Expedia / flight to iceland via jetblue, mechanical failure, customer service failure
On July 21, 2018, I booked reservations through Expedia for the following travel; Itinerary #[protected]
September 7, 2018, I was to leave West Palm Beach Airport (PBI) at 3:07pm to connect with Icelandair in Boston (BOS), leaving at 8:45pm arriving Reykjavik at 5:45am on September 8 for my son's wedding at noon on that date.
Jet Blue Flight 221 leaving from PBI had mechanical failure, delayed takeoff twice, eventually used a different plane, and eventually arrived in Boston (BOS) at 10:11pm.
When I realized there was a delay, and possible problems with connecting flights in Boston, I phoned Expedia to request assistance in booking a different airline due to my need to arrive in Iceland for my son's wedding.
I had purchased a Vacation Waiver in the event something such as this might occur. I expected it would be honored.
Instead, the agent/representative at Expedia put me on hold several times, refused to book me with another airline, continued to try to convince me that I would make the connecting flight as booked. He changed the Icelandair flight from 633 leaving Boston at 8:45pm to Icelandair flight 630 leaving Boston at 9:30pm.
When it became clear that even this change was not going to accomplish my connection, he told me I must go to Boston to get another flight to Iceland, because by then (after 1.21.50 hours on the phone with him) he said there were no flights to Iceland from West Palm Beach, and he could not help me, but I could get a flight from Boston.
That flight information is detailed here:
JetBlue Flight 221
Landed-Confirmation #YDSKKV-Flight time was 3 hours
West Palm Beach PBI
PBI to BOS Sep 7, 3:07 PM
BOS to KEF Sep 7, 9:30 PM
Upon arrival at BOS, I found that the Icelandair terminal was closed, no flights were available until 8:30pm the next night, over 8 hours AFTER my son's wedding. It was then almost midnight, I was stuck in Boston with no way to reach my destination, misinformed and abandoned by Expedia, and extremely distressed that I was going to miss my son's wedding.
JetBlue Agents in Boston assisted me with cancelling all flights, assuring me there would be refunds of all money spent, and provided a voucher for a hotel for the night, so I could get some rest. They also booked me a return flight to West Palm Beach for the next day, at no cost to me.
While at the hotel, I called Expedia several times to be sure all flights, and hotels, were cancelled, and to file a claim for this disaster. I spent 26min on hold at 11:36PM on Sept. 7, 2018 trying to get this resolved. After 2 additional attempts, I finally called again at 5:44AM on Sept. 8, 2018, spoke to a Supervisor, and believed a claim was being filed to refund all monies spent for airline fares ($762.34) and hotel ($168.56) which totaled $930.90.
After speaking with that supervisor, I began getting emails that I was going to have to pay for the hotel regardless of my efforts:
Sat, Sep 8, 2018 between 6am and 8am:
Requested Email: Hotel Cancel - Itin: [protected]…
Case ID : [REQ:E-[protected]]
Case ID : [REQ:S-[protected]]
It is my contention that the agent/representative who should have assisted me before the flight ever left PBI (West Palm Beach) deliberately refused to change my travel plans and rebook me, and deliberately misguided me, so that I would have no recourse with the Vacation Waiver purchased.
This has cost me, at the moment, $930.90 and the loss of a very important event in life, the wedding of my son. Nothing could make up for that loss, but having to pay over $1000 (meals, travel to and from, etc.) in addition to the pain of this fiasco is beyond reason. I am still expecting to receive refunds for the cancelled airfare and hotel, and it would be nice to receive some acknowledgement that Expedia at least cares about the outcome of this extremely poorly handled miscalculation by one of their representatives.
But the real issue here is that after looking at some way to file a complaint, and perhaps get some acknowledgement (so far I have been totally ignored) and some refund, I find that this is business as usual with Expedia. I was so unaware until now because I have only booked simple travel destinations via Expedia. Why is this such an unadvertised problem? Why is there not a class action suit against Expedia? Why is there no expose' into these practices by some journalist or organization that protects consumers against these fraudulent actions by a well-known company? Am I the only one who is considering the next steps of filing legal action?
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