A traveler made a reservation canceled because of a storm. The hotel would be happy to cancel his reservation, he was told, but because he’d made the booking through Expedia, a refund would be up to the agency. Expedia wouldn’t give him his money, citing its published refund policy.
Forcing travelers to opt out of a purchase when they’re buying a ticket or a hotel room isn’t new. But the volume of complaints Chris Elliott has received about pre-checking is on the rise, as is the number of well-known travel companies engaged in this questionable e-commerce practice.
When the economic crisis first hit our radar screens last autumn, predictions for the future of travel were bleak. Airlines started cutting capacity, car rental companies began corporate bargaining and hotels began girding for the worst. And Priceline began licking its chops.