Okay, so this may be a bit of a rant, but I really wanted to talk about some of the pros and cons of Expedia. Let’s start off and talk about what Expedia is. It is a website that allows you too look and even book airline tickets, hotel reservations, car rentals, cruises, bundle deals, attraction tickets, and more. Having most of the major airlines there you can really see where you’ll most likely get the best price.
Know when to travel and for the cheapest price
Let’s start on the positive side of Expedia. With the ability to see many different airlines, hotels, etc. Expedia allows you to see your options. Being able to see major and even minor airlines helps you pinpoint dates and airlines that will be cheaper. We all know there are cheaper days of the week and times of the year to travel and this is the easy access point to find out when that is.
Bundle deals on Expedia can go either way. You can make really good deals on a hotels and flights, but I always like to double-check with the airline’s and hotel’s website to make sure you are truly getting a good bundle deal. Whenever you’re planning a trip lots of research is involved and this is just one aspect of it.
Map of Hotels
Having a map that shows not only the location of the hotels, but allows you to see where you can stay based on your budget is one of my favorite features. This gives you the opportunity to see how close you can get to a city center or attraction or airport and how the pricing goes up and down. Want to stay near the water in Nice, France or more inland towards the vineyards having the map will allow you to more clearly see where you’ll be, without having to open Google Maps separately.
To get the good deals you typically sign up for non-refundable tickets and hotel reservations, but now and days even outside of Expedia the cheaper prices are non-refundable. Yes, you can still buy refundable tickets, but are definitely a lot more expensive. Expedia is pretty non-refundable and so be sure you’ve got you’re dates right.
Personally, I would say Expedia’s customer service is a pro and a con. l put it in the con section because unfortunately with customer service you expect it to be good, and when it’s bad, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Flight changes happen because that’s life, but when customer service calls and advises you to accept the new flight change, but does not consider the layover time. Having too short of a layover when flying international can cause you to miss your flight and this is when I get extremely frustrated.
Typically they call when I’m not by my itinerary or that’s the only option for the change of flight. Either way when it comes to customer service I would expect they would be trained to know when a flight change will conflict with a connecting flight or not. But that’s just me.
When they charge you vs. When they charge the hotel
I learned this really interesting fact about Expedia when I went to Alaska. While you may pay for the trip the day you book it or leading up to the trip, Expedia doesn’t charge the hotel until the day or so before you arrive. The hotel told me that they have a card from Expedia that they use before you check-in and well something went wrong. The card wouldn’t go through and when the hotel called Expedia it took over two hours for them to figure out that the card was faulty. Then Expedia told the hotel to wait 24 hours and try again.
The hotel told me that technically they shouldn’t allow me to stay for the night because they haven’t been paid, even though I had paid Expedia months prior. However, the hotel was extremely kind and let me stay that night, but it could have gone a completely different way.
Expedia has its pluses and minuses, but that is like most things in life. You just have to do your research and read the fine print before moving forward. Planning a trip takes a lot of research and time to make sure you get the right hotel, airline tickets, and more. Don’t rush it, take your time and use all the tools out there to figure out the best price. I like using Expedia as a jumping off point to planning a trip. Like I listed in my pros it can be a good tool to helping you figure out where you want to stay and some of the cheaper airlines that will get you there on cheaper days, then jumping over to the airline or hotel site to actually book it. Every one has their own opinion about Expedia, but it’s a great tool for research in planning a trip!