I detest Expedia. I’ve used them on and off for years, but their illegal bait and switch tactics are at such a point, I won’t be using them again.
If you don’t know what Expedia’s bait and switch tactics are, here is a quick rundown of what happened to me last week.
Over the last month, I’ve been watching the prices of three flights on Expedia. One out of Bangkok, Thailand, the other two out of various places in Europe. I’ve also checked the prices for the same flights on the specific airlines’ websites, which all showed the same low price.
I usually prefer to book on a travel site like Expedia, however, as I can book hotels at the same time, making it just more convenient.
But, last week, after attempting to book the three flights and experiencing yet another of Expedia’s bait and switch tactics, I won’t be doing that again.
Because when I went to pay for the three flights I had just reserved on Expedia, here is what happened.
Upon keying in my credit card information, and after clicking the purchase button, an Expedia message popped up telling me the price of the flight had increased in the last few minute…on every single flight.
One flight had increased by $160. The second by over $100 and the third by more than $150. So, the cheap airfares I had been seeing on Expedia for over a month had increased by a total of more than $410 in the space of a couple of minutes.
Knowing this is typical Expedia bait and switch, I immediately closed out the website and went to the airlines’ websites themselves to see if I could book my flights there.
And guess what?
Each flight on the airlines’ websites (Etihad, Lufthansa and American Airlines) was still at the exact same low price Expedia had been offering until they attempted to charge me far more than I had originally been told I would be paying.
So, I booked all three flights directly through the airlines’ websites and then went to the hotels’ websites and booked my hotel stays through them too.
The end result?
Expedia lost an around $5,800 sale from me. The airlines and the hotels, however, directly benefited as they got their sale without having to pay a fee to Expedia.
On top of that, when I’ve checked the same flights for the same dates on Expedia for the last week, they are still showing the same low prices they have been for the last month. The same low prices that, according to Expedia themselves when you try to pay for them, are no longer available.
The moral of this story?
Before you attempt to book anything on Expedia and take the chance of being conned by Expedia’s bait and switch tactics, do check the prices on the websites of any airlines you are using as well as how much it will cost you to book directly through a hotel.
I ended up saving $410 on flights over what Expedia would have charged me, and got cheaper hotel rates as well. Several friends are also reporting they are now getting cheaper rates on airline and hotel websites and, like me, are avoiding Expedia because of it.