When Jean Harfouche’s daughter wanted a summer getaway to Europe, he bought the ticket.
“She said, ‘please daddy, I want to go’, so I said ok,” he told our sister station in Los Angeles, KNBC.
Harfouche booked the multi-leg ticket – using two airlines – through Expedia. But just before the trip, he caught a typo he made when buying the ticket. He had dropped the “h” in his daughter’s last name.
“It was a simple mistake,” he said. “One letter [was] missing.”
So he asked Expedia to correct the typo.
“In my view, it’s so easy to fix,” he said. “It’s a click on the computer.”
But it turned out he was wrong. Expedia told Harfouche it couldn’t correct the typo. When he called the airlines, he was told they couldn’t help either and directed him right back to Expedia. According to Harfouche, Expedia’s only suggested solution was to buy his daughter a new ticket for $1,400. He ended up doing just that, losing the money he used to buy the first ticket.
“I feel this is robbery,” he said. “It’s not fair – it’s a mistake.”
Our sister station in Los Angeles, KNBC, called several airlines to find out if a ticket typo is impossible to fix. They all said they correct typos for free. But, they said that’s not always possible when consumers book through third-party travel sites because their systems aren’t compatible.
Expedia confirmed that was the case with Harfouche. It also said using multiple airlines made it impossible to correct the typo.
Lauren Wolfe, a consumer travel advocate, said this doesn’t make sense, adding that if travel sites like Expedia can’t fix a simple typo, consumers shouldn’t give them their business.
“If you’re booking a big international flight, with multiple stops, it could be worth it to book directly through the airline,” Wolfe said.
Harfouche said that’s what he’ll do next time.
“I’ll never do business with them again,” he said.
When you book an airline ticket, double check the spelling of your name. If there’s a typo, call the airline right away. If you still can’t clear it up, you have 24 hours to cancel a ticket.