Forum advocates and Expedia executive contacts solve a refund problem

If Katrina May’s Expedia case confuses you, that makes two of us.

She contacted me recently because she’d been waiting for a refund from Expedia — a seemingly routine case until I reviewed the details. Her problem is a reminder of the power of our collaborative help forum and the importance of knowing the right person to contact. That would be our incredible list of executive contacts.

But her case is also a little unusual. I’ll explain.

Why are we even seeing this case?

“I have been waiting for over a month for Expedia’s customer care team to review this,” May says. “The value of my client’s credit for a canceled flight was shorted: was supposed to be $1,365 but we only received $1,316.”

Did she just say, “my client”?

Yes, she did.

More on that in a minute.

She continues,

In rebooking my clients, Expedia’s agent/supervisor Alex told me that to use their credit the new tickets could only be reissued in the class of service originally booked.

He said that was Premium Economy. I never recalled booking that class of service and told him so. I gave him the benefit of doubt and thought maybe I had forgotten what class I booked. We ended up applying the credit to a Premium Economy class ticket.

When I went to assign seats I learned the reservation was booked in Economy. I went back to my client’s canceled reservation and saw I had booked him in Economy class.

This isn’t the kind of case my team or I would actively advocate. We don’t do business-to-business problems, for starters. Also, a $49 price difference doesn’t quite meet our threshold for finding the nearest phone booth and putting on the superhero cape. But we’d still like to help — and we will.

Trying to resolve this Expedia case

May had tried everything, including contacting Expedia “numerous” times.

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“I’ve spent at least five hours phone time with them,” she says. “They said they needed to listen to the call, but I’ve heard nothing to date. I’ve reached out to my agency rep with Expedia to no avail. As you probably know, getting in touch with a specific person with authority there is next to impossible. I would appreciate any contacts you can provide to help me move forward.”

OK, that’s easy. We list Expedia’s impossible-to-find executive contacts on this site.

But we also thought a stop by the help forum would be useful, so we referred the case to our forum advocates. Here’s the thread May posted, along with the resolution.

For those of you too busy to read: The executive contacts, along with a little advice from our advocates, helped her secure a full refund.

You’re welcome.

But why?

The bigger question is: Why is a travel agent trying to book through Expedia? Don’t agents have their own systems, also referred to as Global Distribution Systems (GDSs), which is in many ways superior to the Expedia booking experience? They do.

“Expedia has affiliate sites that it makes sense to book through in some instances,” she explains. “Most independent agents like me don’t have a GDS or sell airline tickets.”

She notes,

This is not the norm for me. I stay away from booking flights unless they are part of a preferred supplier’s package because they are not worth the trouble and risk.

This was done under special circumstances. Hindsight is always 20/20. No good deed goes unpunished.

Glad to have helped May fix this. Perhaps the takeaway here is: Don’t let your travel agent book through Expedia.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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