Expedia Hotels Review
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Originally created by Microsoft, Expedia is one of the biggest and most successful online travel sites in the world. Being based in North America means it’s one of, it not the strongest in this market when it comes to hotel accommodation. These days Expedia is owned by Expedia Group, which also includes sites such as Travelocity and Orbitz – in fact you will find that these are almost the same site, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Expedia's hotel reservation system is a mature product with considerable options. They offer both prepaid and pay-at-hotel options depending on the hotel with their pay-at-hotel offering currently being marketed as “Reserve now, pay later”. Besides hotels and resorts, they claim to offer access to more than 1 million apartments and alternatives accommodations. With the current COVID-19 situation, they also offer information on cleaning practices at the property. As with most of the major travel sites they offer a large range of rooms with free cancellation, as well as some which are fully-refundable. They also have a map where you can see the nearby attractions in the city, although the map itself is fairly basic. Expedia offers quite a lot of information about extra charges that other sites often don’t, including valet parking fees, Wi-Fi fees, pet fees, parking fees and even the deposit you must leave when checking in. Generally speaking, Expedia has fairly high quality hotel reviews and allows you to filter by type of traveler. Unfortunately though they don’t let you filter by room type which some of the competitors offer. You also can’t sort by the worst reviews first which a lot of people want to read. For those with accessibility issues, Expedia offers quite a lot of information like whether each of the public facilities are wheelchair friendly – this information is lacking from almost all competitor sites. When searching, the top search results are usually marked with an “Ad” label and might not necessarily be relevant to your search results so it’s important to keep this in mind. One great feature of Expedia is that is on the search page every image is an image carousel allowing you to compare hotels better without having to click through to every one. One of the best things about booking on Expedia is that each room only shows one price, and then users can add things like breakfast, free cancellation, or change to a “pay-later” type booking by adding extra money. Overall this makes for a much more pleasant booking experience than other sites which often list 5 -10 prices for the same room, each with slightly different options. Generally speaking we find Expedia’s approach to fees relatively transparent, for example cancellation policies and penalties are prominent, and also feature on the checkout page right before you make the booking as a final reminder. Searching on Expedia is a very smooth experience. Besides searching by city, you can also search by country, state/province, airport, train station, attraction, area, or even metro station. The search results are also delivered fast, unlike some other sites.
From a random sample test, we found that Expedia's pricing wasn't particularly impressive. Having said that, the pricing is still relatively in line with other players, in fact Expedia actually had the cheapest prices on a few hotels. In addition you need to remember that Expedia's home market is North America, so it stands to reason that they should be one of the first sites to check out if you're travelling in the United States or Canada.
Expedia without a doubt has the best availability for hotels in North America. From our own tests though we found that they are not always as good in Europe and Asian markets, so it's going to depend on what exactly you are looking for.
Expedia is available on desktop and mobile browser, as well as a mobile app on both Android and iOS. In addition, Expedia is available almost worldwide, which means they support over 35 languages.
Expedia don't charge any extra booking fees or credit card fees, which is in line with most of the other major players. As they offer both prepaid and pay-at-hotel booking options, it might be worth taking this info consideration when you're booking. In terms of payment method, they accept all the major credit cards including American Express, Visa and Mastercard. In addition to that they accept Paypal. They don't however accept Google Pay or Apple pay.
As one of the earliest players in the online travel industry, Expedia has a well-established reputation. While their booking experience is generally considered quite good, they are not particularly well regarded for customer service. In particular, they are known for very long waiting times on the phone. Their mobile apps rate reasonably in the respective app stores, however the scores aren't as good as some of the leading players.
Expedia provides a number of toll-free phone numbers which can be called from varies countries around the world. They also offer a chatbot which can complete a number of simple actions like checking or cancelling your booking without having to talk to a real person. Although they might not be known for answering the phone quickly, unlike some competitors they don’t charge extra any money for service, which means that when a hotel offers free cancellation, even if you speak to a customer service representative it won’t cost you a cent. For the record, you don’t need to speak to anyone to cancel a booking, this can be done directly through the website.
Expedia is always a site worth checking. While they are not known for their customer service, they have excellent available, paricularly in North America, and offer solid prices. In addition, they're been around for more than 20 years, so you can trust that they'll still be tomorrow.