Did Expedia Quietly Eliminate its Best Price Guarantee?

While hotels promote best rate guarantees that are mostly hollow and promote a lower price for booking direct but not usually lower than a AAA rate, they aren’t making headway against the big online travel agencies.

That’s because the median traveler doesn’t go to an individual hotel chain’s site to book because they don’t start out knowing they want to stay at a Hilton or at the Marriott — they know they need a hotel and want to discover their options.


    Not the Expedia Dancers

Amidst this back-and-forth over who offers the best deal and the best information to help consumers find the right how, it looks like Expedia may have quietly eliminated their best price guarantee October 18th. (HT: CK0

There are still references elsewhere on the Expedia site to a rate guarantee however. On the Expedia hotel booking page they claim “The Expedia Price Guarantee ensures that you’ll get the cheapest available rates for hotels” in Europe and “the best island rates” for Caribbean, South & Central America but doesn’t make the claim under ‘US’ or ‘international.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. It seems they’ve just eliminated the $50 coupon for finding a lower rate. They will still price match. I just had a claim approved for a booking made after October 18. It was a prepaid rate and I was able to get it approved by phone. They followed up with the following email, after initially denying the claim:

    “Thank you for responding.

    This is in reference to your Best Price Guarantee claim on your reservation under the itinerary 730xxxxxxxxx.

    We apologize for the previous response. We did check and verified that this was processed and refunded. We already discontinued our Best Price Guarantee program however we still have Hotel Price Guarantee in which you can file a claim as many times as you can up until 11:59 pm a night before your check in date.”

  2. Good. I like it when these too-big-for-my-breeches megacorporations start whittling away at the benefits to the lowly consumer, or, worse still, try to weasel out of an advertised benefit. It creates an opening for a new, upstart company to fill the void with a promise of better service and features for the consumer. Start treating me poorly and I will shop elsewhere!

  3. @KimmieA I agree with the sentiment but the issue we have is that, in many cases, there is no “elsewhere” to shop. Take the example of our domestic airlines and even the OTAs (a lot of whom are actually one company trading under various brand names)

  4. I mean it was never the best price. It’s just marketing. The same with all the other companies. I wonder if there’s a website which actually has the lowest prices for everything

  5. Sad day indeed, the end of an era. There was a time when I was able to amass hundreds of these coupons and traveled free for months by applying them to hotels where the price was under $50 (usually in SE Asia). You used to be able to find a pricematch, they would drop the $50 coupon and then you could cancel that reservation and keep the $50. They fixed that years ago, the way the program worked from then until now is that they would drop the $50 coupon after your stay. Although it was already dead I’m still sorry to see it go.

  6. Consumers want a “put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is” guarantee. That was Expedia’s “hook”. From a consumer perspective, it makes me say, “hmmmm”. With no reason offered to the consumer from Expedia, I will presume that Expedia’s increased their commissions to enhance their bottom line, and, therefore, now aren’t the best buy out there. Kind of telling, right?

  7. I am an Expedia gold member. They will not guarantee lowest price for 24 hours on a recent vacation package purchase I just applied for. Too bad, any other travel websites out there to try?
    Here is reply:
    Thank you for contacting us about your package best price guarantee claim.

    We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you. Our Best Price Guarantee claim for flight, cars, activity and packages has been terminated. However we still have Hotel Price Guarantee wherein you can file as many claims as you want as long as its 24 hours before check in. We appreciate your continued business and loyalty

    For future reference, you can view , modify or cancel your flight, hotel or car reservation online. You can click on My trips and see a link with your options to modify or cancel. For any correspondence, please continue to send your e-mails to “expediaplusgold@expedia.com” or give us a call at 1-800or 1-702for callers outside U.S. and Canada.

    Thank you for your continued loyalty.

    Sincerely,

    Marry
    Expedia+ Gold Team

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