How can I get my missing Expedia refund?

Where is her missing Expedia refund?

Shivi Chaturvedi used Expedia to book a flight to India. But the next day Expedia canceled her tickets — and the online company still hasn’t fully refunded her airfares. Chaturvedi, a student, wonders if she will ever receive her missing Expedia refund.

Great question. Expedia, as her agent, is the party that owes her the refund for her airfares. But instead of sending her the money, Expedia is pointing fingers at the airlines, which are pointing theirs in turn at Expedia. Meanwhile, Chaturvedi is waiting for Expedia to respond to her most recent email, which she sent a month ago. Her story is a painful example of why we don’t recommend using online sites like Expedia to book some complex trips.

“Is this a valid reason to cancel my flight?”

Last September, Chaturvedi used Expedia to book a flight to India on Alitalia for $2,062 with a prepaid card. We don’t have her itinerary, but she had reservations on Delta and Alitalia. Expedia emailed Chaturvedi a confirmation of her flights and accepted her payment.

The following day, Expedia canceled Chaturvedi’s tickets. Because Expedia’s agents told Chaturvedi that many other customers were booking the flight at the same time, she wonders whether Expedia oversold the flight.

“Is this even a valid reason for the cancellation?” asks Chaturvedi.

We know that it’s not a valid reason to cancel the flight — or withhold a refund.

A missing Expedia refund

Expedia’s agent promised Chaturvedi a full refund, but she received only $1,031, half the amount Expedia owed her. When Chaturvedi inquired about the balance of her Expedia refund, the agent assured her that she would receive it. But she never did.

Over the next month, Chaturvedi tried to follow up with Expedia, only to receive a runaround. Expedia’s agent told her to contact Delta and Alitalia. The airlines’ agents told her that Expedia needed to initiate the refund process. And Expedia eventually stopped responding to her emails altogether.

As Chaturvedi notes, “It is not my responsibility to follow up with [Delta or] Alitalia. As I booked my flight through Expedia, I want a refund from [Expedia]. They should follow up with [Delta and] Alitalia and come up with a solution.”

And she is absolutely correct.

“Don’t use prepaid cards to book flights”

After a month of the runaround, Chaturvedi turned to our advocates for help. (Executive contact information for Expedia, Delta and Alitalia are available on our website.)

Our advocate, Dwayne Coward, advised Chaturvedi that her prepaid card didn’t offer the protection that a credit card would have provided. As Coward pointed out, “The way the airlines process and refund these transactions just doesn’t work well with these types of cards.”

That’s because travel companies use holds to make reservations and voids to issue refunds. Coward noted that had Chaturvedi used a credit card, “the hold would fall off when the merchant voided the tickets and the actual transaction wasn’t finalized.”


The prepaid card notwithstanding, Coward reached out to Expedia on Chaturvedi’s behalf.

Expedia replied that the remaining $1,031 was a “preauthorization charge” that should have disappeared from her account when the airlines canceled her flight. Although Coward asked Expedia to review Chaturvedi’s case a second time, the online agency was not helpful. Expedia insisted that it had voided both Chaturvedi’s flights and owed her nothing further.

Coward suggested that Chaturvedi review her account. If she had not overlooked a credit from Expedia for the remaining $1,031, she should contact the card issuer to dispute the charge. And if that didn’t work, she would have to take legal action against all the parties to get her Expedia refund.

We wish we could have been more helpful to Chaturvedi. Neither Expedia nor the airlines should keep her money after canceling her flight. We can only remind our readers: Only book flights using credit cards, whether through the airlines or travel agents.

Underwritten by

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.

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.

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.

Underwritten by Enterprise

A family-owned, world-class portfolio of brands. A global network that spans across more than 85 countries. Some 97,000 dedicated team members sharing common values. And more than 1.9 million vehicles taking our customers wherever they need to go.

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.

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.

Underwritten by InsureMyTrip

It’s simple. InsureMyTrip finds you the right travel insurance plan, every time. InsureMyTrip is the authority on travel insurance. Rated A+ for travel insurance by the Better Business Bureau. All travelers that purchase a policy through  InsureMyTrip have access to Anytime Advocates® for claims assistance.

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

Underwritten by SCOTTeVEST

An innovative apparel brand for people who want easy access to everything they need. For those who live for every second, SCOTTeVEST lets you maximize your life. Ditch the carry-on bag and pick up a  SCOTTeVEST.

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

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.

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.

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.

Underwritten by Sungard Availability Services

Leveraging more than 35 years of experience, Sungard AS designs, builds and runs critical IT services that help businesses manage complex IT, adapt quickly and build resiliency and availability. A leading provider of critical production and recovery services, Sungard AS partners with customers across the globe, delivering resilient IT systems, infrastructure and recovery services tailored to achieving desired business outcomes.

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

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.

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.

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.

This free newsletter will save you from scams.