Expedia lies

Reuters has posted a story on the Tokyo and Osaka Hilton rate glitch where rooms at those two properties were bookable on Expedia for $2 and $3.

Expedia first told customers that it would honor the rate. Then it told USA Today that it would only honor the rate for bookings in November. Now it explains

    Expedia said on Friday that Hilton would honour some of these bookings and that other customers would get a $250 coupon for a package trip to Japan.

    The company also said it notified some customers offering to confirm the original booking at the correct price or cancel the booking with a full refund.

Apparently the bookings that it is honoring are those for customers who specifically reconfirmed with Expedia that the rate was valid and who were told that it was. If you have an email with a case number from Expedia saying they’d stand behind the rate, they will. If you called Expedia and a case number was generated, no go. In general, no case number then no hotel stay at the mistake rate.

Fortunately, I confirmed with Expedia three separate times — all in writing — that my resevation would be honored. They tell me that it will be.

Of course, Expedia’s website clearly says that reconfirming isn’t necessary…

The piece that’s absurd is Expedia’s explanation for why they aren’t honoring the rate across the board:

    Expedia said one reason it was cancelling the bookings was to prevent people from reselling the cheap bookings to travelers at higher prices.
This is silly for two reasons. First, Expedia immediate said that the reservations would be nonchangeable, including name changes. That’s a policy they’re applying to reservations being honored. So sales wouldn’t be possible. Second, while there was one eBay listing it was promptly removed. Reselling was simply not an option.

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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