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Guide to Suing Expedia in Small Claims Court

Camila Lopez - Travel - August 11, 2023

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    Expedia, like other online travel agencies, offers many convenient services for travelers, making it easier for them to book flights and other travel accommodations. However, despite these advantages, individuals do sometimes encounter issues when dealing with such agencies. If you have a dispute with Expedia over a refund, rental, or overcharges, consider suing Expedia in small claims court. In the article below,  we will go over common types of small claims lawsuits against Expedia, how the small claims process works, and much more. 

    Did you know we have a free tool powered by AI that helps you create a demand letter to Expedia? Check out our demand letter tool.

    Examples of Lawsuits Filed Against Expedia 

    Case Facts 

    Case Outcome

    A New York small claims lawsuit was filed against Expedia for failing to refund an airline ticket that was canceled within the appropriate cancellation window. 

    The person suing was seeking the refund price of $4,994.82

    The court awarded the person suing the total $4,994.82 they were seeking plus interest. It is unclear from the court’s decision why they awarded this amount.

    An Orange County small claims lawsuit was filed against Expedia for failing to refund a hotel booking that was advertised as fully refundable on the Expedia website.

    The person suing was seeking the refund price of $1,201.12.  

    The court dismissed the case because both parties came to a settlement agreement.  

    A Los Angeles small claims lawsuit was filed against Expedia for canceling an airline ticket and failing to notify the person suing. The person suing only found out about the cancellation when they arrived at the airport. 

    The person suing was seeking a total of $611.80 for damages, which included additional transportation and accommodation expenses due to the canceled airline ticket

    The court dismissed the case. Usually, dismissals happen when the parties are able to reach a settlement, as in the case above, or they may have closed their case for other reasons. 

    Common Types of Small Claims Lawsuits Against Expedia

    We often receive the question, can I sue Expedia in small claims? The answer is yes, as long as the dispute falls within the court’s small claims limit. Small claims limits usually go up to $10,000. You may also want to consider suing the airline, hotel, or car rental company that would ultimately provide you with the service you purchased on Expedia.

    Here are some examples of small claims lawsuits filed against Expedia:

    • Failure to refund you. For example, you booked a flight through Expedia, but your flight gets canceled. However, Expedia refuses to comply with its refund policy and does not issue a refund for your canceled flight. 

    • Failure to provide correct accommodations. For example, you reserve a specific car model through Expedia for your family vacation. However, when you go pick up the rental car, the car rental agency says you booked a different car model. 

    • Unexpected charges. For example, a week before your booked trip you received an email from Expedia notifying you there would be an unexpected fee that you have to pay; otherwise, the reservation will get canceled.

    • Failure to provide booked services. You reserved and paid for a hotel reservation on Expedia, but when you got to the hotel, they didn't have your registration!

    What To Do Before Suing Expedia in Small Claims Court

    Review Expedia’s Terms and Conditions 

    Consider reviewing Expedia’s terms and conditions (referred to as Terms of Service) and other relevant Expedia policies before pursuing legal action against them, as they may contain important provisions that could impact your case. Remember, Expedia’s policies are written by Expedia and tailored to benefit them. However, it will be up to the judge to determine whether to enforce their terms and how to interpret their terms

    Here are some considerations to take while reviewing Expedia’s policies: 

    • Under Expedia’s Terms of Service, there is a “Disputes and Arbitration” provision. This provision states Expedia consumer disputes will be resolved through binding arbitration OR through small claims court. Arbitration is a similar legal process to going to court. However, in arbitration, a neutral third party, called an arbitrator, is appointed to resolve a dispute between parties. Decisions made by an arbitrator are binding and enforceable in a court of law.  

    • Review Expedia’s Refund timelines, policies, and processes page for information relating to refunds you may be entitled to. This page goes over how Expedia’s refund policy works, in relation to flights, hotels, car bookings, and more. 

    Speak Directly to Expedia 

    Before taking any type of legal action against Expedia, voice your complaint directly by calling or contacting Expedia’s Customer Service Department. 

    • Use Expedia’s Help Center. Expedia offers customer assistance via an online Help Center which allows customers to speak to a virtual agent who may be able to troubleshoot various problems. 

    • Contact Expedia's Customer Service. Call Expedia's customer service phone number 1-877-227-7481 and have them troubleshoot your problem.

    • Contact Expedia on Twitter. Many companies respond to Twitter complaints extremely fast. Here is Expedia's Twitter handle: @ExpediaHelp

    Send a Demand Letter

    A demand letter is a letter that outlines a set of requests you want Expedia to perform. For example, in your demand letter, you can request a refund from Expedia and explain why you are requesting a refund. By sending a demand letter, you may be able to resolve your dispute without having to take time and money to go to court. 

    What to include in the demand letter?

    Unsure of what to include in your demand letter to Expedia, consider including the following:

    • How much money you are owed.

    • Why you are owed money.

    • Your contact information.

    • Where to send payment.

    • Give them a few days to respond (usually 14 days).

    • State that if they don't respond, you intend to sue.

    Where to mail the demand letter to?

    Expedia, Inc.
    1111 Expedia Group Way
    Seattle, WA 98119

    Did you know we have a free tool powered by AI that helps you create a demand letter to Expedia? Check out our demand letter tool.

    File a Complaint Against Expedia 

    Besides suing in small claims court, you can also file a business complaint against Expedia with one of the following government or nongovernment organizations: 

    • The Federal Trade Commission. The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) is the nation’s consumer protection agency. The FTC's main mission is to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent practices in the marketplace. Learn how to file a complaint with the FTC here

    • Your state’s Attorney General’s Office. State attorney generals are the primary enforcers of consumer protection laws and handle consumer complaints against businesses like Expedia. Usually, consumer complaints can be filed with an Attorney General online or by mail

    • The Better Business Bureau. The Better Business Bureau (“BBB”), is a non-profit that serves as an intermediary between businesses, like Expedia, and consumers. If you have a complaint you would like to file against Expedia, the BBB allows you to file complaints and reviews online. 

    Small Claims Court Quick Facts 

    Small claims courts were created to help everyday people resolve their legal disputes with other individuals or businesses affordably, and efficiently. Below, we have included some quick facts about small claims courts. 

    How much can I sue for in small claims court? 

    The amount you can sue for in small claims court is known as the small claims limit. This amount varies by state and even by court but is usually around $10,000

    If you want to sue for more than the small claims limit, you will have to waive whatever amount is over the limit or consider suing in a regular court (however, this is going to be more expensive). 

    How long do you have to sue in small claims court? 

    States have set deadlines, called statutes of limitations, that let you know by when you should sue. 

    These deadlines will vary by state and by type of claim. For example, if you are suing for breach of contract, you will want to check the breach of contract statute of limitations in your state.

    How much does it cost to sue in small claims court? 

    States have made filing in small claims court accessible. 

    Most small claims court charge between $10-$75 to file a lawsuit. 

    Some small claims courts also offer court fee waivers, which means if you apply, you could pay $0 to file and serve your lawsuit. 

    Who can represent you in small claims court? 

    Small claims courts were intended to allow individuals to file, and represent themselves without the need for a lawyer

    How to File a Small Claims Lawsuit Against Expedia

    Here is an overview of how to sue Expedia in small claims court:

    1. Prepare the lawsuit. 

    2. File the lawsuit. 

    3. Serve Expedia. 

    4. Prepare for your small claims hearing against Expedia. 

    Step 1: Prepare the Lawsuit  

    Prepare the lawsuit using the proper forms. These are usually available for download on your local small claims court website. The court will want to know (1) why you are suing Expedia, (2) how much you are suing Expedia for, and finally, (3) how you calculated the amount you are suing Expedia for.

    Here are some considerations to take when preparing this information:  

    • In order to sue Expedia in a small claims court, you will need to make sure you have the right legal name and the correct mailing address for Expedia

    • This is necessary to make sure Expedia can be notified about the lawsuit later on.  We usually see Expedia refer to themselves as Expedia or Expedia, Inc

    • You can find more information about Expedia and its correct legal name and mailing address by going through their Terms of Service to see what names they use. 

    • You can also run a search on the Secretary of State website in your State to find out more information about Expedia, such as their address in the state, legal name, etc. 

    Step 2: File the Lawsuit  

    Prepare the lawsuit against Expedia by using the proper forms, this is usually available for download on your local small claims court website. 

    There are several ways you may be able to file the lawsuit: 

    1. In person at your local small claims court, 

    2. By mail 

    3. Electronically (not available in all courts), 

    4. By fax (not available in all courts). 

    Step 3: Notify Expedia About the Small Claims Lawsuit

    Once you file your claim with the small claims court clerk, you will then need to “serve” (notify) Expedia about the small claims lawsuit. 

    Step 4: Prepare for Your Small Claims Hearing 

    Preparing for your small claims hearing is one of the most important steps, as the goal is to win the lawsuit against Expedia. Hence, the more prepared you are, the better you set yourself up for the hearing.

    To prepare to win at your small claims court hearing:

    • Research the law. It is good practice to research any claims you are trying to bring to small claims court. At this stage, you can also consider consulting with an attorney if you have questions about the claim you want to bring to court. 

    • Prepare your evidence. Your evidence should be geared towards showing the judge why Expedia owes you money damages for their conduct. You also want to have your evidence organized with titles, dates, and why that piece of evidence is important. We have seen people with really strong cases fail to win at their hearings because they couldn’t find the right piece of evidence to support their claims. People Clerk can help you organize your evidence in a judge-friendly evidence packet.

    • Prepare what to say. During the hearing, the judge will ask you why you are suing. The judge will then turn to Expedia, and ask for their side of the story. Start by addressing the judge as “your honor,” and from there, explain in a clear and concise manner what the dispute is about.  

    • Print enough copies of all your evidence. Make sure you have enough copies for yourself, Expedia, and the judge. 

    Learn about the 5 mistakes you should avoid making during your small claims hearing.


    Camila Lopez

    Legal Educator @ People Clerk. Camila holds a law degree and is a certified mediator. Her passion is breaking down complicated legal processes so that people without an attorney can get justice.

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