logo
Sign in or Register

Already a member?

Sign in

Or sign in with your account on:

Not a member yet?

Register
    

Are Expedia Deals Always a Great Deal?

By  +Follow September 17, 2013 12:34PM
Share:
Tickers Mentioned:

Editor's note: The following is a firsthand account of a recent experience with Expedia.com's booking system from writer Andrew Klips.

As any good marketer would do, Expedia.com (EXPE) bombards visitors with a bevy of links on its home page that can be a bit dizzying, unless you want to just click on the prominent “Plan Your Trip on Expedia” interface at the top, which is likely what most people do.  An Expedia user myself, a recent experience harkened the question, “Is this really a deal?” and compelled me to share and let dealseekers know that they should take a closer look and perform their due diligence before they hit the “buy” button.

Let me explain with a couple images.  This is an actual confirmation of a reservation for three nights at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The room is called a “Queen Superior” and the cost was $379 per night. Seems like a fair deal and certainly comparable in cost to other hotels in the area. Way to go Expedia, you got me a great deal. Or did they?

 

Needing to add another day to the trip led to a call to Expedia only to be informed that they didn’t have the same room available. Understand that Expedia purchases blocks of rooms from hotels at a discounted rate and then sells them to consumers, so I understand that they could be out of that particular room for that day. But for me, it meant that I would have to get a different room for one night and then check out/check back in the next day into a different room. Not exactly what I wanted to do, and the cost for a different room was $499 for that extra night. I wasn’t actually told what type of room it was, but after a call to the Waldorf, we surmised that it was a “King Deluxe” and it was at the same price that the Waldorf charges guests. I also learned that the cost of the “deal” for the “Queen Superior” of $379 per night was the same price that the Waldorf charges.

A call to Expedia again – which connected me with a call center (in the Philippines, I was told) – started putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Speaking to a supervisor, I of course questioned the pricing model and requested a better deal that was beneath the cost that the Waldorf was charging. That was a moot request because I was informed that was not happening. Upset, I cancelled the Expedia reservations and made them directly through the Waldorf, getting four days in the same room at the same price as going through Expedia. There were no cancellation fees involved.

So, now I decided to investigate the matter a bit more by picking a random future date and checking prices on Expedia and double-checking with the Waldorf. Here’s an image of the Expedia search:


Sure looks like a great deal, right? In fact, getting a 4-1/2 star hotel (nonetheless the Waldorf in Midtown NYC) at a 48-percent discount? That sounds incredible.

 

Let’s move on by calling Expedia, which again connects me with the reservation service in the Philippines. The intention was to have a representative do the same search that I did (the image above) so that we were on the same page and could discuss what type of room was available for $429 that the Waldorf would typically charge $829.

After a few moments of the rep trying to find the same price quote that I was looking at, I was informed that was a basic room with a king bed, was hearing accessible and could have either a bathtub or a walk-in tub. When asked what “hearing accessible” means, I was put back on hold and never could get a good explanation. A quick call to the Waldorf provided the answer, which was that there are several features, such as flashing lights, TTY for telephone calls, etc. to provide accommodative services for guest that are hearing impaired.

Apropos, the reality is that pursuant to Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, it’s mandatory that hotels offer rooms that meet specific needs for people with disabilities.  I’m not sure it should be offered-up like it’s an amenity.

Back to the Expedia rep. When inquiring about upgrading to a “King Luxury” room, the rep couldn’t even tell me what the difference was other than “it’s fancier” or “sometimes the room is a little bit bigger and more expensive, of course.” After looking for a more descriptive response, I learned that it is $499 per night and, yes, some of the rooms are larger on a square footage basis. It apparently also confirmed the extra night that was originally offered was indeed a King Luxury room.

A check with the Waldorf informed me that they don’t charge $829 per night for the basic king room. My cost would be…you guessed it…$429. Now, in fairness, rates get shifted around all the time based upon day, season, holidays, etc., so perhaps there are times when it is $829.

Now, the point here is not to degrade the representative. I’m sure it can be a tough job for minimal pay that puts workers in a position to deal with people like me sometimes.  It’s also not to say that there is something out of the ordinary about using a call center outside of the United States. That goes on every day as well (although it can be a hassle to deal with). Nor is this an exercise in bashing Expedia, although in this case, I certainly felt a bit duped with the “deal” being at the exact same price as the Waldorf charges.

Incidentally, checking reservations at The Palms Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach (using the same dates as above) at Expedia and then with the hotel itself again shows that the same price can be paid going directly to through the hotel.

Contacting Expedia for a comment resulted in the following email response from the HL Group (the company that apparently handles PR for Expedia):

“Expedia’s goal is to provide the best prices and availability possible to their consumers. The company does provide the Best Price Guarantee to travelers that applies to hotels, flights, vacation packages, car rentals and activities.”

Fair enough and pretty much what I expected in a response.

The bottom line is that, like me, most people are happy when they feel like they got a good deal. But sometimes that glee can be replaced by a salty taste in your mouth by doing a bit of due diligence. The truth is that it is all a matter of perception. Expedia held up their end by offering the lowest price; there’s no denying that, but the “crossed out” price next to the “deal” price that they are providing is misleading at best and alters perception. In the cases above, it wouldn’t have cost me any more or any less to use Expedia, so I actually shouldn’t get upset about it other than believing in my head that I was getting a discount.  

There are also travel rewards points and convenience of bundled deals at Expedia if that’s a requirement. Of course the question is: Are there times when I could actually pay less by going directly to the source? That requires further examination. None of this means that I won’t ever look at Expedia again or that they don’t provide a good service, but when I do, it will certainly be followed-up with additional research to make sure I’m getting the most bang for my buck.

 

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions.


Liked What You Read? Join Equities.com and Connect With Your Favorite Financial Experts FOR FREE! Members of Equities.com gain access to our leading financial news and content, active social investment community, proprietary research tools including the 2014 Small-Cap Stars, E.V.A. reports and more.

Results for EXPE
Brandie Adamson
30 Aug 14 14:08:30
Expedia, Inc. to Part $EXPE http://t.co/RKRPmbUX9p
Market News
30 Aug 14 10:19:05
$EXPE: Expedia Q3 Hotel, Airline Trends Called 'Encouraging' http://t.co/nDumZ3og0X http://t.co/VVdSR1cs1k
Investors Hangout
30 Aug 14 10:18:10
chartguy89: EA Stock Chart $EA $XLY $ATD/B.TO $EXPE http://t.co/JfU44K6nJk
Investors Hangout
30 Aug 14 10:18:10
chartguy89: EA Stock Chart $EA $XLY $ATD/B.TO $EXPE http://t.co/p4LS6wLmQl
Investors Hangout
30 Aug 14 10:04:38
Emylers: $EXPE Up to date company activities and other http://t.co/1ETXigYlm7
Investors Hangout
30 Aug 14 10:04:38
Emylers: $EXPE Up to date company activities and other http://t.co/nB2gi1UNhw
Emylers
30 Aug 14 09:42:43
$EXPE Up to date company activities and other important information about $EXPE http://t.co/xabXwr6XrJ
Market Headlines
30 Aug 14 09:19:10
$EXPE: [video] Facebook's Growing Influence, Big Lots Earnings, Orbitz's Ouster http://t.co/uMJsqZwJOv http://t.co/H2Sz24aYpm
Investors Hangout
30 Aug 14 09:03:19
Jake13: $EXPE Opinion Today Click here to find out if http://t.co/okMhf0K4MO
Investors Hangout
30 Aug 14 09:03:19
Jake13: $EXPE Opinion Today Click here to find out if http://t.co/bVymg00DLV
iHangout
30 Aug 14 08:41:09
http://t.co/Vv1sYDyeQn Jake13: HDOG HUB: $EXPE Opinion Today Click here to find out if http://t.co/B3QMSBIxab
Jake13
30 Aug 14 08:36:25
$EXPE Opinion Today Click here to find out if $EXPE is a buy hold or sell. Watching these stocks. $EXPE $FFC $ http://t.co/u0gyDeHy6i
Investors Hangout
30 Aug 14 08:32:36
DennyT: GTAT OTC Short Report $GTAT $EXPE $TCEL $DGLY http://t.co/LrQapfAuY4
Investors Hangout
30 Aug 14 08:32:14
DennyT: GTAT OTC Short Report $GTAT $EXPE $TCEL $DGLY http://t.co/4sUYQQXLnT
Business Updates
30 Aug 14 07:19:04
$EXPE: Expedia, Inc. Announces Pricing of Senior Notes Offering http://t.co/SS8AWOoqe8 http://t.co/WY8PAmx3Ya
leahanne
30 Aug 14 07:17:09
$SPWR Sunpower Corp (SPWR) 38.22 +0.17 (+0.45%) $GOOG $SPXL $EXPE http://t.co/fiCz2w4z34
Bunny Lindquist
30 Aug 14 04:59:27
Expedia, Inc. to Parti $EXPE http://t.co/grVeBFst64
ⓢ
29 Aug 14 18:43:35
Net income up for OTAs amid increase in U.S. hotel bookings - http://t.co/79D23VkSqP $PCLN $EXPE
ⓢ
29 Aug 14 16:23:08
Stocks for Cashing In on the Online Travel Boom • http://t.co/88DFZR8jZM $PCLN $EXPE $OWW $TRIP
Bodhi Morley
29 Aug 14 15:12:19
$EXPE FBR Sees Encour http://t.co/lHPU7e6OEm
Stocks in News
29 Aug 14 08:19:12
$EXPE: Earnings Trim Portfolio http://t.co/Gfp5z81LUY http://t.co/LWOyKWrF6u
The Turtle Follower
29 Aug 14 08:02:09
REPLAY: STOCK TRADE IDEA - We continue with the trade in $EXPE we put on a few weeks ago #trendfollowing #trading http://t.co/PCqreZ7B5o
The Turtle Follower
29 Aug 14 06:00:11
NEW VIDEO: STRATEGY SESSION - $AAPL $ADM $AMT $APD $DIS $EQR $EXPE $FIS $HRB $LUV $RSG $TSO #trendfollowing #stocks http://t.co/SYiu3XcVL1
FonsieTrader
29 Aug 14 04:25:12
Parabolic Sar Sell Signals 2/3 $CTRP $DRYS $DXLG $EA $ERIC $EXPE $FIVE $FMER $GLNG $GOOG $GTAT $IDCC $JACK $KIM http://t.co/5bWJV9go5r
FonsieTrader
29 Aug 14 04:20:36
Bearish MACD Crossovers 1/2 $BK $BTU $COTY $COV $EXPE $FCEL $FDX $FSLR $FTNT $GES $GOL $GOOGL $GRMN http://t.co/DZL04indph
Maxwell Bustos
29 Aug 14 03:38:34
$EXPE Expedia, Inc. to Partici http://t.co/DTkp4Iixqe
Stock Updates
28 Aug 14 16:19:02
$EXPE: Expedia Inc Stock Upgraded (EXPE) http://t.co/JIXm0S1PTl http://t.co/pWb94UX8d7
$Stocknewsalerts
28 Aug 14 16:15:38
$EXPE New SEC Document(s) for Expedia, Inc. From our Stock News Alerts App
Pzaa...Guy
28 Aug 14 16:02:07
$EXPE - Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4) http://t.co/NV9SVagtfZ
InsiderTradingWire
28 Aug 14 16:00:09
Mark Okerstrom D, Chief Financial Officer of Expedia, Inc. Sells $1,395,164 Worth of $EXPE - #Form4 #InsiderTrading - http://t.co/mMERvg9lWd
Large Void Bot
28 Aug 14 16:00:03
$EXPE Aug 26, CFO Sells 20833 (2685 Net) Shrs; Net: -1.40M; Acq'd: 23518 18.63/s; Disp'd: 20833 88.00/s
Stockaholics
28 Aug 14 15:41:02
$VIIC ran up 720% Today in an explosive move! Our new picks are coming soon: http://t.co/EdxLh9u5Nx $KLAC $EXPE $HSIC
Eulalia Nickerson
28 Aug 14 11:50:00
$EXPE Expedia, Inc. to Participate in http://t.co/YIrA8lPr1T
Clair Voight
28 Aug 14 10:31:17
$EXPE Expedia Inc (EXPE) is Investing in Further Expansion: Dara Khosrowshahi http://t.co/2B8AWOgpdb
Financial Updates
28 Aug 14 08:19:12
$EXPE: Expedia Prices $500M Senior Notes, Gets Moody's Ba1 Rating http://t.co/GYdT1odumf http://t.co/uI3YohTFR6
Amigobulls
28 Aug 14 07:57:46
$PCLN $TRIP $EXPE $OWW Priceline is the most attractive OTA based on valuation. http://t.co/b4zrxMO6C5
The Turtle Follower
28 Aug 14 06:53:35
NEW VIDEO: STRATEGY SESSION Aug 27th - $AAPL $ADM $AMT $APD $DIS $EQR $EXPE $FIS $HRB $LUV $RSG $TSO #trendfollowing http://t.co/WFPnTJjpOg
finsents
28 Aug 14 04:16:41
$EXPE:US 28Aug Negative News #Sentiment http://t.co/6CStSG3fwW #SP500
finsents
28 Aug 14 04:14:46
$EXPE:US 28Aug Negative News #Sentiment http://t.co/RTkWQUvygR #NASDAQ
Domonique Leahy
27 Aug 14 19:53:33
$EXPE Expedia, Inc. to Participate in t http://t.co/eRxr6ekBTq
The Turtle Follower
27 Aug 14 16:30:52
NEW VIDEO: STRATEGY SESSION Aug 27th - $AAPL $ADM $AMT $APD $DIS $EQR $EXPE $FIS $HRB $LUV $RSG $TSO #trendfollowing http://t.co/WFPnTJjpOg
Stock Market News
27 Aug 14 15:19:08
$EXPE: Expedia, Inc. Announces Pricing of Senior Notes Offering http://t.co/Lx5FRkMn5Y http://t.co/PdKno05DtU
The Mighty Wolf
27 Aug 14 14:55:28
$EXPE holding right above 10-day 86.48, normal action so far. http://t.co/lsZFkA0H7P
Michael J
27 Aug 14 14:12:45
RT @askslim: $PCLN headed lower, where is the target? Ask SLM 12ct @tastytrade. $OWW $TRIP $EXPE $$ $SPY
The Turtle Follower
27 Aug 14 11:30:58
NEW VIDEO: STOCK TRADE IDEA - We continue with the trade in $EXPE we put on a few weeks ago #trendfollowing #trading http://t.co/rydnUzDYo8
TickerChirp
27 Aug 14 11:14:05
Top Tweets About $EXPE on 08/27/2014 http://t.co/7snLD9IPte
EnerJay™
27 Aug 14 09:55:13
2 1/2 yrs ago, $TRIP separated from $EXPE, FAR under radar. Smart analyst called it 'unique asset' due to size/scope of audience
Market Int Center
27 Aug 14 09:51:34
Expedia $EXPE Trading Near $86.60 Support Level ( http://t.co/mJRjXfGk9N )
Biz News Pioneer
27 Aug 14 08:19:25
$EXPE: Expedia Q3 Hotel, Airline Trends Called 'Encouraging' http://t.co/oUYAj3w2z0 http://t.co/NCiKr6tAEz
The Turtle Follower
27 Aug 14 08:03:38
NEW VIDEO: STRATEGY SESSION - $AAPL $ADM $AMT $APD $DIS $EQR $EXPE $FIS $HRB $LUV $RSG $TSO #trendfollowing #stocks http://t.co/WFPnTJjpOg
				
				
By  +Follow September 17, 2013 12:34PM
Share:

Comments

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

About us

Equities.com is the most advanced interactive online social ecosystem for the financial industry, serving as a resource center and next-generation communication platform that connects self-directed investors with public issuers, market experts, and professional service providers and vendors. Registered members can leverage our exclusive proprietary research tools such as the Small-Cap Stars, which outperformed 90% of all small-cap mutual funds, and robust do-it-yourself E.V.A. research reports. The Equities.com Issuer Dashboard is the ideal tool to communicate and manage investor awareness campaigns to the investment community, as well as to access valuable resources to help your company grow.

Market Data powered by QuoteMedia.
Copyright © QuoteMedia. Data delayed 15 minutes unless otherwise indicated. Terms of Use.