Questions about Expedia

Jun 30th, 2019, 09:19 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,370
Questions about Expedia

I'm hoping to take my niece to Germany in December.

I've been researching fares since February and they've been consistently high.

I've always booked my flights directly through the airlines, but...I've been playing around on third party websites, just out of curiosity. I've discovered that Expedia is offering airfare (the exact flights I want) and three nights in a Munich hotel for considerably less than just the flights.

I'm very tempted, but also reluctant. What's the catch?

Last edited by Melnq8; Jun 30th, 2019 at 09:23 AM.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 09:22 AM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,370
Questions about Expedia

I'm hoping to take my niece to Germany in December.

I've been researching fares since February and they've been consistently high.

I've always booked my flights directly through the airlines, but...I've been playing around on third party websites, just out of curiosity. I've discovered that Expedia is offering airfare (the exact flights I want) and three nights in a Munich hotel for considerably less than just the flights.

I'm very tempted, but also reluctant. What's the catch?

Last edited by Moderator1; Jun 30th, 2019 at 06:47 PM.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 09:31 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,794
Aside from some possibility of less flexibility should plans change, there isnít really a catch. They are simply using their purchasing power to cut better deals with the airline and hotel.
travelgourmet is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 09:34 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 70,217
I don't know what the catch is, but I still book directly.
My theory = if something goes wrong, I'm not going to waste valuable vacation time being low man on the totem pole for fixes.
If nothing goes wrong, I've paid more money.
Purely anecdotal, but when I read friends grumbling about sitting in the airport for hours because there was something wrong with the flight, they always seem to have booked on a 3rd party website. Missing an entire day of vacation is something I don't want to deal with.
But I have ZERO evidence that that "low man on the totem pole" theory is reality. I just know that it hasn't happened to me (yet). I still book directly.
starrs is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 09:34 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,457
Just my experience, but I played the Expedia versus direct booking game so many times when planning our outings from Vienna. What I found is that with many of the flights, the options on Expedia do not exist to reserve seats; include checked baggage; modify the reservation without penalty, and so forth (translation: extra $$$). And often, while the hotels have been perfectly fine, the rooms were generally the less desirable: near the lift or with a street view; and sometimes without the free breakfast, as well--little things like that. When all was said and done it was more straightforward and usually more cost-efficient to book directly.
fourfortravel is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 09:42 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,362
It's not uncommon at all for fly/hotel packages to be quite a lot less than even just the flights alone. Using AA Vacations, for example, the cost of two people flying in business class from Chicago to Paris for a week in April with three nights' (3-star) hotel is over $2000 cheaper than the cost of two business class round trips without the hotel. Expedia can put the same deals together, and other airlines' fly/stay programs offer similar savings.
Gardyloo is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 09:43 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 17,897
Originally Posted by Melnq8 View Post
I've also posted this on the Air Tavel forum, but thought I might get more responses here.

I'm hoping to take my niece to Germany in December.

I've been researching fares since February and they've been consistently high.

I've always booked my flights directly through the airlines, but...I've been playing around on third party websites, just out of curiosity. I've discovered that Expedia is offering airfare (the exact flights I want) and three nights in a Munich hotel for considerably less than just the flights.

I'm very tempted, but also reluctant. What's the catch?
Probably nonrefundable hotels, perhaps bought through one of their "partners". Possibly no choice on seats, extra luggage charges. Just be sure it's apples to apples.

I haven't had any problems when buying air tickets via Expedia, but have had problems with hotel purchases when a hotel didn't honor the advertised "breakfast included" and found out more about Expedia and their hotel "partners" and passing the buck than I care to know.

mlgb is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 09:44 AM
  #8  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,162
My experience with expedia is similar to 4ft, and that when you actually try to click through & book the flights you want, something is amiss.

- the fare you see is basic, basic, basic economy. Group 42 boarding, no checked bag, no carry on, only a brown bag sized personal item, can't reserve a seat, etc.

- the fare you see isn't actually available when you try to book.

Since if have either FF status or a credit card with several preferred airlines, I prefer to book directly through the airline and get the perks, earn FF miles, etc.
J62 is online now  
Jun 30th, 2019, 10:12 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,396
I am an Expedia Silver + member. I have the Expedia app on my phone.

I have been booking flights and hotel rooms on Expedia for the last 15 years.

I think you have to be daft not to book through Expedia.

Thin⛑
Pepper_von_snoot is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 10:14 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,396
I have NEVER had a problem getting my breakfast at any hotel I have booked through Expedia. Your itin. should say Breakfast Included.

Thin🤳
Pepper_von_snoot is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 10:15 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,012
I've not used expedia to buy airfare due to what problems people have had with using sites like Expedia. I'm not saying Expedia issues just problems when people don't buy direct have had. That just scares me so I don't however I always use them to book hotels if possible. I have had no issues in doing so. I also collect expedia dollars to use toward future bookings.
sassy27 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 10:21 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,012
Oh also if you book expedia VIP hotels you get free upgrades and something extra like coffee and cake. I've never had an issue not getting something like breakfast if included. I did notice in Scotland at this one hotel, I always get the same room. I don't think coincidence and it's always handicap which I don't need.
sassy27 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 10:27 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,370
I've read the fine print regarding luggage as well as refundable vs non-refundable hotels, and I've been reading non Expedia reviews for some of the hotels. I am looking at those with breakfast, so that's good to know mlgb (although that's happened to me when booking directly with hotels using points, then finding out later they were wrong).

The price difference between flights alone (upwards of $1,300 each - DEN-MUC on Lufthansa) and the same flights with a hotel on Expedia (some options well under $900 each) is definitely tempting me. But my inner voice is nagging me. Dealing with the airlines is bad enough if something goes wrong, adding another layer of potential grief? Dunno. But maybe.

Thanks Thin, that's encouraging.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 10:40 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,794
I donít think there is that much risk if something goes wrong. Unless you have elite status, youíll be so far down the pecking order anyway that it doesnít matter.

Also, if the flight is with Lufthansa, you are protected by the EU rules both coming and going.
travelgourmet is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 10:50 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 70,217
Originally Posted by Melnq8 View Post
Dealing with the airlines is bad enough if something goes wrong, adding another layer of potential grief? Dunno. But maybe.
.
Here's my theory. If a plane with a 300 pp capacity is cancelled and they have to rebook 300 passengers on other available flights, what are they going to do?

Rebook the frequent fliers with that airline first.
After they have new flights, who is next? Those will no status but booked directly? That's my guess.
I just don't think they are going to book those who booked via a 3rd party discount site ahead of those who booked directly.
And when they are down to 3rd party site passsengers, who gets priority? Expedia over Travelocity? I have no idea.
I had friends who spent an entire day in the airport recently, after a flight to their beach vacation was cancelled. I didn't ask but they are known for booking "deals".

I DO know that my flight was cancelled due to mechanical difficulties one time and it was a flight from Orlando to Atlanta. Flights go almost hourly. It was a corporate ticket. No discounts. No deals. I waited all day to get on a flight, and I have been a Delta FF for 30 years - although little corporate travel in the preceding few years. I was shocked. I have no no idea when the other passengers got out of Orlando. I should have booked a rental car and driven home.

Again, I have no proof of anything. But unless I build in a "cushion" day for the first day of the trip, I want to be sure I get on a plane in a timely fashion. And of course, that first night's hotel reservation is a loss.

Thousands (millions?) fly with nothing going wrong with their flights. That's a success.
But what if?
starrs is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 10:51 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,370
That's reassuring too TG. I do have elite status, but not sure if that applies if I book through Expedia?

I've gone through it again - the baggage allowance seems pretty clear.

Estimated bag fees
Carry on:No fee
1st checked bag:No fee
2nd checked bag100.00

As does the hotel info:
Munich
Superior Room
Breakfast Buffet Free WiFi
Free cancellation until Fri, Dec 13

As does the optional insurance coverage:Package insurance options

Yes, add Change for ANY reason
$54 per person

You can change for ANY reason before your trip starts
  • No fees for one-time flight change
  • Cancel and use your airline credit later
  • Receive 100% refund of hotels and activities

Last edited by Melnq8; Jun 30th, 2019 at 10:58 AM.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 10:54 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,626
<<I'm very tempted, but also reluctant. What's the catch? >> There isn't a catch but there are differences between booking direct and booking via an online travel agent. I don't have the same issues as the other posters, I can see where I can add checked luggage and I can see where you can select a different fare to the basic one, once you select your flight you are offered the choice of economy light/standard/flex or business class. When you click on Show More it tells you what is included in your fare (hand luggage/checked luggage etc). The issue where a fare isn't available when you try to book is extremely rare and can happen on airline's own websites.

If you create an account on Expedia, you can add your FF card info, this will be added to your airline booking. You can also book seat assignments, if the airline you are booking allows it, eg BA only allows seat reservation 24 hours before departure.

Rules on modifying airline tickets are set by the airline, not Expedia. They might charge an admin fee over and above the fee set by the airline for processing the amendment and re-issuing your etickets.

If you have a good deal, I would not hesitate to book it. As Gardyloo says, airfare + hotel is very often cheaper as the fare that is used to combine air+hotel is much lower than published fares and the rule of that fare is that it must be combined with accommodation to make it into a package. I would consider anything booked as non changeable, non refundable, non anything and have travel insurance in case something unforeseen happens.
Odin is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 11:01 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,370
Thank you Odin. That's reassuring.

It seems pretty clear to me - luggage is included in the flight I've selected, breakfast is included in the hotel, and the hotel has free cancellation until one day prior. It seems you can also purchase cancellation insurance.

What is confusing to me though - under CHOOSE YOUR FLIGHT Expedia lists the same flight multiple times - operated by United and Lufthansa. The United listing shows its included in the original quote, but the Lufthansa listing, although the same flight, has an upcharge of $43.

Not sure what this is about.

Last edited by Melnq8; Jun 30th, 2019 at 11:13 AM.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 11:09 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,626
Your Elite status applies if you book through Expedia, if by Elite status you are referring to a FF membership. Just make sure you introduce your FF card into your account before you make the booking ie sign up for an account and fill in the profile details inc FF membership.
Odin is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 11:27 AM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,370
Thanks Odin, I just set up an account.

I also asked you a question on the other thread - sorry, starting two threads on two forums seems to have confused matters, but I have gotten some great comments.
Melnq8 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:42 AM.