A Plan To Eliminate 96% Of Employees at Expedia [Roundup]

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. With all due respect. I don’t think you understand the skills and manpower needed to interface with 1000s of hotel and air interfaces, hotels without a GDS and antique gds platforms. You are in over your head here.

  2. My wife and I traveled in France for 4 weeks. Expedia made mistakes, but I never saw my money back ( $ 1000+). I sent a letter to the CEO…he never responded. STAY AWAY FROM EXPEDIA AND THEIR OTHER COMPANIES PROVIDING THE SAME SERVICES BUT UNDER DIFFERENT NAMES!!!!

  3. What idiot with a pulse still uses visa debit cards? Get an ATM-only card from your bank. If you must use visa debit (i.e. using Fidelity/Schwab at international ATMs) never use it to purchase anything.

  4. So you found a cheaper flight on Expedia and never looked to see WHY that flight is cheaper than what the airline charges.

    Made the mistake of using a 3rd party booker for a domestic flight in Indonesia because they wouldn’t take US CC.

    MY BAD. They screwed me over everyway possible and I ended up.several hundred dollars to the poorer when I finally bailed. Never again. BATIK, you are scum and so is Bookings for letting you do it.

  5. The woman with the breast pump had a choice and she chose to keep the milk and go without the pump in her carry-on. She must be ill informed. I grew up in farm country (we didn’t have cows but classmates did) and knew from when I was a kid that not milking a milk producing cow in a timely manner could lead to infection or even death of the cow. Dairy farmers are married to their cows, so to say. Not as bad in human females but similar things can happen when they are lactating. She should have taken her breast pump and as much breast milk as she could in the one approved carry-on and applied for reimbursement if the other milk was damaged by traveling as checked luggage, the same as any other luggage being damaged. Another way would be to check with other passengers without a carry-on and find if any was willing to carry on her other carry-on for a cash inducement. Foolishness in creating a problem that didn’t need to be.

  6. @Boraxo, unfortunately, none of my banks (all credit unions) offer ATM-only cards. For 20 years, I’ve been pressured to get debit cards (and on one occasion, ridiculed by a bank manager for my position – immediately losing him a depositor). One CU even wound up sending me a debit card instead of an ATM card; I had them replace it but they “forgot” to note that I didn’t have a debit card, so I received an updated one when the first (that I cancelled and returned) expired – immediately losing my business for good. Then 4 years ago, both of the primary CU’s I use changed their policies and only issued debit cards because of “COVID” – I looked around and every other local financial institution was incorporating the same policy. I reckon if banks are pushing debit cards so hard, they must be a scam of some sort (and I’ve heard of the underhanded ways debit cards are dealt with by banks) so I don’t even want them in my house, much less my wallet. Thus I’ve had to start carrying a lot more cash with me (and keeping a relatively large amount at home in a safe) so I can have the 24hr access to it as I’m no longer able to use their ATMs.

  7. The complexity of Expedia s business and assuming this is not a troll post is a) operating 100s of brands directly (hotels.com, Travelocity, etc.) or indirectly as white label (Amex, United Airlines hotels, etc.) b) providing services across 50+ countries all with their unique rules and payment procedures c) the tech stack of connecting to 1000s of hotels, 100s of airlines and unlike your statement, it’s the long tail of hotels that generates the bulk of the revenue, due to Europe fragmentation, after all booking holding which mostly just does hotels has 22k employees.

    As a small margin marketplace losing money on every flight sold and an average of 15% on hotels, they are in a position where they rely on hotels and airlines to reimburse their customers when the hotel or airlines didn’t follow their contractual obligations. 20+ years ago, travel agents had much higher margins and power over travel providers and were able to secure better support, those days are long gone.

    I understand your frustration and for travel experts, I recommend booking direct for leisure trips and all flights and using hotels.com for business accomodation (best loyalty program on a per $ basis)

    Source: worked in travel across most verticals

  8. If you’re dumb enough to book travel through a third party, you’ll eventually come up a loser. There’s just no reason to not book direct. Even one ruined trip is too much. Use your head, book you flights, cars and hotels direct. I’ll occasionally use Chase to book UR awards, but Chase is not a faceless internet dot com. Chase has people to help if there’s trouble. Chase answers the phone. I’ve probably had 5 issues since the Sapphire cards came out 8 or 9 years ago, and each time an agent was able to fix the problem very quickly.

  9. I have booked flights and separately hotel rooms through Expedia and have never had a problem. I hope their service continues.

  10. “100 people to run the website”?

    You demonstrably have no idea what you’re talking about:


    Adding features, fixing bugs, addressing security issues as they occur and maintaining operations for that small subset of Expedia’s systems requires well in-excess of 100 staff.

    Further, Expedia is subject to the PCI DSS and the compliance requirements involve significant staffing for a company of Expedia’s size.

    Where did you obtain this obscenely incorrect number of staff from?!?

  11. I literally had the same question of why Expedia had so many employees WHEN I WORKED THERE.

    The team I was on hovered around two dozen engineers, product managers, and ‘technical’ project managers to manage a SINGLE page of the web site.

    There were other similarly large teams for LITERALLY every functional page of the site: not just flights, hotels, packages, etc, but separate ‘search’ and ‘detail’ pages for each of those.

    We spent FAR less time executing projects than planning and coordinating the relatively few projects that all these people would be attached to.

    To be fair, this was before the pandemic when there were quite a few more employees, so maybe this isn’t the case anymore.

    But my understanding at the time came to be that the employee count had less to do with the capacity to execute projects, but rather had the benefit of attracting shareholder investment (to which was tied the compensation of executives and those engineers, pms, and tpms as well as their ‘functional’ managers).

  12. I recently had reason to make a quick flight from PNH to DMK and the return is in two days. AirAsia was the cheapest for a flight I booked at night and flew the next morning. The AirAsia website absolutely not take any of my credit cards, a PayPal one (this one has been troublesome before internationally), a Chase one nor a Bank of America one. All of the credit cards are for good accounts. Finally, I went to Expedia and booked the same exact flights for the same exact price using one of the credit cards. No problem booking with Expedia, printing my boarding pass and flying. I’m glad they assigned me an aisle seat because of the tight pitch on the hour plus flight.

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