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Expedia - Gosh, don't scare me like that!
Member Name: QueenM
This review comes completely unplanned (surely I'm not the only one that plans my next reviews?) however I do feel the need to share this recent experience as I am more than impressed with the service I received. Working in customer service myself, I feel it's necessary to provide feedback when you receive outstanding or horrendous service, luckily I rarely experience the latter.
Let me just brief you on the website itself before getting into my little story! Expedia.com is essentially a travel agent online, at least that's how I look at it anyway. It's described as the UK's best site for travel deals and offers flights, hotels, full holidays, car hire and also has a section for things to do on your holiday.
When searching for a deal on Expedia, you simply enter the required information and hit search. I have only used Expedia for booking flights and discovering things to do in the area, so I can only comment on those features.
Searching for flights couldn't be easier, you can get anything you could ever need in terms of flights and you can get them for a great price too. My most recent search was actually for a multi-city flight, something that many websites, airlines and travel agents struggle with. Expedia made this whole experience a breeze and after entering dates, locations and passengers I was shown a whole host of options for our trip. We went for the second option shown to us as the flight times were more desirable than the 3am flights in option 1 and after a few minutes of entering our information and payment details, our flights were confirmed. Easy as that!
The things to do section is just as easy to use if you need it! Enter the location and the dates you'll be there and it comes up with plenty suggestions of things you can do to keep yourself entertained on your trip. We've discovered plenty things to do that we would never have known about for the first leg of our trip, so I really recommend having a look at this even if you have a few things planned already.
My experience goes back to my flights though. After placing our booking on two separate itineraries - one for my parents and one for my boyfriend and I due to us having a bit of a worldwide adventure whilst my parents stay in Canada for that time - I was left content and beyond excited for our upcoming holiday. It was booked 21 weeks in advance - what can I say? I'm a keen bean - and I was already counting down the days. We got an amazing deal for our flights and I still can't quite believe the prices, especially for the itinerary for mine and my boyfriend's trip. We're travelling from Scotland - Canada - USA - Germany - Scotland and got the flights for around £1600 for the two of us. Sounds like a lot of money, but when you consider the whole trip, it's a steal! My parents weren't quite as lucky and they were actually more expensive to fly Scotland - Canada - Scotland, however £2000 later, their trip was booked. Their trip was only more expensive due to it not being an in demand area to fly to in Canada, so we weren't fussed about the price, after all, it's a family wedding we're going to.
From here on in the review, I'll refer to the multicity trip as itinerary 1, and the direct trip as itinerary 2, just to save confusion.
Roughly 3 weeks after the booking (and a sore throat from talking about the upcoming holiday so much), I received an email saying that a flight had been changed in itinerary 1. I did my usual freakout when I saw the preview of the email on my iphone, until I opened it fully and realised the flight had only been changed by 10 minutes. No big deal. I was just happy Expedia kept us in the loop.
I had no real opinions on the company until yesterday when I received an email from them at work stating that two out of the four flights in itinerary 2 (there's a stopover in London both directions) had been cancelled. Cue my instant freakout. I called my mum on my lunch break and after a quick conversation...
"Mum, how do you feel about moving to Canada?"
"I don't fancy it, why?"
"Uh..I think your flight home has been cancelled"
...I was reassured that the airline would have to reschedule them onto another flight and not worry. Panic over. Kind of.
It wasn't until I finished work that I checked my email again to open an email stating that one of the flights in itinerary 1 had been cancelled. CUE MAJOR FREAKOUT.
I rang Expedia as soon as I got home (5.30pm and customer services were still open and willing to help, bonus points!) where I was happily greeted with a friendly young woman by the name of Charlene. I explained to her what the emails said and how worried I was about the trips and she explained that it wasn't the long haul flights that had been cancelled, but the flights between our home city and London. Air Canada had been hosting those flights via BMI, but BMI have gone bust and can no longer carry on with the flight. Charlene then informed me that British Airways would be happy to have us on one of their connecting flights for no extra charge and we would be upgraded to first class as an apology despite BA being at absolutely no fault whatsoever. I can't quite explain how happy I am with this service as Charlene really did do everything she could to calm me down - I wasn't angry, just worried that my holiday of a lifetime would come to a halt before it got going. Not only did she successfully calm me down, but she successfully booked us onto the other connecting flights within a few minutes and emailed out our new itineraries and e-tickets.
Very happy customer!
My only gripe is that since booking the flights and searching for hotels through Expedia (although we booked with the hotel itself to reap the benefits of their loyalty service), I keep getting emailed 20% vouchers for hotels and holidays in New York City. Great, hm? Well, not really. 20% off doesn't really help after the whole trip is booked! I do appreciated the gesture, but it'd be appreciated more if it could be put to any use.
Although I haven't actually been on the trip yet, I am very happy with my experience so far and 100% recommend Expedia for anyone looking to book flights or a holiday. I don't want to jinx anything, but I doubt there will be any negatives to add to this review based on the flight bookings at the airport, but if there are, I'll edit those in come August time.
As with all of my recent reviews, all of my miles are going towards my spending fund. Thanks for being a penny towards my memories!