Is Expedia right for your travel needs? It might be, as long as you know its advantages and limitations, and make sure that your bases are covered before and after you book. In other words, know that making things easy and economical with Expedia requires a bit of preparation and vigilance on your part.
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Book what you need, all in one place — You can mix and match services easily. This means that can book each part of your trip separately without having to go to a different company each time, so you can make things easy AND get a good deal!
It’s like your own personal travel agent — If you make an account on the website, it can save all of your necessary travel and billing information, so you won’t have to repeatedly fill out the same forms every time you want to go on a trip. This makes booking a lot faster. Plus, Expedia learns from your searches, so if you repeatedly go to the same place, you can quickly find the best rates.
Savings for the savvy traveller — In addition to the already-good deals you’re getting, you can also take advantage of Expedia’s own rewards program to get further discounts on your travel arrangements. Great for frequent flyers!
It’s just a middleman — Expedia has little to no control over what its partner services do. That means that even if you get a good deal on Expedia, you may still be charged extra fees by a hotel, airline, or cruise line. Plus, partner service policies may end up overriding things that you asked for on Expedia, like getting seats on an airplane together with your family. Double-check your arrangements with the partner services before you leave; Expedia even tells you to do so.
Act quickly if there’s a change of plans — If you need to change or cancel a part of your trip, you have a limited amount of time to do so — usually 24 hours — to avoid being charged money or to be eligible for a refund.
Customer disservice? — Many people complain that Expedia’s customer service is very difficult to deal with, and that you have to be very persistent with them, taking any complaints you have as high up the chain of authority as you can, perhaps even to an independent third party.
The Bottom Line: 7/10
Expedia is an easy and convenient way to book travel accommodations and packages. They have deals on a wide variety of services, and their rewards program lets you get even better deals. Plus, you can mix and match services, so you can keep things economical while keeping them simple, too.
The key thing to remember about Expedia, however, is that it’s a middleman between you and the companies that actually provide the travel services. That means these companies have the final say on the terms and conditions of your trip, and Expedia won’t always be so helpful in fixing any problem that you might have. So it never hurts to double-check your arrangements with those companies so that you can try to fix any problems before you leave on your trip.