My Expedia credit expired before I could use it. Now what?

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By Christopher Elliott

When Heidi Edmonds recently tried to use the Expedia credit she earned during the pandemic, she discovered it had already expired. Now she wants to know if the Elliott Advocacy team can help get that credit reactivated. Can we do it?

Question

I booked airline tickets on Expedia back in 2019 to fly from New York to Dublin, Ireland. We intended to fly to Europe last August.

In July, I canceled the tickets because of pandemic restrictions. I read all of Expedia’s fine print about using the travel credits, but unfortunately, they still expired before I could use them.

First, I tried to rebook the flights for this August. At that time, an Expedia representative said that Aer Lingus did not have flights ready for booking and confirmation yet. That agent recommended that I call back in a month.

A few weeks later, I applied for travel vouchers through Aer Lingus. The airline denied my request since I purchased tickets through Expedia. I tried to rebook last fall, and finally, in October, I spoke with an Expedia customer service representative and successfully selected my new flights. My Expedia account showed my new itinerary. But at the end of our conversation, the representative told me that, unfortunately, although I could book the flights, I couldn’t confirm them. Why? It was too early for Aer Lingus to confirm.

Before we hung up, the Expedia representative assured me that everything would be fine as long as I called back “in a couple of months” to confirm these flights.

But last January, when I checked, it showed only half of my 2020 booking. I called customer service and spoke to a representative for 45 minutes. That Expedia agent tried to help me retrieve my flights and get my trip confirmed, but he told me that I had missed the cutoff for rebooking and now my credit showed as expired.

I am frustrated and I feel ripped off. I was careful to read all fine print, and it seems like Expedia wanted me to lose my credits. Expedia’s error caused Aer Lingus to believe that I missed the date to rebook. Can you help me get my money back? — Heidi Edmonds, East Setauket, N.Y.

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Answer

You did everything you could to use your Expedia credit before it expired. But in the upside-down world of pandemic travel, everyone was confused. And that includes Aer Lingus and your online travel agency, Expedia. (Related: Can you find my missing Asiana Airlines refund?)

You canceled your tickets but were eligible for a future flight credit. That credit would typically expire a year from the date of your initial booking. In other words, it would expire in 2020, which wouldn’t give you enough time to use it. It looks like there was some confusion about the expiration of your credit. It’s possible that the Expedia agent to whom you spoke didn’t read the fine print carefully enough, assuming you would have time to use the credit before it expired. But you didn’t. (Here’s how to get the best hotel at the most affordable rate.)

Had you known this was going to happen — and there was no way you could know — then you could have reminded the Expedia agent that you booked your tickets in late 2019 and confirmed the expiration date of the credit. With airlines waiving their rules during the pandemic, you couldn’t have known that the agent was misinformed. Then again, maybe Aer Lingus was sending a confusing message about your ticket expiration. (Related: I want a refund from Expedia but it just wants me to leave a bad review for the hotel.)

The good news: Here’s a refund for your expired Expedia credit

As I said, the early days of the pandemic were a confusing time for travelers and airlines.

You could have reached out to managers at both companies to get some clarification. Our research team publishes the names, numbers and email addresses of executives at Expedia and Aer Lingus in our database.

I contacted Expedia on your behalf and it refunded your expired credit.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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