Local

Online Travel Reservations May Go To 3rd Party

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4)- A hotel reservation booked through one website doesn’t always mean you’re dealing with that company. That’s what one CBS4 viewer found out the hard way.

It took Frederick Barta about one month to get a refund for a hotel room that he thought he booked online through United Airlines.

Barta had booked a trip to Los Angeles and several nights at a hotel.

“We normally book everything online,” said Barta.

He booked his flight and hotel through united.com. Barta initially reserved five nights but before his trip realized that he only needed four nights. He called the hotel to cancel that extra night.

“The hotel at that point said you’re going to have to call hotels.com and I hadn’t booked through hotels.com. I booked through the United website,” said Barta.

And when he contacted hotels.com, “They said I had to talk with a manager of the hotel to cancel it. That’s when the manager said, ‘You’ve got to call expedia.com.’ So I was booked through expedia.com.

Both websites are owned by Expedia Inc.

“It became kind of a tennis match back and forth,” said Barta. “I thought we were booking everything with United and we were not.”

The hotel reservation section of united.com is managed by contracted vendors. In the “Terms of Use” section is does spell out that the website has a partnership with Travelscape. Travelscape, like hotels.com, is also owned by Expedia Inc.

“You want to make sure you know who you are booking a reservation with because once you do that and you get into the situation like this, it’s really hard to make a change,” said Barta.

After weeks of phone calls and emails, Barta was finally notified he was getting his refund of $146.77 from Expedia.

Next time, Barta said he will book his hotel reservation directly with the hotel.

4 On Your Side advice about booking online:

  • Before booking airfare, a rental car or hotel online, be sure to read the cancellation policy.
  • When booking with a third party, expect extra time and energy to get a refund.
  • Many online sites are owned, have partnerships or are contracted through other websites.
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