USA Today followup on the Expedia Rate Glitch Story

Megg Mueller Schulte has an excellent followup on the Expedia rate glitch at the Hiltons in Tokyo and Osaka.

She repeats the Expedia line about honoring rates booked in November and packages, and that they’re offering $250 package coupons to others whose reservations will be cancelled. But then goes on to explain that apparently (I can confirm this) Expedia is honoring reservations for folks who confirmed the rate after their booking.

    There also seems to be some confusion over some reservations still being honored if the people contacted Expedia more than once. Reader Derek Meyer wrote to me that “From my readings on FlyerTalk, and correspondence with other people who also booked this rate, it seems that Expedia is honoring the reservations of people who called or emailed into Expedia to ‘re-confirm’ Expedia’s confirmation email after booking. These customers are now being told their rates are being honored, while the rest of us — those who assume that a confirmation email with booking ID, Itinerary number, and hotel confirmation number — who did not confirm are now being unilaterally canceled.”

    I contacted Expedia to find out what the discrepancies were, and how it was handling them, but as of this writing hadn’t heard back.

She repeats an important question asked by her readers:

    Will Expedia forgive a mistake a customer makes, or return all funds paid if a customer needs to cancel a reservation within a week of making it, which is about how long it took Expedia to notify customers their reservations were cancelled? Brian Karimzad summed it up like this in his e-mail: ” Expedia says that it made a mistake, and 4 days later has decided to cancel my reservation. Does that mean the next time I make a ‘mistake’booking a non-refundable fare, Expedia will refund my money if I catch it 4 days later? Somehow I doubt it, and will not be booking with them in the future.”

More importantly, how do you know when an Expedia booking is really confirmed? If it’s a great rate, is it subject to unilateral cancellation? What’s too good of a rate?

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, 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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  1. One question I’ve had that I can’t find the answer to: whose problem was it? Was it a problem with Expedia’s software? Or was it a problem with the underlying GDS that Expedia uses? Or was it a problem with the Hiltons themselves publishing erroneous rates to the GDS?

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