Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Eff YOU, Expedia

The travel itinerary, as of today (four days after the great flight debauchle of 2008) says that the plane we were to be on left Edmonton at 8:40 a.m.

When we were at the airport on Friday, we were told our flight didn't exist. This was after we were told by the airline (Air Canada) that they didn't even deal with Expedia in the first place. The airline that we were to fly on (we were directed here by the folks at Air Canada) was United, a company Expedia said they didn't work with (they told us it was US Airways, US Airways confirmed that Expedia is on drugs).

After calling Expedia's customer service line, we found out we were booked onto a flight at 6:22 a.m. Customer service apologized profusely, admitted their error, and offered to reimburse our flight change. Then they gave us flights for Air Canada, which we could not book because Air Canada doesn't deal with Expedia (hello, CONFUSION).

Boy called Expedia back to try to sort out the flight thing. Again, customer service admitted their mistake and apologized. Then, offered to put us through to the flight people to get us booked on a flight right away (out of Expedia's pocket). Awesome.

Not so much. The flight people proceeded to tell us that it was our fault. That they sent an e-mail saying that the flight had been changed and it's our own fault because we didn't contact Expedia to confirm the change like we should have. I was pretty sure that I hadn't seen anything telling me to call Expedia.

Boy spent much time bickering back and forth with the Expedia agent, who refused to give him over to a supervisor or manager. As he was passed around from agent to agent, telling us we were in the wrong and we were trying to screw over Expedia, all we had was the itinerary we printed out pre-flight that said we were to leave at 8:40 a.m. We didn't print out the previous e-mails discussion a flight change, it's only reasonable that our latest itinerary would reflect any changes. After being apologized to by customer service, these flight people were being asshats. And they blamed us for not knowing that they had two systems in place to e-mail people (um, how were we to know?) and that we should have known something was wrong because it takes more than 40 minutes to transfer planes (I've transfered at the Winnipeg airport in under 10 minutes).

They didn't want to help us out, everyone in the airport knew of our issue with Expedia. A little old lady on her way to La Guardia, commented on the Boy's patience, strength and how Expedia was being absolutely unreasonable (she could overhear the conversation). So Boy paid the fee to change planes, in addition to a fee for a checked bag (pardon me?), and we told Expedia we'd deal with them later. We were frustrated and wanted to get on with our vacation (even if it was going to be five hours late).

Turns out, we were right. We didn't need to confirm anything. Direct from the e-mail from Expedia when they changed our flight time:

Dear Expedia.ca Traveler,
We have received notice from Air Canada that they have:
* Made minor changes to your itinerary
This change could mean a difference in departure or arrival times and/or a change in flight number on one or more of your flight segments.
Expedia.ca has accepted the updated itinerary, reflected below, on your behalf. It is not necessary to call us to confirm this change.

This updated itinerary was no where to be found outside of this e-mail. Logging into my account online provided the updated return flight, but not the flight to Vegas. It said we were to leave at 8:40 a.m.

I will never book anything through Expedia again. It was a ridiculous hassle to deal with them, and I don't really like breaking down in the airport because they're being jerks and it's early in the morning and dear-God-I-haven't-even-had-my-coffee-yet. I don't know what I would have done without the Boy. Well, probably cried a lot more than I did.

The flight home was better, but not by much. US Airways = an airline that makes Air Canada look good. Yes, they make the airline that overbooked my flight home for Christmas, bumped me from that flight, made me hang out in the airport for 8 hours on the possibility I might get on a flight other than the one my luggage was on, look good.

A broken plane, waiting around for them to fix broken plane, de-planing, re-planing on a different plane, no beverage or snack service, the least comfortable seats ever, no movie, and you have to pay to check a bag? Insanity.

Flights were bad, vacation was pretty good. But that's another blog. One that I'll write after I upload some pictures to share.


Kaye Bee said...

WHOA!!! I'm a little shocked with the flight debauchle. Poor B having to pay for stuff that was supposedly already paid for.. makes that cheap vacay a little more expensive. What is Expedia doing about it now? Are you getting refunded because they were jerks? Did they end up paying like customer service said they would? Let me know. I miss you! I've checked everyday for you to be online.. but no luck. Licks and kisses.


Anonymous said...

EXPEDIA is a scam. There is an ongoing national class action against them. Source: http://www.victimsofexpedia.com