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How Expedia is supporting customers change or cancel a trip due to COVID-19

Author: Theodore Koumelis / Date: Wed, 04/01/2020 - 08:25
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There is growing concern around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and the entire travel industry is experiencing an unprecedented increase in service requests as travellers look to adjust their trips.

Expedia issued the following COVID-19 Travel Advice to inform its customers about the measures it takes in order to support them in case of a change or a cancelation of their trips:

There is growing concern around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and the entire travel industry is experiencing an unprecedented increase in service requests as travellers look to adjust their trips. These can be confusing and stressful moments, and we understand your need for timely answers and assistance. 

Please know our teams are working incredibly hard right now to make trip changes and cancellations as simple as possible. While we are adjusting our operations and policies, we do ask for your patience. 

Right now we are focused on customers with travel in the next 72 hours. If your travel is not immediate, please visit our Customer Service Portal that includes online tools to help you change or cancel travel plans yourself.

Important message for customers with an upcoming trip

Here’s what you need to know if you booked a hotel on Expedia (non-package/bundle):

  • For customers who booked and paid for a non-refundable rate prior to March 19, 2020 for stays between March 20, 2020, and April 30, 2020, you should have received an email from us to ask if you wish to keep or cancel your existing booking. If you decide to cancel, you will be eligible for a full refund or full value-voucher in the form of a coupon for future travel. There is no need to call us, however you must cancel your booking at least 24-hours before check-in to be eligible for this offer.
  • For customers who booked a non-refundable rate for stays after April 30, 2020, with the evolving situation, we will continue to work with travel partners as necessary to implement flexible policies.
  • For customers whose accommodation plans have already been impaired by COVID-19 and whose travel date has passed, we want to assure you that we are working to attend to your needs as well with our partners and provide credit where possible. We’ve already begun to reach out to some travellers directly and will continue to do so, but this will take some time. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate through these unprecedented scenarios.
  • For customers who have booked a refundable rate, please visit our Customer Service Portal  to change or cancel using the self-service tools on our site. Have your itinerary number ready or login to your account to locate your trip.
  • TIP: Make sure you’re referencing the Expedia Itinerary Number, and not the airline or hotel confirmation code.
  • Due to the unprecedented volume of travel disruptions, refunds and credits may take up to 30 days to process. We apologize for the inconvenience and if after 30 days you have not seen your refund or credit processed, please don’t hesitate to reach out. 

Here’s what you need to know if you booked a flight on Expedia (non-package/bundle):

  • For customers with a flight booking through to the end of April, you should have received an email from us or will receive one closer to your departure date to ask if you wish to keep or cancel your existing booking. 
  • To make a flight change or cancellation between now and April 30th, you can also use our new self-service tools to make it easier for you to manage your trip. Visit our Customer Service Portal to manage your travel plans now. 
  • If your airline has canceled your flight, we are working through those bookings with our airline partners to issue credits where applicable and will be in touch —there is no need to call us.
  • For customers whose flights have already been impaired by COVID-19 and whose travel date has passed, we want to assure you that we are working with our partners to attend to your needs.
  • For customers with a flight booking on a low-cost airline, we are unable to facilitate any changes or cancellations. The quickest way you can adjust your travel plans is to reach out to your airline directly. 
  • We understand that many of you are looking for details as to why you are receiving a credit with an airline vs. a full refund. We’ve worked incredibly hard to push our partners to provide travellers with as much flexibility as possible due to COVID-19, particularly for flights that are ordinarily non-refundable or limit any changes. We recognize that an airline credit may not be what you were looking for but know that these are extraordinary circumstances that travel partners are trying to work through. Once your credit has been processed, we’ll send you an email that outlines how you can use it for future travel. 
  • If you purchased a fully refundable fare, unfortunately we’re unable to process those at this time and our partners have requested we only provide airline credit. We ask that you contact your airline directly to receive more details on this matter. 

Here’s what you need to know if you booked a package/bundle on Expedia:

  • We want to assure you that we are working to assess the needs of customers who booked a package/bundle and will provide guidance as soon as we can. We appreciate your patience.

Here’s what you need to know if you booked a vacation rental on Expedia:

  • If you booked a vacation rental and your confirmation number begins with HA, see the Coronavirus vacation rental page.
  • For all other vacation rentals, access your booking from the My Trips page and follow the instructions to cancel.
Changing or canceling your trip online or through the Expedia app

In these critical moments, we ask that travellers who do not have trips starting within the next 3 days use the self-service tools in our Customer Support Portal and wait to call us. Here’s how to manage your own itinerary online or through the app:

  • Login to your account online or through the Expedia mobile app to cancel or change travel plans. Use the “Change” or “Cancel” buttons in your itinerary for details. Upcoming trips can be found under “My Trips.”
  • If your hotel or airline is eligible for refunds or free cancellations, fill out an online form. Travellers with tickets on eligible airlines or reservations at eligible hotels can submit online cancellation forms to receive credit for a future flight or a full hotel refund. Check the Expedia  Customer Support Portal or latest guidance before submitting. Note: If you have already submitted a request, you do not need to call us for a status update.
  • Due to the unprecedented volume of travel disruptions, refunds may take up to 30 days to process.

We understand you might have questions, but this will help us focus on customers with more imminent travel. Please know that policies are changing rapidly and are at the discretion of hotel and airline partners. If you aren’t seeing a flex policy for your specific booking, sit tight because updates are frequently posted on Expedia.

General tips for travellers who still need or want to get away despite COVID-19

Travelers should try to adhere to the guidance from government and public health officials to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The government has also warned Thai travelers to no longer travel abroad. Of course, traveler safety is the most important thing so ultimately, it’s up to you to determine what’s best for you and your family. If you still need or want to travel, consider the following:

  • Stay informed. As a first step in planning any trip, check the Global Health and Travel Advisories for your intended destination. As the situation continues to evolve, airlines may change or reschedule flights.
  • Check your local airport to find out if there is specific travel advice for passengers. Depending on your departure or arrival airport, there may be additional security checks so allow yourself plenty of time to get checked in and to your gate.
  • Many airlines are offering flexible change policies for travel booked in April. For a limited time due to COVID-19, many trusted airline partners are waiving change fees on eligible new bookings. Consider filtering for these air carriers and providers when searching on sites like Expedia.
  • Book refundable hotels for any trips you are planning. Many hotels on Expedia offer free cancelation, and we’ve made it easy to find refundable hotels vs. non-refundable options. Use the “free cancelation” payment type filter to easily find options within your travel window and price point. Prices can vary, but right now we believe that flexibility matters.
  • Check your travel insurance policy to see if changes and cancellations due to unforeseen events like coronavirus are covered.  

 
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Theodore Koumelis

Co-Founder & Managing Director

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.