Expedia’s Cancellation Policies

Expedia’s cancellation policies are a little bit different for each of the types of vacation services it provides. Generally, though, you will either need to sign in to your account (assuming that you have one) or call their customer service department directly in order to change or cancel a booking.

You may also want or need to call the travel service company directly, which we can teach you all about in our tutorial on how to contact Expedia customer service. You will also generally need an account to get a refund or travel credit on anything you change or cancel.

Expedia flight cancellations

In order to cancel a flight that you’ve booked with Expedia:

  1. Enter www.expedia.com into your web browser to visit the website.
  2. Sign in to your account.
  3. Click on the My Trips menu item.
  4. Click on the itinerary to select the item that contains the flight reservation that you wish to cancel.
  5. Click Manage Booking.
  6. Click Cancel Flight.

In order to change a flight that you’ve already booked with Expedia, contact its customer service department at 1-800-551-2534. You may also want to contact the airline directly, or contact its customer service department anyway.

Here are some notes to keep in mind when changing or cancelling an flight:

  • Generally, you can cancel a flight booked through Expedia within 24 hours for a full refund.
  • Generally, changing a flight will result in you being charged fees by the airline. There may also be other rules or restrictions, such as having to book the new flight with the same primary passenger on the same airline, and paying the difference in ticket costs, if the new ticket is more expensive than the old one.
  • Certain flights aren’t subject to refunds. Read the rules and restrictions as part of your itinerary to find out if yours is or not.
  • Even if a flight isn’t subject to a refund, you may be able to cancel it and still receive credit for a future flight from the airline. The earlier you act, the greater the chance that this might happen for you.
  • There are certain smaller airlines that you will need to contact directly if you wish to cancel flights.

Hotel cancellations on Expedia

In order to cancel a hotel booking made through Expedia:

  1. Visit www.expedia.com in your web browser of choice.
  2. Sign in to your account.
  3. Click on the My Trips menu item.
  4. Click on the travel itinerary you already booked which contains the hotel booking you wish to cancel, in order to select it.
  5. Click on Manage Booking.
  6. Click Cancel Room.

In order to change a hotel booking made through Expedia:

  1. Log into your account.
  2. Click on My Trips.
  3. Click on the itinerary that contains the hotel booking you wish to change, to select it.
  4. Click on Manage Booking.
  5. Click Edit next to any change you wish to make, and then make it.

You may also want to contact its customer service department at 1-800-551-2534, or contact the hotel directly. If you need more information, here some tips on cancelling or changing a hotel booking:

  • In most cases, whether or not you can get a refund for a cancelled hotel room depends on the rules and restrictions of the hotel, both in general and in relation to your specific room or type of room. These can be found at the bottom of your itinerary.
  • “Unpublished Rate” hotel rooms can never be changed or cancelled.
  • Though Expedia will not charge you any money for changing or cancelling a hotel room, the hotel itself may do so, in accordance with its own rules and restrictions. For example, many hotels charge a fee for changing or cancelling your booking within 48 hours of check-in. Acting early can help you avoid these kinds of “gotcha” fees.
  • While most things about a hotel room can be changed free of charge, certain changes, including to the room type, number of guests, and check-in or check-out dates may result in the hotel charging you change fees.
  • If changes are not available for a hotel room, you must cancel your booking and re-book it.

Expedia rental car cancellations

In order to cancel a rental car reservation that you’ve already booked:

  1. Visit www.expedia.com.
  2. Log in to your account.
  3. Click on My Trips.
  4. Click on the itinerary that contains the rental car reservation that you wish to cancel, to select it.
  5. Click Manage Booking.
  6. Click Cancel this Car.
  7. Review the verification notice you will receive on the next page to confirm.

You may also want to contact Expedia’s customer service department at-1-800-551-2534, or contact the rental car company directly. When cancelling a rental car reservation, keep in mind:

  • Most rental car reservations can be cancelled at any time without any sort of penalty.
  • You cannot change a rental car reservation after you book it, but you can cancel it and book a new reservation.

Cancelling a cruise on Expedia

In order to cancel a cruise booked with Expedia, you will need to contact their cruise division. They can be reached at 1-888-249-3978. You may also want to contact the specific cruise line that you’re booked with directly.

When you want to cancel a cruise booking, consider the following:

  • Most rules and restrictions for cancelling a cruise depend on the specific cruise line that you’re booked with.  Read their policies for more information.
  • Generally, you can cancel a cruise reservation, without penalty, if you do so at least 91 days before you leave.
  • If you cancel a cruise within the 90-day period before you leave, you may be charged cancellation fees.  These fees generally increase as you get closer to your departure date, so act early to avoid taking too big a hit to your bank account!

Cancelling your Expedia vacation

In order to cancel an entire vacation package, you will need to contact the customer service department directly at 1-800-551-2534. For cancelling or changing individual parts of your vacation, see the sections above.

If you’re cancelling a package, keep these tips in mind:

  • Though Expedia won’t charge you money to cancel a hotel, rental car, or activity as part of a vacation package, the companies that provide these services may charge you fees to change or cancel them, as per their rules and restrictions (which you can read in your itinerary). These fees are applied on a per-item basis, rather than on the whole general itinerary, so keep that in mind.
  • Though you won’t be charged any money to change or cancel a flight as part of a vacation package, the airline may charge you a fee to change it. This may apply if you use airline credit received from cancelling a non-refundable flight to book a new flight for the same primary passenger on the same airline (though you can change the dates, times, and departure/arrival locations).

Expedia Cancellation Insurance

There are certain travel protection plans sold by Expedia that can help you cover the fees associated with changing or cancelling your trip (or parts of it). Of course, these plans are subject to their own rules and regulations, so be sure to read those before you decide whether or not you want to purchase one of these plans. See our article on Expedia travel insurance for more information.

And that’s about all we can tell you about how to cancel or change bookings you’ve made with Expedia. 

Expedia Customer Service Info and Tips

Hopefully, nothing goes wrong with your trip when you book through Expedia, and everything’s smooth sailing. However, since Expedia is only a middleman between you and the travel service companies, there is a greater chance that a mix-up will occur than if you book things directly with a hotel, airline, car rental company, or cruise line. This is the unfortunate trade-off for getting better deals on your trips.

In the event that you need to correct something, you can call Expedia’s customer service hotline at:

  • 1-866-310-5768 (inside the U.S.)
  • 1-404-728-8787 (international)

Tips for Dealing with Expedia Customer Service

Unfortunately, there are many stories on the Internet about people who feel that Expedia’s customer service department hasn’t treated them very fairly. Regardless of how many of those stories are true or not, the fact of the matter is that we don’t work for Expedia, so we can’t change how their customer service department or their policies work.

The best that we can do for you is give you a set of general pointers so that you’re prepared to deal with Expedia’s customer service department, or one of their partnered travel company’s customer service departments, in case the worst should happen.

  • Read the fine print. Though we realize this is something that a lot of people don’t like or bother to do, it can save you some frustration when it comes to understanding why Expedia or a travel company isn’t doing much to help you. On the flip side, it can also be a source of evidence for you if you don’t think either of these groups is following their own policies.

  • Be patient, but persistent. Like most customer service departments of large companies, Expedia’s is very busy, and you should be prepared to be put on hold at points from times ranging from 10 minutes to 30 minutes, or even an hour. Do your best to keep calm and stay on the line for as long as you can. It’s the only way that you’ll make progress in solving the problem on Expedia’s end.

  • Ask for a supervisor or manager. Generally, the higher up the customer service ladder you go, the better the chance you’ll find someone who has the authority to act on your problem. Again, it may take some patience to get in touch with them, so be prepared for that.

  • Make physical/written copies of important information. This includes things like booking confirmations or any other special requests that you make through Expedia, such as specific seats on an airplane or a certain number of beds in a hotel room. This way, you have evidence on your side if there’s a problem.

  • Double-check your bookings with the actual travel companies. These companies are ultimately the ones you’re doing business with and providing the accommodations for your trip. Therefore, they have the final say when it comes to what you get. Plus, they’ll probably be more worried about having their public reputations damaged than Expedia will be.  After you book, call each travel company involved in your trip and ask for a written confirmation of anything specific that you’ve asked for through Expedia, such as a certain hotel room type or seat on an airplane. Or, better yet, record your phone call (and tell them you’re doing so for verification purposes) and ask for verbal confirmation that you’ll be getting exactly what you asked for. This puts the burden on them to back up their word.

  • Act early and often. The sooner you act and the more you work to resolve a problem, the greater the chance that you’ll be able to get a full refund, or at least some form of compensation. Plus, the problem will be off your mind and you’ll save yourself a nasty surprise.

  • Ask for physical records… or make your own! A good idea is to always ask for the name and employee ID number of any customer service representative whom you deal with. Also try asking the customer service representative to send you an email saying that they will fix the problem, and stay on the line until you receive it.  Or better yet, record the phone call, and tell the representative on the other end that you’re doing so for verification purposes. Again, this is so that you’ll have evidence to back up your claims if you’re having trouble solving the problem.

  • If all else fails, consider bringing in a third party. If neither Expedia nor the travel service at the heart of the problem is proving to be much help, consider going to a third party. Call your bank or credit card company and let them know what’s going on, and they may help you recover your money or stop Expedia or one of their partnered travel companies from charging you for anything that you shouldn’t have to pay for.  You may also want to file a complaint with a consumer advocacy group, such as the Better Business Bureau, and see if they will step in to help resolve the problem.

How Does Expedia Make Money?

You’ve learned about the basics of Expedia, but you may still have some questions about how it generates revenue. In this article, we’ll explain how Expedia.com makes money, so you know what you’re dealing with when you decide to book with Expedia.

How does Expedia make its money?

Expedia makes the majority of its money through booking accommodations in bulk at a cheap price, and then selling them to their users with a slight markup. Expedia makes a profit off of the increased margin, and also occasionally makes commission fees from hotels increasing their exposure through the Expedia website.

This is the same model used by many travel websites, as they often have the connections necessary to rent out entire blocks of hotel rooms and resort units due to their online marketing and returning user-ship. It also makes money through its many partner websites, which sell reservations in a similar way. It generates some revenue by charging fees for certain circumstances as well, though they avoid doing this in most cases, and so this does not make up a large portion of their revenue.

The Expedia website itself costs no money to use, and neither does signing up for an account. Merely searching for vacation accommodations on the website or app never costs money; you simply need to pay for the total of your accommodations when you confirm your booking.

What kinds of fees does Expedia charge?

Expedia itself doesn’t charge fees for booking accommodations, unless you violate their terms of booking.  For example, you may be charged cancellation fees if you cancel your accommodations outside of the standard 24-hour window. Also, because Expedia is partnered with so many other travel accommodations companies, any of these services could potentially charge fees that you may not have been aware of when booking with Expedia.

Some examples of additional fees that users sometimes incur when booking accommodations include:

  • Cancellation fees for cancelling an accommodation booking more than 24 hours after booking it
  • Fees for extra or overweight baggage, on certain airlines
  • Fees for using guest Wi-Fi in a hotel room
  • Fees for excursions off of a resort
  • Parking fees for parking at a particular venue
  • Fees for meals at a hotel (such as breakfast)
  • Fees for the ability to use facilities at a hotel such as a spa, gym, pool, etc.

To avoid these sometimes hidden fees, be sure to read all of the terms of your accommodations booking on Expedia carefully before completing your transaction. For a complete description of situations in which you may incur fees, read Expedia’s Terms of Use.