the way, never accept the word of a third party when it comes to your travel insurance. Get it directly. Expedia rebooked the travelers on a return flight without tidying up their original itinerary. It looks as though either Air New Zealand or Virgin Australia rebooked them on a new flight, which they did not take.

What a mess!

We have a detailed guide with information on how to fix air travel problems on this site. A little knowledge of the process might have taken Meyer a long way in avoiding this nonsense.

A canceled flight mystery solved

My advocacy team reached out to Expedia for an answer. Here’s what it had to say:

it appears that when Virgin Australia canceled their return segment, the code-sharing airline, Air New Zealand, took over the tickets and provided free reprotection.

However, it seems that Ms. Meyer did not use the new tickets. We weren’t able to ascertain from our research or from the information provided why Ms. Meyer did not use the new tickets, but instead booked new flights.

It seems perhaps she was provided with incorrect guidance and information by the airline agent, who advised her to purchase new tickets and file a refund claim via her travel insurance.

Unfortunately, a flight cancellation is not a covered scenario in the Total Protection Plan.

Expedia contacted the ticketing carrier, Virgin Australia, which restored the value to all four of the tickets for that canceled flight, AUS $130 per passenger. Gee, a flight credit of AUS $130 on an airline on which Meyer will probably never fly again. Somebody hose me down.

Underwritten by

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Cavalry Travel Insurance

Cavalry takes the worry of out travel by providing 24/7 access to medical and security professionals combined with the best medical evacuation and security extraction services. Cavalry gets you home safely when you need it most. Learn more at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Seven Corners

Seven Corners has helped customers all over the world with travel difficulties, big and small. As one of the few remaining privately owned travel insurance companies, Seven Corners provides insurance plans and 24/7 travel assistance services to more than a million people each year. Because we’re privately held, we can focus on the customer without the constraints that larger companies have. Visit Seven Corners to learn more.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Arch RoamRight

Arch RoamRight is one of the fastest growing, most-highly rated travel insurance companies in the United States. Travel advisors love working with us, and travelers feel protected with our trip cancellation and travel medical insurance coverage. We also make it easy to file a claim online with our fast, paperless claims website. Learn more about RoamRight travel insurance.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International,, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.

Send this to a friend