More Media for the Expedia Free Flights to New York, Cancun, and Las Vegas Deal

Scott Mayerowitz at ABC New Travel covers the story nicely.

I spoke with him yesterday, he had learned about the deal on this blog. I put him in touch with Matthew and Scott details some exploits on ths deal:

Next month, Klint, his brother and his uncle are all flying to Las Vegas and staying in two rooms at a five-star hotel. The total cost: $44. Throw in a $200 food and drink credit and they are actually making $156 off the trip.

…Then he started booking other trips for friends and family. Ultimately, Klint purchased 15 tickets, most of them for free.

Mayerowitz gets Expedia to say they’re honoring the deal, though they wouldn’t comment further.

The key takeaways from this deal, as with most, are:

  • I have no ethical problem with these. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don’t. If a travel provider decides to honor an offer like this, I say that’s great, and I’d love to participate. If they aren’t going to honor it and they decide and communicate that quickly, there’ll be more deals in the future. Threats to sue are silly, you win some you lose some and move on. But you do win some, amazing experiences you wouldn’t otherwise have, and it’s worth raising your hand to say that if they’re being given out, you’d like to be one of the lucky few!

  • You have to act fast. The deals can last for days or hours or minutes. Don’t try to get it perfect, don’t consult with your whole family. If it’s refundable or uber-cheap, just book it. Not sure which dates you want? Book a couple, decide later. Remember, we don’t know how it’ll turn out until the deal is done, so don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Too often people can’t figure out their perfect trip, coordinated with friends, and they don’t book anything at all. But as long as it’s not expensive and non-refundable, you’re just ‘buying an option’ and can decide what to do with it later. Hey, sometimes deals are cancelled and those that got in on it are given travel vouchers as an apology, might as well sign up for those..

  • Don’t be greedy. Don’t just limit yourself to one necessarily, but don’t be like the guy who booked an Executive Floor room at the Tokyo Hilton for $3 for an entire year because it was near his office, got him breakfast and cocktails every day. That’ll breed ill-will, raise the costs to honor it, and frankly is just unsporting. If a travel provider wants to honor an amazing deal, say thank you, don’t stick it to them.

I posted this deal here on View from the Wing. I found it at Flyertalk. I figured I might get some heat for sharing it, since folks are pretty paranoid these days about ‘killing deals’. There’s usually someone at FLyertalk who will say they called the airline or hotel chain with a questoin while the deal is live, and everyone piles on with scorn and condemnation, figuring that person is killing the deal. When usually they’re just pulling everyone’s legs, for the reaction.

I do wind up learning about deals that don’t get posted here, sometimes because they don’t seem of broad enough interest or other times because they’re shared with me in confidence. I won’t ever breach a confidence. But if I learn about something publicly, then it seems to me that readers here have just as much right to the information as readers elsewhere, and it’s best to make information as broadly available as possible. Besides, the odds that this blog will kill a deal when the much more heavily trafficked (including by industry..) Flyertalk will not is a stretch to say the least. And deals always do die, that’s their nature, and another one comes around again.

Until the next one!

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, 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. Nice write up. And thank you for posting it here. In this day and age keeping these things secret is not easy. This was all over FatWallet and SlickDeals too, and with Google instantly sweeping all sites it put info in everyone’s sight very quickly. But thank you for posting it here.

  2. I just don’t understand how this “mistake” lasted for 36 hours. Plus it started on a business day so it’s either negligence on the part of Expedia.CA or extreme generosity.

  3. I can’t believe that I got in on this one. I’ll shortly be flying to New York, including a helicopter tour of the city and a luxury dinner cruise. Total cost: $13.

    Wife and I are flying to Vegas, 3 nights in a hotel, airport taxi and daily breakfast. Total cost: $9.

    It’s great to hear official word from Expedia that they’ll be honoring the deal.

  4. Gary,

    I can’t see how one guy “calling just to check” is going to kill a deal. If a fare/package is bookable, it’s bookable. Period.

    If I were a CSR, and one guy called me about some great deal, I’d look into the computer and say “yup, what a great sale!” If I were taking calls about a particular destination (or city) all day long, I might say something to my supervisor off-hand about “wow that ZZZ sale is hot today.” But is the sup going to call revenue management because of one phone call? Nope. If it does get pulled, it’s because of way more than “one guy at FT” calling about it.

    BTW, if I were writing back end systems, I’d be writing some fail-safes in the system to guard against particularly good deals.

  5. I agree with JamesORD. I booked several trips for our upcoming family reunion over several hours. Expedia honored all of my bookings. All of our bookings were less than $20 for air/hotel package. I wonder did any Expedia employee get fired.

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