Sheena Wendt finds out too late that an Expedia mistake has led to the cancellation of her trip home from Italy. Now she wants to know who will pay the financial penalties of this missed flight. Can we help?
I need your help getting reimbursement for a missed flight that was a result of an Expedia mistake. I purchased a ticket from Expedia.it (the Italian branch of the website) in April to fly on TAP Air Portugal from Venice to New York. That flight cost me $406. I received a confirmation for my ticket that same day. Expedia claims that I later refused to pay the airline a mandatory charge of $11. As a result, the airline blocked my ticket.
I contacted TAP 24 hours prior to my flight to confirm. At that time, TAP did not give me any indication of a problem. Then I showed up at the counter the next day and TAP said my ticket wasn’t valid.
Then I called TAP’s customer service number. A representative told me that my ticket was valid but referred me to Expedia for clarification. I couldn’t reach any English-speaking agents at Expedia.it. No one could help me rebook my missed flight or explain what was going on with my ticket.
Having no other options, I then booked a new ticket with Delta Air Lines.
While boarding my new flight to New York, I finally received a call from an English-speaking Expedia agent. The agent would only offer to reimburse me the taxes on my unusable ticket. Since I believe this fiasco is a result of an Expedia mistake, I refused to accept that offer.
A couple of weeks later, I used the company contact information for Expedia, located on your website, to write to the executives. This time I did receive a reply blaming TAP for the problem.
They also told me that my missed flight was because I refused to pay the $11 fee at the airport. Then Expedia offered to refund me the $406 I paid Expedia.it for the ticket.
At this point, it feels like I am in a pinball machine being bounced to the bottom only to lose $1,600 plus. Can you help me? – Sheena Wendt, Austin, Texas
TAP or Expedia should have notified you about your ticket problem before this mishap ended in your missed flight home. Once you were at the airport, the agents for TAP should have been able to resolve your problem. Instead, the employees sent you to a frustrating game of phone tag with both TAP and Expedia for a resolution, which never happened.
A review of your paper trail shows that Expedia issued a ticket for $406. There’s no mention of the mysterious $11 charge anywhere on your confirmation.
What really led to this missed flight — an Expedia mistake or a TAP error?
The response from Expedia states that when you contacted the company you had already missed your flight. Expedia contacted the airline but TAP said since you refused to pay the extra charge, you were denied boarding. At this point, Expedia.it was only willing to refund you the taxes on your ticket.
You requested reimbursement for both tickets for all the trouble you had encountered. While this would definitely be a nice gesture on the part of the company, in our experience it would be rare for them to approve this type of resolution.
A resolution for this missed flight
I contacted Expedia on your behalf.
Their executive resolution team investigated your complaint and agreed that this situation was “obviously less than ideal.” Although the company does not agree that your missed flight was the result of an Expedia mistake, our contacts worked hard to reach a positive resolution for you.
“I can assure you we’ll be following up with the carrier partner to determine how we can work together to avoid issues like this in the future,” a representative told me.
Expedia issued a refund for the amount of the original tickets, as well as the difference of the new ticket. As of the writing of this story, Expedia hasn’t been able to determine the reason for the airline’s mysterious charge that caused your missed flight and so much aggravation.
While you were disappointed that they would not refund both tickets, you were willing to accept this resolution.