Using Expedia’s Vacation Waiver

What do I think about Expedia’s Vacation Waiver? Well, the jury is in . . . my refunds processed the next day. Here is a review of how the Vacation Waiver worked.

Meadow and cabin with Rocky Mountains in background
Photograph from Pixabay.

Three weeks ago, I made plans to visit Colorado for a long weekend. I was supposed to leave today — about three hours from now. When I made reservations through Expedia, I paid for their Travel Protection – Vacation Waiver (please note that the Vacation Waiver is different than standard trip insurance). I normally only take out travel insurance for more expensive overseas trips. But this Vacation Waiver intrigued me — cancel for any reason — like — “Hey, I just don’t feel  like going after all.” How much? $41.00 to cover a $792.84 trip — this included the flight, a rental car, and a hotel reservation for just the first night there.

And guess what? Last night I decided that I didn’t feel  like going out of town this weekend after all. I’m tired. I’d spent last weekend in Austin with family, and what I want is a relaxing weekend at home.

I also thought it was a great opportunity to test how well the Expedia Vacation Waiver would work.

This morning I signed into Expedia, went to “My Trips.” I had paid $715.04 when I booked the trip. I wouldn’t be charged for the car until I picked it up in Denver. I canceled the car reservation myself with no penalty.

My hotel was a non-refundable Expedia special, so without the waiver, I would get nothing back.

Then I clicked on my Vacation Waiver and read the small print:

“Prepare for life’s unexpected occurrences. With a Vacation Waiver you can cancel or change your trip—for any reason—and Expedia will pay your change fees. Go ahead, book that family vacation today, resting assured that you can change it if you need to!

Key Benefits:

— Change or cancel your trip for any reason.

— Covers you prior to the scheduled start of your trip.

— Cancelling your flight? Get a full refund of any cancellation fees and a credit for the amount of the cancelled ticket.

— Changing your flight? Get a full refund of any change fees and a credit for future travel.”  — from the Expedia site. Please note — flight CREDIT, not refund.

Okay, fine.

You cannot activate the Waiver online, so I called the Expedia Customer Service number and said I wanted to cancel the Denver trip. The representative explained that I would have to cancel the Frontier flight myself. Frontier would issue a credit that I could use towards future travel. The Expedia Vacation Waiver only covers penalty charges. This is basically what the Waiver page states, except I had expected Expedia to handle the legwork.

I was on the phone with Expedia for more than fifteen minutes, on hold as the service representative did the work to get my hotel money refunded through the insurance. At the end of my wait, I was assured that I would have a refund of $349.86.

Then I went to the Frontier website to cancel the flight. I couldn’t do it online, and when I called Frontier, the menu options recording warned me that if I used a phone representative to change or cancel my flight, I might incur a $25 service fee. I’ve never flown with Frontier before, so I wondered whether I was in for a Spirit Airlines type experience.

The Frontier representative was pleasant. The cost of my flight was $324.00. Frontier subtracted a $99 fee (but nothing additional for speaking to a real person), and I retained $225.20 as a credit for a future Frontier flight. Great.

I called Expedia back to find out how to get the penalty fee refunded. I had to fax the Frontier email receipt to Expedia, and then had no idea whether they had received the fax. I checked my American Express account several hours after my fax and saw nothing. Then both the hotel and penalty charge refunds processed and appeared on my American Express account the next morning before noon.

Original Charge Refunds and Credit Cost
 $715.04 $349.86 refund
$99.00 penalty refund
$225.20 Frontier credit
$674.06 total
45 minutes

 So what do I think? It was more entailed than Expedia would lead you to believe, based on reading the Vacation Waiver description on their website.

  • Be very clear: you WILL NOT get the cost of your airline ticket back. I’m fine with the credit on this particular flight — I will use it another time.
    • You also need to understand the nature of airline credits: they can ONLY be used by the person whose name was on the original ticket. You CANNOT do something handy like using your credit to pay for your college kid to come home for Thanksgiving. This is normal. It may stink, but this is standard.
  • You aren’t going to see this credit back on your card immediately. But it was fast . . . less than 24 hours.
  • Fax the airline receipt? Really? Who uses fax machines anymore?
4601550 – abandoned shelter in the valley beneath mount massive in leadville, colorado, usa

I have used Expedia for a long time, and I’ve had very good experiences with their services. The waiver plan works — I received the refunds posted to my American Express less than 24 hours after calling Expedia and faxing them the airline receipt.

Is it hassle free? Um, NO. But I liked that with this type of trip insurance, I could choose to cancel without a medical emergency.

So for $41 and 45 minutes of aggravation, I got to change my mind.

I love Leadville, Colorado, but I’ll save returning there for later . . . when I have more time to wander and explore the old mining towns of the rockies.

Disclosure: I did not receive compensation for writing this review, and it reflects an accurate report of my experience with the Vacation Waiver insurance. In mid-September 2016, I became an Expedia affiliate, which means that you will now find Expedia links in my articles.

Ann in Castolon in Big Bend National Park. Photograph, Jim Stevens

About Ann

I grew up in Mississippi and New Orleans, have lived in both Seattle and Manhattan, and finally moved back to Texas in 1990’s.

I have a darling teenage daughter who heads off to university in the fall of 2017. I have been divorced and am now widowed. Finally, I am a colon cancer survivor.

I am now writing and traveling full time — what a wonderful thing!

This website is a forum for many things. I want to talk about life, in all of its rich, wonderful and terrifying forms. I want to share my travels, my thoughts on life, and my experiences as a woman and a mom. I want to talk about the nature of reality and the meaning of life, and to celebrate being alive.

Thank you for visiting! 

I’m writing and traveling full-time now, and if you like my work, please subscribe to my blog via email.


Happy you’re here — For other articles on life and travel, browse the home page:


The Lady in the Hermès Scarf

Hermes Scarves. Photograph, 123rf Stock Photos.
Hermes Scarves. Photograph, 123rf Stock Photos.

Elena tugged at a corner, and the heavy silk twill slipped from beneath the stack of scarves in the drawer to fall open in her hands.

In the field of cerulean blue, the silver bark of the tree shone. The slender branches stretched up from the trunk reaching almost to the limits of the carré, the square. From those branches sprouted golden leaves edged in black. A light breeze fluttered the silk, and the leaves and branches of the scarf tree came alive.

Elena looked across the bedroom, and through the open window it seemed that she could see David and the old man playing chess under the trees in the Jardin du Luxembourg. The old man was still, except his eyes moving around board, coming back to the new position of David’s bishop. He moved his queen from H3 to C8, pressed to stop his clock, and looked at David.

Elena found herself sitting on a chair between the two men wondering whether David could extricate himself. Nourah lay at her ankle. The Saluki’s head rested on her paws but she was not sleeping. Her nose quivered and her eyes were busy.

With David’s next move the old man smiled.

“Ah, Davide. Je vous ai piégé maintenant.” Another move and another press of the chess clock.

Suddenly Nourah lifted her head, ears pricked. Across the park a white cat emerged from a shrub and walked out onto the gravel path. In a flash Nourah was off, leash flying as she closed the distance in an impossibly short time.

Elena called after her, but a sight hound with prey is single-minded.

Across the street and into the neighborhood Nourah flew — oblivious to traffic, to passersby. Elaine caught her only because the cat disappeared through a gate into a large courtyard, and there Nourah sat, peering through the iron bars. When she stooped to pick up the leash, Nourah put her nose against Elena’s ear.

“Don’t tell me you’re sorry. I know you aren’t.” She ruffled the dog’s silvery hair.

David found them on the Rue Michelet headed back to the Luxembourg, Elena’s hair wild, and Nourah sleek and elegant at her side.

“Done with the game?”

“You saw. Jean-Claude had finished me already. Let’s go for a coffee, or — ” David looked at his watch. “Perhaps a drink?”

“Yes. La Closerie des Lilas or Le Dome?

Closerie“Perfect spring day – let’s go to Lilas.”

As they settled themselves at a table, Nourah arranged herself next to David’s chair, pressed against his leather messenger bag.

The waiter brought the drinks and Elaine took a sip of her champagne cocktail.

“I have something for you.” David pulled a box from his bag and handed it across the table.

Elena opened the orange box with the bright blue scarf, and as she  took it out it fell open and the golden tree fluttered out.

“How lovely, David.”

“All French women should have at least one.”

“But I am not French.”

“I think Paris has adopted you. Besides, when I am back in Riadh, it will please me to think of you wearing it.”

Elena reached across the table and put her hand on top of David’s, which he turned palm up to hold hers.

“You will keep Nourah while I am gone?”

“Of course. But –”


“This trip, this time . . .

“It will be fine.”

Perhaps a narrow folding.

Elena lay the scarf flat, took opposite corners and folded each corner into the middle. She folded each side towards the middle again, and then again until the scarf was a thin, long strip of bright blue and gold. She tied it around her head, knotting it at the nape of her neck with the long tails of the scarf draping over her shoulder in her hair.

American cathedralShe loosened the scarf and it fell open again.

Nourah was not allowed at the American Cathedral, and David’s parents hadn’t understood why it upset her. But Elena put the Saluki’s picture next to David’s at the front.

You aren’t supposed to wear Hermès scarves in the rain. The colors might run.

The smell of the light shower mixed with exhaust and Elena and the dog crossed the street with the headlights glistening on the wet pavement in front of them.

Her hair was too thin for this now. She looked at herself in the mirror on the dresser again. It would have to be a different fold.

You see, you fold the scarf into a triangle. Center the widest part on your forehead, the rest of the scarf covers your head, and the long corners tie together over the back of the triangle to create a head wrap.

“Oh, there you are!” The young woman seated on the banquette waved at her friend.

The restaurant looked like a pale Parisian brasserie. The upscale clientele loved the monochromatic palate that was such the current style. So much more elegant than the real thing.“How ARE you?” rejoined her friend, swinging her handbag into the seat next to her. In the background the jazz gave way to something with a few too many violins.

They looked about for their waiter. He was at the table one over from theirs talking intently with an older woman. Thin and somewhat pale, and she was all in white linen with scarf tied around her head. The bright, clear blue with touches of silver and leaves of gold framed her face.

Salukis are from the Middle East, and are one of the oldest dog breeds. Photograph 123rf Stock Photos.
Salukis are from the Middle East, and are one of the oldest dog breeds. Photograph 123rf Stock Photos.

Fiction. Ann Cavitt Fisher, copyright 2016.

Dedicated to women who love scarves, and to all who need them as they fight cancer.

Thank you for visiting — for other articles on life and travel, browse the home page:


Save up to $500 when you book your flight +hotel!

Ann in Castolon in Big Bend National Park. Photograph, Jim Stevens

Thank you for visiting! 

I’m writing and traveling full-time now, and if you like my work, please subscribe to my blog via email.





Why are Hermès scarves so expensive?

Hermès of Paris is a luxury goods manufacturer established in 1837. The first Hermès scarves were produced in 1937, the company’s 100 year anniversary.

The Hermès silk farm is in Brazil. It takes 300 cocoons of silk to create a single scarf. The design and silk screening work is done in Lyon, France. Each scarf design takes from 750 to 2000 or more hours to create because each element in a design that requires a different color is hand drawn on a separate screen.

For those interested in learning about the Hermès Carré, the article and videos below help show why these scarves are special.

The Making of the World’s Most Coveted SquareMaking a Hermes scarf Secrets of an Hermes Scarf

Secrets of the Hermes Scarf

How Hermes Silk Scarves are Made

How Hermes Silk Scarves are Made

Hand-rolling the scarvesHand rolling and stitching