Buyer Beware

A long time client and friend contacted me yesterday about an experience that she had with Expedia.  Seeing this reminded me of the dangers of booking online.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m a 31 year old female growing up in the technology age and I think the internet has the potential to be an amazing tool.  Yes, even for booking travel when used carefully and properly.  I have even used the online travel agencies before I worked at a travel agency myself (for things that are easy, like non-stop airline tickets).  But when I see things like the email chain below… it really fires my fury.

Quick back-story…

L.P (the client) had booked a one way ticket to Maryland.  Pretty simple.  Look at her exchanges with Expedia.  In the end the issue was resolved, but she spent far too much time trying to get resolution through customer service than she should have.  L.P was among the lucky ones.  The resolution does not always go the way the client would like it to.

Frustrated.

So get this. my brother, A.P (I have deleted the names from this interaction) didn’t have a chance to book my flight to MD Monday night, so I did it. $250 on Airtran, which I booked through Expedia. I get the confirmation number, and go to the Airtran site to pick a seat. I print the receipt and itinerary from Airtran, and the fare said $140. WTF?? I did a search for flights directly on the Airtran site, and sure enough, there it was for $140. Since Expedia has that price match guarantee thingy, I submitted a claim. I got this response:

Thank you for contacting Expedia regarding our Best Price Guarantee. 
We regret to inform you that we cannot honor your price match request as the original booking was not created in a permanent Expedia account.   
Once logged into your itinerary, click on “My Account” at the top of the page. Below the Account Overview, your Security Level should show “Traveler” and not “Single Use Account”. Your itinerary must be booked in a Traveler account to qualify for a price match.
 
Single Use or Temporary Expedia accounts are not eligible for the Best Price Guarantee.

So I go back to the website to read the terms and conditions. Absolutely nothing about single use accounts.

frustrated email

Our agency charges a $35 service fee for domestic airline tickets.  After an experience like this…. do you think the service fee would be worth the three hours of your time that it took L.P. to resolve this issue?

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