Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Expedia blog bares corporate travel baggage

A new blog, Overheard Bin: Business Travel as Usual (, set-up by Expedia's corporate travel division, will give business travellers and company travel managers a forum to debate current industry trends, exchange ideas and, most importantly, air their likes and dislikes, a la TripAdvisor (which is also an Expedia subsidiary).

As far as I'm aware, this is the first user generated review-like forum established by a corporate travel management firm.

Business travellers, unlike their leisure counterparts, are obligated to book certain suppliers under corporate negotiated deals, so, theoretically, a poor review of a favoured airline or hotel, should not impact whether a traveller selects that particular supplier.

However, company travel managers are increasingly mindful of their employees' "experience" on the road, so a damming review of a supplier could make them question their preferred relationship.

But there are other implications. For example, the forum could be used to "out" those suppliers which are not living up to the terms of their negotiated agreements, or are putting unreasonable demands on corporations in exchange for a favourable rate.

Travel management firms too could find themselves under greater scrutiny.

By far the biggest question such a forum raises is just how long it will be before social media starts to influence corporate-supplier negotiations.

When will the GDSs include user reviews in their green screens and corporate self-booking tools?

Thus far, no scathing reviews have appeared on the blog, but corporate travellers and travel managers are not exactly shrinking violets, so stay tuned.

Tricia Holly Davis, chief writer, Travolution


Anonymous said...

DO NOT USE EXPEDIA...I recentely had the worst travel and customer service experience I have had in my life with them. First I called to change my departing flight from Sunday April 27th to Friday May 2nd. The incompenent agent read everything back properly yet booked the flight for Friday April 25th. I did not catch this until I went to check in online the night before the flight. In trying to get this settled and have the flight change corrected, they first had me on hold for over an hour and would not admit that their error almost cost me my flight. Then I was told to contact Continental Airlines to rebook a flight and they would reimburse me for up to $200 of the rebooking fees. First, as this was a complete error on their behalf I would expect that they would correct the issue themselves. So I end up rebooking a flight through continental, who has a great customer service department by the way, and it cost an additional $250. Fine, that is do able. However, upon trying to obtain the refund that I was promised I was put on hold for 2 hours before anybody would even pick up the phone to talk to me. All I needed was for the refund to go the cc that was used when making the changes and not the card that was used to orignially book the flight. Sounds simple right? Not for the incompetent, ignorant and useless expedia customer service agents. I will never use expedia again and I urge you to heed my warning.

Travolution Blogger said...

Anonymous: off-topic. use other forums to publish your angst.

Anonymous said...

I work at a Hotel and I have guest comming in all the time and Expedia books thier rooms but we are booked we don't have rooms for them, also I have noticed that the price of our rooms are at least $25.00 cheaper if you call us and book a room if someone uses expedia they are fools big time fools that is the biggest rip off of all time. How about this we can go out back give me your money then I will kick you in the butt and we can call it a day. expedia is only for fools that have nothing better to do than prtend they are saving money....

ronin1770 said...

i never had any bad experience with Expedia - they are pretty good