Expedia and Tin Leg let us down

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Jan 5, 2016
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#1
My husband and I went to Madagascar in October, 2015. In April we booked air travel to and from Madagascar through Expedia. The first leg of our return trip, from Madagascar to Paris, was on Air Madagascar departing on November 7.
During the last few days of our tour we were staying on a remote island off the coast of Madagascar, where there were frequent power outages and no Internet access. On November 6 when we returned to Antananarivo, we asked the hotel to reconfirm our flight to Paris. But because of the language barrier due to our poor French and their poor English, we were never sure whether the flight was reconfirmed. When we arrived at the airport three hours before our scheduled departure, someone at the Information desk told us the flight was delayed. After several hours of standing in a disorganized crowd of pushing and shoving passengers, we finally reached the ticket counter manned by one harried agent whose English was very limited. He said our flight would depart at 1 pm the following day, Sunday, November 8. Air Madagascar gave us a hotel voucher but no explanation of why our flight was delayed or what we could do about the connecting flights to Tucson.
Sunday morning at 9am we returned to the airport to find a huge angry crowd trying to reach the Air Madagascar ticket counter. Another passenger who spoke English told us no flights would leave for Paris that day. After six hours, during which several fights broke out in the unruly mob, we again made our way to the counter. The agent told us Air Madagascar would fly us to Paris on Tuesday, November 10, and we should call Air France at 8am Monday to re-schedule the Air France flight from Paris to Atlanta which we had already missed. Air Madagascar gave us a voucher for another hotel for the nights of November 8 and 9 but again, no explanation.
On Monday, November 9, I called Air France as instructed but they said they couldn’t help us and we must contact our travel agent, Expedia. Finally we were able to get on the Internet and see emails from Expedia dated November 5 and 6. At this point we first became aware that Expedia had known as early as November 5 that we would miss our connections in Paris and Atlanta. I then called Expedia and the agent I spoke with said he couldn’t reschedule the flights and we had to purchase new tickets from Paris to Tucson for $3,619.62.
Tin Leg travel insurance denied our claim for the additional ticket costs on the grounds that “trip delay” is subject to a $100 daily limit. We disputed this decision with Squaremouth but they advised us to pursue compensation from Air Madagascar and Expedia.
We believe Expedia should have rescheduled our connecting flights when they knew we were going to miss them and we disagree with Tin Leg's decision. Their policy specifically provided for one-way economy travel to get us home if we were stuck somewhere.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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#2
Carolyn, do you know if your airline tickets were linked together on one PNR? Or did you book separate tickets; in other words, purchased tickets on Air Madagascar separate from the tickets on Air France? This will be important information for the experts on this forum to know in order to assist you.
 
Likes: jsn55
Jan 5, 2016
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#3
Carolyn, do you know if your airline tickets were linked together on one PNR? Or did you book separate tickets; in other words, purchased tickets on Air Madagascar separate from the tickets on Air France? This will be important information for the experts on this forum to know in order to assist you.
We booked all the air travel on Expedia. Here is a copy of our itinerary:
Expedia Itinerary Number: 1104154488599
Delta confirmation code: GIGLYG
Air Madagascar confirmation code: 49XCHT
Air France confirmation code: 49XCHT
Tucson to Atlanta
Flight Details
Monday, Oct 12, 2015 at 6:15 AM
Delta Flight Number: DL1345
From: Tucson, AZ (TUS-Tucson Intl.) Depart: 6:15 AM
To: Atlanta, GA (ATL-Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Intl.) Arrive: 12:40 PM
Atlanta to Paris
Flight Details
Monday, Oct 12, 2015 at 3:29 PM
Delta Flight Number: DL82
From: Atlanta, GA (ATL-Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Intl.) Depart: 3:29 PM
To: Paris (CDG-Roissy-Charles de Gaulle) Arrive: 6:10 AM +1 day
Paris to Antananarivo
Flight Details
Tuesday, Oct 13, 2015 at 11:30 AM
Delta Flight Number: DL8542
From: Paris (CDG-Roissy-Charles de Gaulle) Depart: 11:30 AM
To: Antananarivo (TNR-Ivato Intl.) Arrive: 10:55 PM
Operated By: OPERATED BY AIR FRANCE(DL)
Antananarivo to Paris
Flight Details
Saturday, Nov 07, 2015 at 8:30 PM
Air Madagascar Flight Number: MD50
From: Antananarivo (TNR-Ivato Intl.) Depart: 8:30 PM
To: Paris (CDG-Roissy-Charles de Gaulle) Arrive: 5:40 AM +1 day
Paris to Atlanta
Flight Details
Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 10:50 AM
Air France Flight Number: AF682
From: Paris (CDG-Roissy-Charles de Gaulle) Depart: 10:50 AM
To: Atlanta, GA (ATL-Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Intl.) Arrive: 2:45 PM
Atlanta to Tucson
Flight Change Details
Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 7:35 PM Change in Flight
Delta Flight Number: DL1739
From: Atlanta, GA (ATL-Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Intl.) Depart: 7:20 PM 7:35 PM (change)
To: Tucson, AZ (TUS-Tucson Intl.) Arrive: 9:21 PM 9:40 PM (change)
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#4
Thank you for reaching out to us @Carolyn Manrique

We have knowledgeable advocates here who can speak to the nuances of your experience, but I wanted to offer my thoughts for your future travels. If you did not do so, normally you can specify an alternate email address for your itinerary. This positions a trusted individual to function as backup in case you are indisposed again.

In my case, we do this with two of our contacts for emergencies, but reading your post we will now copy one at least on our reservation details. I hope this helps you going forward ...
 
Likes: jsn55
Jan 5, 2016
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#5
Thank you for reaching out to us @Carolyn Manrique

We have knowledgeable advocates here who can speak to the nuances of your experience, but I wanted to offer my thoughts for you future travels. If you did not do so, normally you can specify an alternate email address for your itinerary. This positions a trusted individual to function as backup in case you are indisposed again.

In my case, we do this with two of our contacts for emergencies, but reading your post we will now copy one at least on our reservation details. I hope this helps you going forward ...
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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#7
Great, this should be helpful to the travel agents on this forum once they have an opportunity to review your thread. I hope they will be able to assist you.

Not very helpful on this scenario (sorry!) but in the future you should stay away from booking travel through third party sites such as Expedia. If you book directly with the airline, they can help you without involving Expedia. The other option for complicated itineraries such as this one would be to work with a brick and mortar travel agency that actually wants to provide a service to you rather than just take your money and brush you off like Expedia does.
 
Mar 17, 2015
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#8
I think Expedia should pony up here. Why could they not re-book you? Was a reason given? Had you attempted to contact Expedia when you knew of the delay at first? Why did Expedia not change/cancel the reservation for you like a travel agent would, knowing you were in a place of limited availability.
Another tip for future travel, always make sure to get a phrase book if you do not speak the language well. It will save you, as not everyone speaks English and sometimes just getting the gist of what you want across will work wonders. One of my first purchases for foreign travel if I do not know the language.
 
Oct 5, 2015
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#10
Can you please tell me how much you paid for your ticket.
I think something is quite strange or wrong with it and I need to analyze it a bit further. Thanks.
Unless you paid close to 6 figures for your ticket, then I think Expedia did something funky with your ticket.
Please try to follow my reasoning as much as you can ...
A Delta Airline fare from Tucson TUS to Antananarivo (TNR) is an MPM fare (MAX Permitted Mileage). It does not require a fixed routing. However the airlines you can fly is limited (has a restriction).
upload_2016-1-5_20-21-28.png

That said you cannot add or include an Air Madagascar (MD) flight with most Delta fares.
For Expedia to have included an MD flight on the same PNR, they would need to ticket that flight separately. In other words, this flight is not connected to the rest of your other flights.
The correct way to do your return trip with Delta is:
upload_2016-1-5_20-26-14.png
Having said this, I would lean heavily on Expedia for selling you JUNK!
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#11
We booked all the air travel on Expedia. Here is a copy of our itinerary:
Expedia Itinerary Number: 1104154488599
Delta confirmation code: GIGLYG
Air Madagascar confirmation code: 49XCHT
Air France confirmation code: 49XCHT
Tucson to Atlanta
Flight Details
Monday, Oct 12, 2015 at 6:15 AM
Delta Flight Number: DL1345
From: Tucson, AZ (TUS-Tucson Intl.) Depart: 6:15 AM
To: Atlanta, GA (ATL-Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Intl.) Arrive: 12:40 PM
Atlanta to Paris
Flight Details
Monday, Oct 12, 2015 at 3:29 PM
Delta Flight Number: DL82
From: Atlanta, GA (ATL-Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Intl.) Depart: 3:29 PM
To: Paris (CDG-Roissy-Charles de Gaulle) Arrive: 6:10 AM +1 day
Paris to Antananarivo
Flight Details
Tuesday, Oct 13, 2015 at 11:30 AM
Delta Flight Number: DL8542
From: Paris (CDG-Roissy-Charles de Gaulle) Depart: 11:30 AM
To: Antananarivo (TNR-Ivato Intl.) Arrive: 10:55 PM
Operated By: OPERATED BY AIR FRANCE(DL)
Antananarivo to Paris
Flight Details
Saturday, Nov 07, 2015 at 8:30 PM
Air Madagascar Flight Number: MD50
From: Antananarivo (TNR-Ivato Intl.) Depart: 8:30 PM
To: Paris (CDG-Roissy-Charles de Gaulle) Arrive: 5:40 AM +1 day
Paris to Atlanta
Flight Details
Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 10:50 AM
Air France Flight Number: AF682
From: Paris (CDG-Roissy-Charles de Gaulle) Depart: 10:50 AM
To: Atlanta, GA (ATL-Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Intl.) Arrive: 2:45 PM
Atlanta to Tucson
Flight Change Details
Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 7:35 PM Change in Flight
Delta Flight Number: DL1739
From: Atlanta, GA (ATL-Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Intl.) Depart: 7:20 PM 7:35 PM (change)
To: Tucson, AZ (TUS-Tucson Intl.) Arrive: 9:21 PM 9:40 PM (change)
I'm looking at three separate confirmation codes, Carolyn. It was obviously a nightmare coming home. The issue with online travel agencies (OTAs) is that the traveller thinks she has a travel agent who will ticket the trip and take care of problems in exchange for a commission. Expedia didn't do that. They were compensated for issuing your tickets but left you in the lurch ... big time. Crowds of angry people yelling at each other in a language you cannot understand? That's just awful and I feel very badly for you.

Go after Expedia for sure. Make a chronological list of the facts, be polite (the person reading your complaint didn't cause your problem) and tell them exactly what you want for compensation. They will try all kinds of tricks to make you give up and go away, but please do not do so. Submit your letter to customer service, wait a week for a response, then work you way up the bureaucratic ladder. Good luck, and please keep us posted.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,695
15,957
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#13
And Tin Leg is not wrong if that is all the coverage they offer. Travel insurance companies all have a limit of how much they pay for an issue like this and I don't think I've ever seen an insurance company that covers more than a few hundred dollars per flight.

I'd like to see the policy you purchased because most of their policies cover $250 after a certain time frame of delay, but they cover for hotels and meals.
 
Likes: VoR61
Oct 5, 2015
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#14
And if Expedia tries to dance around this one with some hifalutin B.S. like we combined the Air Madagascar (MD) fare END-ON-END with a Delta/Air France TUS-TNR//CDG-TUS open-jaw airfare, you can tell them to go stop lying since DL/AF has this rule:
COMBINABILITY
BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND EUROPE DOUBLE OPEN JAWS NOT PERMITTED. END-ON-END NOT PERMITTED. SIDE TRIPS NOT PERMITTED
Ergo, there was no way they could put DL/AF and MD fares together :D
Now the question is how do you go after Expedia.
That is where Atty Joe comes in.
 
Mar 4, 2015
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#16
@Carolyn Manrique , when you write to Expedia, be sure to use the emails for our Expedia Company Contacts:

http://elliott.org/company-contacts/expedia/

We advise starting with the lowest level contact, emailing one contact at a time, and allowing them a week to respond to you before appealing to the next contact if necessary.

With respect to Tin Leg, did they explain to you why you aren't entitled to Trip Interruption Benefits, which are not subject to the $100/day limit, but rather have a limit of 100% of your insured trip cost?

Not sure which type of plan you purchased, but I'm looking at their Economy Travel Protection Plan (their lowest tier plan) and one of the covered Unforeseen Events is:

Inclement weather, Natural Disasters, Terrorist Attacks, or mechanical breakdown of the common carrier which results in the complete cessation of travel services at the point of departure or destination for at least 48 consecutive hours.

I would think that your delay from Nov 7 to Nov 10 would constitute a 48 consecutive hour cessation of travel services at your destination.

And if so, it seems to me that you should be covered for at least the portion of your new ticket corresponding to the amount you insured:

We will pay a benefit, up to the maximum shown on the Schedule of Benefits, if You are prevented from continuing or resuming Your Covered Trip due to any of the Unforeseen events listed below. We will pay You: (a) For the unused, non-refundable travel arrangements prepaid to the Travel Supplier(s). (b) Additional Transportation expenses incurred by You.

 
Last edited:

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,695
15,957
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#17
Michael, trip interruption takes place when you have to leave a trip earlier than planned. This doesn't qualify as trip interruption. It is flight delay and even I their terms, they don't specify air costs, they specify they pay for hotel and meals.
 
Mar 4, 2015
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#18
Michael, trip interruption takes place when you have to leave a trip earlier than planned. This doesn't qualify as trip interruption. It is flight delay and even I their terms, they don't specify air costs, they specify they pay for hotel and meals.
Perhaps that's the intention, but the policy language isn't quite written that way and is easily and reasonably interpreted otherwise.

TRIP INTERRUPTION
We will pay a benefit, up to the maximum shown on the Schedule of Benefits, if You are prevented from continuing or resuming Your Covered Trip due to any of the Unforeseen events listed below.
[...]
“Covered Trip” means a trip for which You request insurance coverage and pay the required premium , and includes :
(a) a period of travel away from home to a destination outside Your City of residence;
(b) the purpose of the trip is business or pleasure; and
(c) the trip has defined Departure and Return dates
[...]
When Your Coverage Ends:
Coverage is effective for the stated term shown in Your Schedule of Benefits. In addition, Your coverage will end at 11:59P.M. local time on the date which is the earliest of the following:
(a) the Scheduled Return Date as stated on the travel tickets;
(b) the date You return to Your origination point if prior to the Scheduled Return Date;
(c) the date You leave or change Your Covered Trip (unless due to Unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances coveredby the Policy);
(d) if You extend the return date, coverage will terminate at 11:59 P.M., local time, at Your location on the ScheduledReturn Date;
or
(e) the date You cancel Your Covered Trip.
EXTENDED COVERAGE:
All coverage under the Policy will be extended, if:
(a) Your entire Covered Trip is covered by the Policy; and
(b) Your return is delayed by covered reasons specified under Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption or Trip Delay.
If coverage is extended for the above reasons, coverage will end on:
(a) the date You reach Your return destination; or
(b) 7 days after the date the Covered Trip was scheduled to be completed.



 
Likes: VoR61
Mar 4, 2015
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#20
Dude have a look https://flightaware.com/live/flight/MDG50
This flight has not gone anywhere for a long time.
Expedia sold JUNK.
You cannot insure JUNK.
All you can do is hire a good travel consultant that will give you good advice.
Do you have any idea how few international flights there are to TNR?
Trust me, very few.
I understand the sentiment, but unless Air Madagascar is on some sort of Common Carrier black list that the insurer discloses ahead of time, aren't they bound to honor the policy terms?