Trip Canceled Due to No Rebooking from Expedia for Missed Flight

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Oct 21, 2018
2
0
1
35
#1
I had to cancel an entire family trip to Italy because Expedia refuses to rebook our flight. We arrived at the airport 10 minutes later than the check-in time. Our airlines, American and British, were willing to rebook us on the next flight out. However, due to the fact our tickets were purchased on Expedia, they had to be reissued by Expedia as well. I spoke to Expedia on the phone for hours at the airport, even had them talk to the airline directly, but they refused to provide any assistance for rebooking, with or without a fee.
Expedia informed us that our round trip flight was void and it was not possible to refund or credit any portion of our ticket. The only option Expedia provided was to book new round trip tickets, which were too expensive for us on the spot. Consequently, we had to cancel our entire 14-day trip to Italy, forfeiting our pre-paid Airbnb reservations and vacation time.
I had not anticipated this level of inflexibility from Expedia as a result of a missed flight. In my previous experience, I've never had a problem getting on standby for the next available flight. The penalty from Expedia is simply too severe and not worth any potential savings.
As of this writing, our return flights are still open. I would like to at least receive refund or credit for a part of our trip.
 
Sep 19, 2015
4,061
5,379
113
48
#2
Oh my. If you arrived 10 minutes after check in time ended for international flight that means you were at the airport 50 minutes before departure?

What kind of ticket fare was it?

There may be some confusion as to terms.

Once you missed the flight check in you were deemed no shows and that usually means ticket is forfeited.

And once that happens it means buy a completely new ticket and those are expensive. And that is what Expedia offered you.

American Airlines/BA may have also made you buy completely new tickets at walk up rates—you simply do not know what they would offer. There was someone on this forum who has charged change fees and fare differnials for having passport issues and having to reschedule— that was over $1000 per person.

And the idea of going standby when the traveler misses a flight through the travelers own fault is not a given. Most standby passengers missed flights through no fault of their own— ie late connection.

I bought an international ticket last week directly from the airline and asked what the change and cancellation fee was. I was told that if the ticket was not canceled before check in ended I would lose the entire value, if done before I would have a $400 fee and the rest would be a credit.

Was there a compelling reason that you were so late to the airport?

I have come close to missing flights, most often because of a traffic accident, and it is so stressful.

I suspect your return flights are not open as once the outbound has not been taken the return is canceled.

What were the fare restrictions on your ticket? What is the fare code.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,733
15,351
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#3
Recommended arrival times for an international flight is three hours before your flight leaves, two hours for domestic. Why did you arrive after your check in time? The computers shut down automatically at a certain time frame - between 45 minutes t o an hour before flight time and you cannot be checked in. Since that appears to be the case - you forfeited your ticket and Expedia didn't have to rebook you - you needed to buy new tickets at the airport. And those tickets were whatever the price that BA and AA were charging. You don't get your money back if you arrive too late, you forfeit the ticket.

If you miss your outgoing flight, your entire ticket is canceled so there is no refund for the return trip. It was also canceled by missing the first flight.

If you had booked the tickets directly and arrived too late the same thing would have happened - you missed the check in time and would have needed to buy new tickets at the walk up rate.

Sorry this happened - it's an expensive lesson to learn about getting to the airport at recommended check in times but Expedia did nothing wrong. You arrived too late to salvage the tickets.
 
Oct 21, 2018
2
0
1
35
#4
Hi! Thank you for responding. We certainly didn't intent on being late to the airport. No one did anything wrong based on their policy. Sometimes people/companies chose to be lenient to help out but it's nothing to rely on. Looks like we'll have to file this one under hard lesson learned.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,309
1,276
113
Maui Hawaii
#5
Hi! Thank you for responding. We certainly didn't intent on being late to the airport. No one did anything wrong based on their policy. Sometimes people/companies chose to be lenient to help out but it's nothing to rely on. Looks like we'll have to file this one under hard lesson learned.
When did you plan to arrive at the airport? For international travel, you should plan to arrive 3 hours prior to departure, and for some airports such as JFK, 3 hours would be a minimum. This is clearly spelled out on their website by every airline that flies internationally. The ability to check baggage is locked by the computers and late check-in cannot be accommodated.
 
Sep 19, 2015
4,061
5,379
113
48
#6
Hi! Thank you for responding. We certainly didn't intent on being late to the airport. No one did anything wrong based on their policy. Sometimes people/companies chose to be lenient to help out but it's nothing to rely on. Looks like we'll have to file this one under hard lesson learned.
Expedia went by the book because they cannot waive the fees and fare changes imposed by an airline -- those fees are not Expedia's to waive. An airline may have waived the change fee but charged an increase in fare, but they are able to do that on their own tickets.

International flights are very strict with cut off because many countries want the passenger list sent for screening, and the issue of positive bag check.

Was there a reason that you did not make it to the airport earlier, like a major accident on the highway?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,833
7,669
113
San Francisco
#7
I am so very sorry to know that your entire trip is cancelled. I can't imagine how painful this has been. Things have changed so radically in the last ten years with flying that inexperienced travellers are being blind-sided by it all. An online booking agency is just that; they book what you tell them to and take your money. As you have so painfully learned, they offer little added value, indeed they can make a bad situation worse. They spend all their money on slick websites and mass advertising, there's little left for customer service. Airlines and hotels have dug in lately and refuse to work with customers that haven't booked directly with them. Again, it's a tragedy for the non-frequent traveller ... how could you possibly know this? I urge you to send Expedia a letter explaining why you were late checking in and "artfully begging" them to help you somehow. Perhaps some credit can be found towards a future flight. It's a long shot, but we see miracles here every day. As for the prepaid land services, that is always a mistake but there's little to be done at this point. One last hope; does your credit card have any trip insurance built in as a perk?
 
Feb 3, 2017
146
201
43
45
#9
Insurance doesn't cover mistakes such as this; this was down to bad planning.

Even if you wind up sitting around waiting for your flight, bored out of your mind for some reason (books help for this....) being at the airport 3 hours prior to an international departure really is important. It just is. Sadly, you learned the hard way.

Hope you are able to find a way to make this trip at some point.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,733
15,351
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#10
Hi! Thank you for responding. We certainly didn't intent on being late to the airport. No one did anything wrong based on their policy. Sometimes people/companies chose to be lenient to help out but it's nothing to rely on. Looks like we'll have to file this one under hard lesson learned.
It’s not that they didn’t choose to be lenient - the computers like computers lock down, usually one hour before the flight leaves- and they can’t override them. A final manifest has to be delivered and cleared by TSA and the airlines need that time to have the manifest cleared.

In the future, remember the guidelines, arrive three hours before an international flight and two hours before domestic. That usually gives you plenty of time to check in and get through the security lines and get to your gate.

Sorry this happened- these are things you don’t get when booking with an OTA- guidance.
 
Jul 27, 2016
1,054
1,255
113
#11
Also, particularly if you don't need to check bags, make sure you check in online or on the airline's app in advance.

Then, you avoid the issue of missing a check-in deadline at the airport, and the only question becomes if you can make it to the gate in time.

I once arrived at the airport 22 minutes ahead of scheduled departure for an international flight, and made it (including going through US customs and immigration pre-clearance). If I hadn't already been checked in, I would have been locked out of the system. I wouldn't suggest cutting it THAT tight, though. :)
 
Likes: mmb and jsn55
Sep 19, 2015
4,061
5,379
113
48
#13
It sounds to me like the airlines at checkin were willing to extend a "flat tire": rule, and Expedia was not permitting that.
This is where the airlines have some discretion when tickets are bought through them. Expedia cannot change the rules of the ticket.

I am wondering if the OP is possibly eligible for even the taxes back.

There have been two times that I came close to missing flights because of car accidents blocking traffic and was stuck between exits and taxi just not moving. One thing I did was call the airline and discuss the problem. I got lucky both times, once because the taxi managed to crawl to an exit and took back roads, the second time I would have missed the flight but the flight crew was also stuck in the same traffic jam behind me so flight was delayed. It was so stressful.
 
Likes: AMA

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,833
7,669
113
San Francisco
#14
Also, particularly if you don't need to check bags, make sure you check in online or on the airline's app in advance.

Then, you avoid the issue of missing a check-in deadline at the airport, and the only question becomes if you can make it to the gate in time.

I once arrived at the airport 22 minutes ahead of scheduled departure for an international flight, and made it (including going through US customs and immigration pre-clearance). If I hadn't already been checked in, I would have been locked out of the system. I wouldn't suggest cutting it THAT tight, though. :)
I'm betting you had no bag to check and can run REALLY fast.