Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity Refusing Customer Refunds

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Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity Refusing Customer Refunds

Refunds for canceled flights have been a hot issue for months now. Airlines have been canceling flights due to coronavirus restrictions, but passengers have not always been able to get their money back. Airlines and online travel agencies are hurting for cash, so they try to force customers to take vouchers and credit instead of cash refunds.

The latest issues are with Expedia and other websites they own, like Travelocity and Orbitz. All three have been accused of forcing customers who are rightfully owed refunds, to take a credit instead. One customer complained on Twitter that Travelocity refused to refund a $4K trip to Hawaii. Many more similar cases can be found all over social media recently.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has twice now clarified that airlines and online travel agencies are required to offer customers refunds for canceled flights.

What rights do passengers have if they purchased their airline ticket from an online travel agency?

Ticket agents are required to make “proper” refunds when service cannot be performed as contracted on a flight to, within, or from the United States. The Department interprets the requirement for ticket agents to provide “proper” refunds to include providing refunds in any instance when the following conditions are met: (i) an airline cancels or significantly changes a flight, (ii) an airline acknowledges that a consumer is entitled to a refund, and (iii) passenger funds are possessed by a ticket agent. In enforcing the requirement for ticket agents to make “proper” refunds, the Aviation Enforcement Office will focus on the totality of the circumstances.

If you’re having an issue with an airline refund, you can file a complaint with the DOT, the Better Business Bureau, or file a charge back with your credit card issuer if nothing else works.

DDG
Based in NYC. Points/miles enthusiast for years and actively writing about it for the last two years at Danny the Deal Guru. I'm always looking out for deals. Making a few bucks is always nice, but the traveling is by far the best part of this business.

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7 COMMENTS

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7 COMMENTS

  1. I booked a room at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown for one night on March 23 through Hotels.com (which Expedia owns) and made a non-refundable payment. After my airline cancelled my flight from JFK, I cancelled the hotel reservation. I later checked the hotel’s website and it said that the hotel was issuing refunds for non-refundable bookings cancelled due to Covid-19. But, thus far nothing from Hotels.com.

    Question 1: Who has my money, the hotel itself or Hotels.com?

    Question 2: Any suggestions as to how to get a refund?

  2. I had a cruise cancelled that I booked through Expedia. I took the 125% future cruise credit instead of the refund. I’ve tried calling Expedia 4 separate times to rebook a new cruise with the cruise credit with no success. Supposedly there’s a local agent that’s supposed to help me, but we’ll see if that ever happens. I would have never taken the cruise credit if I knew how difficult it is to use it.

  3. Unfortunately, Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz are all the same company. Appears the watch dog authority let those mergers slip past, as now no real competition of the large scale players.

  4. I booked a combo package with Expedia: hotel and flight. Expedia charged our credit card. Expedia cancelled our flights so we can’t make to Prague. They refund our flight through credit card but refused to refund my hotel since it is non-refundable. I told them it is not our fault but they still refused and every phone call took a long time to wait. Finally, I filed dispute with credit card.

  5. Expedia tried to pull this stunt on me with flights that were cancelled. They claimed the airline was not offering refunds, only credit. I eventually filed a chargeback and got my money back. I will NEVER book anything on Expedia again.

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