Expedia: watch the markup on extras

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I booked my current trip to Las Vegas using Expedia, since that gave me the best hotel and airfare rates, and they threw in a couple of spa passes at Caesar’s Palace (where I’m staying) for free. During booking, Expedia also suggested adding an airport shuttle to the package — a great idea since the traffic is crazy on the Strip and that makes a regular taxi around $30 each way. I happily added shuttle service with Showtime Tours for $12 round trip, only to arrive here and find their usual rate is cheaper:

Showtime rates

Only $1.50 less (and the conference organizers are picking up my travel expenses, so I don’t really care), but it’s the principle of it: Expedia probably buys vouchers from Showtime in bulk at a discounted price, and I don’t expect to pay almost 15% more than the regular price. If that had been a $300 Grand Canyon tour or Cirque du Soleil tickets that I’d added on at a 15% premium, I’d be truly pissed off.

It’s a very competitive market in online airfare and hotel bookings, so that keeps them honest on the base package, but you might want to do a bit of shopping around online before you let Expedia ask if you want fries with that.

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