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Is Expedia Trustworthy? Here’s Our Full Expedia Review

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Online bookings now comprise one of the largest shares of the tourism industry revenue. Third-party travel booking sites, chock-full of competitive offers, are ever more popular. We’re all looking for a streamlined experience and significant bang for our hard-earned buck.

What could be better than booking the destination of your dreams at the lowest price possible with just a few taps on an app? One of the most popular platforms in this regard has to be Expedia.

You might recall its yellow plane logo. The revamped 2023 version is a black arrow on a yellow background, reflecting the diversity on offer. As well as flights, you can book hotels, car rentals, cruises, and tours.

Expedia is one of the world’s largest travel platforms. It allows users to book flights, hotel accommodations, and rental cars from well-known companies. However, the platform gets a real mixed bag of reviews.

Even competing with giants like Booking.com and TripAdvisor, Expedia has made a name for itself. However, you’ll find both praise and horror stories about the platform when you search online. 

One of the main benefits of using Expedia is the convenience of booking all these travel arrangements in one place. The platform offers plenty of attractive deals, plus a price guarantee option on many flights.

On the other hand, some users have reported unsatisfactory service. Customers cite difficulty canceling or changing bookings, leading to negative reviews.

So, is Expedia safe? Is it legit? Should you trust Expedia with your future travel plans? Check out our full Expedia review to discover the pros and cons of using this well-known brand.

What is Expedia? 

Expedia Logo

Expedia is a third-party online travel agency. Founded by Microsoft in 1996, it went public in 1999. What started as a modest flight booking service slowly grew into a fully-fledged online vacation planning portal. 

Now the company has over 20 partners and subsidiaries. Brands including Trivago, Hotels.com, CarRentals.com, and Travelocity enable Expedia customers to access a vast network of vacation possibilities.

The mighty search function means you should be able to find everything you need to book for your next trip. This includes booking hotels, flights, car rentals, and even activities at your destination.

How to Use Expedia

Expedia laptop search page
Expedia / Expedia

Using the Expedia website and its booking process is pretty effortless. Once you’re on the website, you can sign in with your Google account if you have one.

Signing in as an Expedia member is a smart move. It’s free and qualifies you for their OneKey rewards program from the word go.

Your Expedia account also covers Vrbo and Hotels.com. You earn rewards for every dollar spent when you book with any of these brands. You can then redeem rewards across all three.

Whether you’re using a laptop or the Expedia app, the landing page design is highly intuitive. You can select Stays, Flights, Cars, Bundle & save (also known as Packages), Things to do, and Cruises.

Expedia Mobile App Search Page
Expedia / Expedia

Use search fields to specify destination, travel dates, and number of travelers. Click the search button, and you’re presented with a list of options, letting you find deals and compare prices. You can then sort and filter the options.

You can stipulate preferred airlines, baggage requirements, price, and number of stops for flights. A handy price tracking display shows trends over the past few months. App alerts notify you of price changes. 

Expedia Mobile Price Tracking
Expedia / Expedia

As with Booking.com, filters for accommodations include guest ratings, amenities, and cancellation policies. Unlike Booking.com, Expedia uses icons early in the process, making the text more user-friendly. I also like how you’re shown nightly rates as well as grand totals.

Once you choose, the website will give you a booking link for further confirmation. Before you book, check out verified guest reviews. Expedia works hard to ensure only those who have used their products post an authentic “verified review”.

See Related: Best Websites for Cheap Flights and Hotels

Who is Expedia for? 

Adding family traveler count in Expedia
Expedia / Expedia

Does Expedia fit you? Mainly, the website aims to streamline travel booking. If you’re time-poor, the platform can make life easy.  Families looking for the complete package or people frequently crossing the globe for work can find the site useful.

For those who aren’t commitment-averse, the OneKey reward program is worthwhile. Loyalty will pay if you book travel regularly and are happy with Expedia, Vrbo, or Hotels.com. 

So Expedia is excellent for travelers who don’t want to spend too long researching. The bottom line is that spending time sifting through all the options and booking directly will likely get you the best price.

Key Features of Expedia

Expedia is trustworthy for flights and good for hotel reservations. Here, I’ve evaluated the website’s most popular travel products to help you make an informed decision. 

Flights

The Expedia group works with over 500 airlines in 70+ countries and boasts a hefty 70Pb of data storage capacity. This massive database of trips to hundreds of destinations worldwide ensures you’ll get a good deal.

However, it’s no secret that airline ticket prices are dynamic. Unless Expedia overcharged you through their error, accepted reservations stand, even if the online price dips.

To avoid being caught out, you can buy Price Drop Protection. You purchase this “lowest price” guarantee after picking your flight.

If the website shows a lower price for your journey, you’ll be refunded the difference. Don’t bother checking elsewhere – payments only apply to price checks on Expedia. Payments are made after your trip and credited to your original payment method. 

Is this a legit deal? Price Drop Protection costs anything from a handful of bucks for an internal economy flight to hundreds of dollars for a long-haul business-class flight. The protection plan may be voided if you or the airline change your flight. And 24 hours after purchase, it’s non-refundable.

Price Drop Protection examples - Boston-Costa Rica
Expedia / Expedia

So paying for price protection is risky – always read the fine print. Prices may not go down.

This is where the price tracking facility helps. Tracking pricing patterns can help you judge how volatile ticket prices are.

Hotels

Samle Hotels to book in Expedia
Expedia / Expedia

The Expedia stable of companies has millions of accommodations on offer. This includes hotels, hostels, guest houses, vacation rentals, and glamping.

Multiple filters and search options make finding something to hit the spot easy. So you can specify eco-certified, LGBTQIA+-friendly, family-oriented, or fully accessible accommodations.

The search page also tells you how much you could earn in OneKeyCash. Look out, too, for members’ discounts. 

Once you’ve found the perfect destination, you must do your due diligence and read the verified guest reviews. Unlike Booking.com, Expedia shows an eco-friendliness rating along with all-important scores for cleanliness and service. 

Is booking a hotel through Expedia safe? Generally speaking, yes. Again, for a hassle-free experience, travelers should take some responsibility. As the company themselves say: “We recommend booking a fully refundable stay in case your plans change”.

Of course, this usually means a small surcharge. Read the fine print on the booking page – each accommodation provider has its own rules. 

See Related: HotelTonight Review

Car Rental

Expedia Car Rentals examples
Expedia / Expedia

Renting a car can transform vacations. If you want control over exploring new places or visiting famous landmarks, you need wheels. Like hotel and flight booking services, Expedia car rental offers choices for all wallets. 

The site sifts through prices from tried-and-tested companies to provide competitive deals for your rental car. Brands include Enterprise, Alamo, Thrifty, and Hertz.

The choice is comprehensive – compact vehicles, full-size luxurious rides, convertibles, vans – you name it. You can specify electric or hybrid and select a ride based on traveler rating.

Again, the booking process is swift and uncomplicated. Check details, though, to establish payment, license, and delivery protocols for your chosen company.

And again, you’ll earn OneKey rewards by renting a car through Expedia. Membership also makes you eligible for selected deals. Seniors with an AARP membership might also qualify for special cut-price offers. 

Vacation Packages

Expedia Bundle & Save Vacation Packages
Expedia / Expedia

Expedia also offers vacation packages. Find these under the Bundle & save tab or by clicking on Packages.

You can bundle any combination of flights, hotel stays, and car hire. This approach certainly streamlines the process. 

It’s often a savvy move financially, too. Expedia frequently offers discounts if you book travel plus accommodation simultaneously. Stay within budget by using the filter to set a maximum price per traveler. 

Don’t forget that packages tend to be cheaper off-season. Consider shoulder seasons for the best value vacations

While Expedia vacation packages take a lot of the stress out of planning, a word of warning. Each reservation is subject to its terms, rules, and restrictions. Don’t assume the Ts & Cs for one component apply to the others.

See Related: Best Travel Sites for Packages

Rewards Program

Expedia OneKey Rewards Program
Expedia / Expedia

There are gazillions of travel website loyalty programs available. Is Expedia’s OneKey scheme worth getting excited about? 

Entry-level Blue Tier members automatically score a 10% discount at select hotels. With every reservation, you earn points, known as OneKeyCash, to use on eligible bookings. Remember, this works across Vrbo and Hotels.com, too.

Just 15 trip elements send you into the Gold Tier, meaning a saving of 20% on over 10,000 hotels. The higher tiers also provide Price Drop Protection for free on selected flights booked using the app. Other top-tier perks include free breakfast and room upgrades at selected properties.

The downside is that OneKey – once known as Expedia Rewards – is only available in the United States. You can spend OneKeyCash rewards only on US dollar ‘Pay Now’ accommodation bookings. And you can’t use accumulated rewards in part-payment for flight tickets.   

So, regular US travelers and those who value perks and freebies will benefit from the program. If this isn’t you – don’t get too excited.

See Related: Best Travel Hacks

Pros of Expedia

To give you a clear picture, I’ve listed Expedia’s main benefits at a glance. 

Cheaper Bookings

Cheap Flights in Expedia
Expedia / Expedia

Will you always get the cheapest deal with Expedia? In short, no. But many other online travel platforms won’t offer better deals.

Bulk purchasing lets Expedia and its competitors offer flight tickets at tasty prices – at times. However, making a reservation through an airline or booking a hotel directly sometimes yields the very best price.  

Membership brings savings if you’re prepared to be flexible. You can also use the OneKey rewards scheme to your advantage if you’re a frequent traveler. What Expedia will save you is time.

Flexible Payment Plans

Expedia Flexible Payment Plans
Expedia / Expedia

Planning the vacation of your dreams on a budget? Expedia offers some flexibility when it comes to parting with your cash.

Some hotel deals let you pay in monthly installments. Book online with the Pay Now option and then sign up with buy-now-pay-later company Affirm.

You can also reserve rental cars without paying in advance. The rental company takes your credit card details to make the deposit.

You pay in full with the same credit card when you pick up the car. You can also pay a deposit for cruise reservations and pay the balance later. 

See Related: Places to Travel in December on a Budget

Trip Insurance

Home page of World Nomads
World Nomads / World Nomads

Expedia is a one-stop shop for all your traveling needs. Booking pages automatically offer basic insurance when you check out. This covers flight cancellation, baggage loss, medical expenses, hotel booking protection, and travel delays.

You can purchase insurance up to 24 hours after making your reservation. If you’ve purchased insurance and then changed your mind, you can cancel up to two weeks after booking. 

Read the insurance policy carefully before signing up. It won’t cover cancelation or medical costs based on an existing medical condition. Shop around and purchase flight insurance at say World Nomads, VisitorsCoverage, or Allianz and you may get better coverage for less. 

Also offered is the Vacation Waiver. With this add-on, you can change or cancel your trip for any reason one time before you leave.

See Related: VisitorsCoverage Review: Is It Legit?

Cons of Expedia

If you’re wondering if Expedia is trustworthy, there are some negatives you should consider 

Unhelpful Cancellation Policies

Booking Cancellation in Expedia
Expedia / Expedia

While most operations on the Expedia website are a breeze, the same can’t be said for canceling a booking. There’s usually no fee if you cancel within 24 hours of confirmation. However, if you cross the time limit, fees and penalties come into play.

There’s no blanket rule – you must be across the terms and restrictions set by individual providers. And if you have a package, you’ll need to deal with each part separately, which can be a huge headache. So be sure to fully understand the terms of every booking.

Website Ads

Ad in Expedia Website
Expedia / Expedia

A significant turn-off is the annoying number of ads hijacking the screen as you try to book. These ads gunge up a busy website, making it challenging to tell legit deals from fake ones.

Inefficient Customer Support

Virtual Agent on Expedia
Expedia / Expedia

If you want to contact Expedia, you’ll usually deal with a virtual assistant rather than a human assistant. When I’ve contacted Expedia, answers to my queries have simply been links back to the website. Make sure your question fits their system, or you’ll forever be greeted with “Do you have different info you’d like to try?” 

And Expedia reviews often complain that Virtual Agent responses are slow. Not terrible customer service, but definitely could do better.

Customer Complaints

It’s well known that satisfied customers are much less likely to comment. But when a company scores 1.2 with Trustpilot and 1.05 with the Better Business Bureau, you have to be suspicious.

Many Expedia customer complaints focus on lagging customer service and refund issues rather than vacation problems. But such a vast organization will inevitably drop the ball sometimes. 

See Related: Booking.com Review

Is it Safe to Book Through Expedia?

Yes, it is safe to book through Expedia. It’s one of the most trusted travel booking websites out there. Millions of people use Expedia annually to book various travel arrangements with no major safety concerns. Expedia is a massive company with plenty of experience, so you can feel comfortable that your booking is in good hands.

How Trustworthy Is Expedia? 

It’s time to answer the ultimate question: Is Expedia trustworthy? After evaluating all its features and the pros and cons, I feel it’s safe to say Expedia is trustworthy and, therefore, worth a try. 

You’ll likely find a good deal and save time – a bonus when planning your next vacation. But remember, there’s a certain amount of risk involved whenever you opt for third-party travel bookings online.

Some top tips: Firstly, always read the fine print regarding flight details and accommodation sites. Secondly, take screenshots to save your booking confirmation and travel details. Then, it’s easy to send images if you need to make a claim.

FAQs

Is Expedia a trusted website?

Expedia is a trusted website for booking flights, hotels, and vacation packages. It is a well-established online travel agency that has been in operation since 1996. Expedia has a strong reputation for providing reliable and secure booking services to millions of customers worldwide.

Why is it cheaper to book through Expedia?

Expedia is a travel booking website that offers discounted rates on flights, hotels, and rental cars. It is cheaper to book through Expedia because they negotiate bulk rates with travel providers and pass on the savings to customers. Additionally, Expedia often offers exclusive deals and promotions that are not available elsewhere, further lowering the cost of travel.

Is it safe to book flights through Expedia?

Expedia is a legitimate online travel agency that allows users to book flights, hotels, and rental cars. Expedia takes security measures to protect user data and uses industry-standard encryption to safeguard personal and financial information. While no online platform can guarantee complete safety, Expedia is generally considered a safe and reliable option for booking flights.

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