The LA Times is covering the Expedia / Tokyo & Osaka Hilton pricing glitch.
- What began as a simple error in the conversion of yen into U.S. dollars quickly snowballed into a public relations nightmare for Expedia.
- Expedia isn’t saying much beyond a public statement acknowledging the error. Requests for interviews with Expedia executives were declined.
The fact that an error can be publicized and acted upon so quickly is very telling.
“It’s really not about FlyerTalk per se,” said Randy Petersen, founder and president of FlyerTalk. “It is about the impact of the Internet as a communication tool.
“Many industries, including travel, have been pummeled by this social media in terms of the extent that information about a value offer and even mistakes can spread,” he said.
- Travelers say much of their frustration stems from what they called Expedia’s inconsistent responses by customer service representatives. Some travelers on FlyerTalk report that they have had their reservations confirmed and reconfirmed, even though they fell outside of the parameters spelled out publicly by Expedia. A $250 voucher for future travel packages to Japan that Expedia used as a peace offering was difficult for customers actually to use, according to some on FlyerTalk.