Patricia Jubb, 56, booked a package holiday with Expedia in May this year. Desperate to go on the holiday, and attend a music concert that she’d had tickets for since 2020, Patricia flew to Warsaw. However, when she arrived at her accommodation – Anton Apartments Pikena – she claims a security guard told her it had been closed for two years and that the building was now office space.
Patricia, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, said: “Before I left I tried to contact them on Facebook and on their website saying I was going to be late. But for the life of me I couldn’t get through to anyone and no one was getting back to me. I didn’t hear anything back but decided to go anyway as I thought if there was an issue Expedia would have got in touch. Although when I turned up it became immediately clear that something wasn’t right.
“I asked the security guard standing at the entrance of the address I had for the hotel and he said the building was now office space. He told me the hotel had been shut for two years, and I wasn’t the first guest who has turned up after it closed its doors.
“I spoke to reception and they said the best thing I could do was go to the police station and ask them to sort me out some accommodation.
“It suddenly dawned on me that I was homeless in Poland and had no idea where I was which was frightening.”
Patricia went and sat on a park bench opposite the office and called Expedia but claims they refused to find her alternative lodgings without verifying her story first.
Patricia claims they told her they needed to find out whether she was telling the truth about the hotel closure – and that it would take 24 hours to do so. In the meantime, she claims she was told to “sort herself out” despite the fact it was already 9pm and at the height of the holiday season.
Hotels in Warsaw were also full up with guests attending the concert which made it extra difficult to find a room.
Thankfully, Patricia had her credit cards on her and she was able to find a last-minute place on Booking.com to stay for the remainder of her holiday. She paid £401 for four nights, an additional cost which she now claims Expedia is refusing to reimburse.
Patricia, who works as a catering assistant, said: “Expedia’s attitude towards the situation was that they didn’t really care. They said it would take them 24 hours to ‘confirm my story’ and until they could do that I was basically on my own.
“The fact they were happy to leave a woman on the streets of Warsaw late at night with nowhere to stay is astonishing. Thankfully I’m a confident traveller and a resourceful person but imagine if it had been a mum with two young children.
“I stayed four nights in this emergency accommodation which was okay – but since I’ve got back Expedia are refusing to cover the cost.
“I want people to be aware that this is the way Expedia feel it’s okay to treat their customers.”
A spokesperson for Expedia said: “The customer contacted us to inform us about the late check-in, but the agents were not able to contact the property. The traveller booked the new room and sent an email to us with the information that she booked an emergency accommodation for GBP 401.
“Later after the investigation from Expedia, the customer was refunded for the full original booking amount. And was offered 2,500 compensatory points but the customer denied accepting.
“We will be initiating the refund for the amount difference between the new booking that the traveller made and the original booking of GBP180.80.”
Published at Tue, 09 Aug 2022 08:30:00 +0000