Why I Won’t Book Another Flight through Expedia

So, if you've been following my IG, you know that I just visited Istanbul and Greece. Part of this trip was planned, part of it was not. I was so looking forward to visiting Greece! I love Greek Mythology (I actually took a whole course on it in college, cause I am a nerd...) so when I saw a ticket to Greece for just $535, I knew I had to book it. We booked the cheapest dates possible and were all confirmed for April way back in August. Even with great deals, I won't book another flight through Expedia.

This story is a bit long, but I hope my story will help others make smarter flight choices and NOT book third-party for international flights.

Well, a few months after buying my ticket, I get online and see that the flight price has changed and for just $135 dollars, I could extend my trip for two more days so I thought, why not? I just got a bonus and a few extra days sounds awesome! I call Expedia to change my flight, they say it is all changed. Confirmation email and everything was sent with the correct dates, times, and changes I requested. Then the trouble starts...

Just a day later, I get another email saying my itinerary had been cancelled. I spend two hours on the phone with Expedia and they have no way to know how it happened. They try calling Turkish Airlines (who the flight is booked through) no answer. They say someone will call me back in 24 to 48 hours with a resolution and yet no one calls me back. I call again, same thing. This goes on for TWO MONTHS. TWO MONTHS and there is no resolution. My flight was not rebooked until December - it was cancelled back in September. It ends up the request had been made incorrectly and Turkish Airlines had cancelled the flight because it was requested incorrectly. So that was just part one of the nightmare. 

Meanwhile, nothing is wrong with my friend's flight. She made changes and had no problems.

So, it is finally resolved, we plan our trip, so on and so on. Then I realize there was a change made to my flight request. The flight was actually changed to leave a day early, but not arrive in Greece until Sunday. I have a 24 hour layover in Istanbul. When my flight was changed, they only changed the first leg of my flight despite my request to have it changed to Saturday. When I looked online on Expedia, my flight said the right dates and flight numbers. Then I get on my email and it says something different. I call Expedia... they don't know how to fix it. SURPRISE! I spend more hours on the phone with them, no resolution.

You may be thinking - YAY a destination added to your trip! Let me say, yes Istanbul is awesome. The beautiful mosques, markets, and exploring the different squares was awesome, however, I had everything planned for Greece. I had things booked. I have a friend who doesn't want to travel alone in a foreign country who is worried about safety and is not interested in spending time alone. Not to mention the added cost of booking a hotel and things to do in Istanbul. So while I would love to visit Istanbul, I'd rather it not be like this.

So then I reach out on social media. I tweet at them twice. I Facebook message them and they tell me to call after countless messages back and forth eventually explaining I have to call. My friend calls and spends 3 hours on the phone with them too. I call over and over. Each time I called I got a new person and a new supervisor who does not know the situation. I would ask for a supervisor's name and they would refuse to give it to me. Seriously? No names were given to me and they refused to give my call directly to a supervisor. They spend 20 minutes looking over my file, then 20 more calling Turkish Airlines, and then 20 minutes telling me a supervisor will call me back in 24 to 48 hours. Guess how many times I have heard from a supervisor? NONE. No email except for a weird one about a flight on China Air. I have not booked a flight on China Air!!! It is so bazaar. I was literally reaching out daily and kept getting the same awful response. It was so frustrating to deal with different customer service people every time I called and get no resolution. To me, if you make a mistake with a customer, you should be fixing it. The whole thing was unacceptable.

So finally I call Turkish Airlines myself even though I am told I'm not supposed to by Expedia. When I call, they tell me to have Expedia call and they will resolve it. They literally gave me their 1-800 number to have Expedia call them back. Not some crazy number with five extensions and a last name to verify, just their customer service number. WHY COULDN'T EXPEDIA JUST CALL? I then call Expedia and after our typical 20 minutes looking over my file, 20 minutes calling a supervisor, they ask for Turkish Airlines' phone number (they don't have the airlines number?!) and call Turkish Airlines. They tell me there is nothing they can do and Turkish Airlines says they can't do anything. I demand to talk to Turkish Air on the phone and guess what? At first they told me no, but I keep asking and eventually they let me on the phone with them. Turkish Air said I could file a complaint and talk to them about it at a later time. At least I got an answer from them, but maybe I should add Turkish Airlines to the title of this post? 

At this point, I call my travel insurance who tells me that I can use insurance to cover the cost of this flight. The problem is, I would not get my money back for at least 10 days and would have to buy a new ticket which would be double the price of the one I had already purchased. That was not happening because that is expensive!

I'm tweeting and messaging on Facebook DAILY at this point to both Expedia and Turkish Airlines. I get the same message over and over. "We will get back to you."

Well, two days before I leave, I finally get this email from Turkish Air. I'm stuck with the flight they issued me, I get no compensation, and basically no apology for them messing up my flight. There you go - don't book a flight through Expedia or Turkish Airlines unless you want the worst customer service ever. They made a huge mistake and refused to ever fix it. They get no more of my business.  They essentially ended up being no help. This email still bothers me.

I am truly sad as I write this post because I really liked Expedia and Turkish Airlines actually had great service on the flight itself, but this experience and losing time and money on a trip, I don't want to risk it ever again. 

Have a horrible flight story? Let me know about it below!

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  • Megan, I could feel your frustration through the article! I am so sorry for your experience. I am not surprised about Expedia, but I am surprised with Turkish Air. Tourism is way down in Turkey with all of the conflict and bad press they have been getting, I would think that they would be doing everything in their power to make you happy. Thank you for this, I will not be using Expedia in the future!

    • I was surprised by Turkish Air too! I had heard such good things about them. That is part of why I felt comfortable booking the flight. Glad it was helpful -thanks for reading!

  • wow sorry to hear your awful experience with them! sounds like the makings of a torrid drawn out insurance claim story! I have not used expedia before, usually use skyscanner or kayak. But I always get so nervous booking 3rd party flights too! Did u end up going on your trip?

    • I didn’t end up using my insurance because the price difference would have been huge to find another ticket! I ended up going but having to stay in Istanbul for about 28 hours. I usually use Google Flights and then book through the website but this was too good a deal to refuse, but now I know why it was such a good deal…

  • Esther Lee

    Oh my goodness, what a nightmare! I can’t believe they were so unhelpful. So far, I’ve had no problems with third party sites like Expedia, but your story is definitely a good warning to be careful when dealing with them! Hope your future travels are much much smoother!

    • I know it was crazy how unhelpful they were. I am glad that my story was helpful and thanks! Best of luck on your future travels too!

  • Em

    What a nightmare. Thanks for sharing your experience to help others avoid this!

    • Thanks for reading Em! That is the goal – learn from others!

  • wow!! that sucks you had to go through that experience!! sorry that you had to go through that. I’ve only ever booked group trips through the airlines directly or with a travel agent 🙁 Good to know for future references that this is something I am NOT going to do going forward.

    • Thank you! I know I had not used Expedia for an international flight and now I see why people don’t do it very often. It was not fun! Glad it was helpful though and definitely would avoid using them in the future!

  • Emily Ní Cathaláin

    I hate booking through anything that isn’t the actual airline website. Even with skyscanner they re-direct you to the airline website which makes me a lot more comfortable!

    • Exactly! I just started using skyscanner and I love it. Definitely makes me more comfortable too.

  • Kyntra Strickland

    I’m hearing lots of bad things from Expedia! I’ve always booked flights through Student Universe and never had a problem! So sorry about all of this and thanks for sharing so it doesn’t happen to others!

    • I have never used Student Universe! Sounds like I should check that out too. Tanks for reading and glad it was helpful.

  • Wow what a horrible nightmare! Thanks for the warning. I have not traveled overseas yet, and have used expeida here in the US. I so feel for you..I am not sold on 3rd party sites anyway..hotels can be a nightmare too..

    • You are welcome. I have used Expedia in the US several times without a problem, but with the non-US airline it was a totally different experience. Hotels can definitely be a nightmare too!

  • Yikes! I’m so sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. We do mostly roadtrips so I don’t book a ton of flights, but this is great advice to keep in mind. I hope you had a fantastic time in Greece!

    • Thank you Megan! Greece was awesome and I ended up really liking Istanbul so it was all okay in the end, just a huge hassle and stress for months that I hope others will avoid.

  • youre the 2nd blogger whos written about expedia-turkish troubles THIS MONTH!!! Ablongabroad had huge issues too!!!!

    • Oh wow! I haven’t read her story about it yet – I will have to check it out. It was kind of the worst…