TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Expedia Hotel Pricing Error Irks Some Travelers

Expedia Hotel Pricing Error Irks Some Travelers

Kyle Peterson (
Sat, 12 Nov 2005 19:01:57 -0600

By Kyle Peterson

Online travel agency said a glitch last week allowed some
travelers to book hotel stays in Japan at stunningly low prices and
that only some of these reservations would be honored., run by Expedia Inc., posted incorrect prices for two
Hilton International hotels in Japan. Some customers reported prices
as low as $2 a night.

The agency blamed the mix-up on an "isolated processing incident" at
Hilton. A hotel spokeswoman described it as a "technical glitch" on
Hilton's side.

Expedia said on Friday that Hilton would honor some of these bookings
and that other customers would get a $250 coupon for a package trip to

The company also said it notified some customers offering to confirm
the original booking at the correct price or cancel the booking with a
full refund.

Randall Besta, who had booked stays for 11 nights in Tokyo and Osaka
next year, said that option was unacceptable. The 43-year-old Toronto
marketing consultant had already booked flights for himself and a
friend to Tokyo.

He said he has received confirmation from Hilton saying the rate would
be honored but that Expedia told him the rate was incorrect. Besta
said he would think twice before booking on Expedia again.

"If they come clean on this, then yes," said Besta, who booked his
rooms for $3.48 a night.

Expedia said that bookings for this month would be honored at the
quoted price. But later bookings would be canceled at Hilton's
request. The exception is for package deals booked on Expedia. Those
also will be honored.

Expedia said it was offering customers who booked rooms at the wrong
rate a $250 coupon for a package trip to Japan booked prior to
December 31, 2005. Travel must be completed by December 31, 2006.

Bill Scannell, who plans to fly with his family to Osaka, Japan, next
year, said Expedia agreed to honor his booking after he called several
times to complain.

"You can't weasel out of something like this," said Scannell, a
41-year-old publicist in Washington. "With travel you make plans. You
buy tickets. I've been busy mapping out frequent fliers to get my
family there."

He said he had been considered legal action if his September 7-20,
2006, reservation at a Hilton in Osaka was not kept at the price he
was promised.

Scannell booked the room on November 4 for a total of $46.57. Expedia
later told him the correct figure was $2,079.57.

Expedia said one reason it was canceling the bookings was to prevent
people from reselling the cheap bookings to travelers at higher
prices. Expedia bookings are nontransferable.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the
daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at . Hundreds of new
articles daily.

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: Monty Solomon: "Spinners and Bloggers: Political Communications in Digital Age"
Go to Previous message: PC World Communications RSS Feed: "Moving to VOIP But Keeping Same Phone Number"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page