Expedia / trip cancellation insurance

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I booked roundtrip flights for me and my older son to New York where he was going to have a surgery. I also purchased Expedia's travel insurance in case we cannot fly back home as scheduled. Since my son was in a critical condition, my wife and younger son flew to NYC to see him, booking roundtrip flights again through Expedia. The only difference is that she didn't purchase a travel insurance. The interesting fact is that my wife called Expedia, explained why she and my younger son are unable to fly back on the date of their return, told them that she didn't buy an insurance and asked what can be done in order to get a refund. They told her to email them a copy of the surgeon letter explaining my older son's condition, which they further forwarded to American Airlines. As a result she got refunded the full price of her and my younger son tickets. I did the exact same thing, but since I had an insurance I expected that it will be even easier for me to get a refund. However, this was not the case - my claim was forwarded to AON Affinity which handles the insurance claims for Expedia. I emailed them the same documentation, but my claim got denied, since the trip was booked for the purpose of medical treatment. So it seems that you have a higher chance of getting your money back if you DON"T purchase an insurance. The most important question here is why this happened? It seems that Expedia sells the AON's insurance knowing perfectly well that it is useless, because they get their cut (agent fee) from the insurance sold through their web site. Obviously they will get a higher cut (a matter of agreement between the two companies) if AON makes a higher profit on each insurance package they sell. How an insurance company makes a higher profit? The simple answer is - by denying most of the claims. AON's and Expedia's record in this regard is unenviable - one simply has to check the multiple complaints published online by their dissatisfied customers. My estimate is that less than 2% of their customers who purchase an insurance and submit a claim actually get a refund. From my experience, I lost more money booking through Expedia (including their absolutely useless insurance) than I would have lost (if at all) booking our flights directly through the American Airlines web site. Expedia in this regard turned out not only to be more expensive, but also a completely irrelevant as a service provider. I hope more and more people will realize that these so-called travel agencies don't provide any additional value to their customers and better be avoided entirely.

Nov 28, 2017

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