Expedia for TD higher prices that Expedia.ca and other issues
Now, this may not be news to some of you, and I did do a somewhat cursory search on this forum, but as recently as 2013, conventional wisdom was that, as someone with more than 15,000 posts and 1,600 upvotes on here put it,
I was looking for a couple of nights in Amsterdam, and was doing a little more research than usual as the trip was for my elderly parents (making sure there are elevators, vicinity to certain landmarks, etc.). While checking out a hotel on Trip Advisor, a hotel name popped up that I had not seen during my extensive searches on expediafortd.com (hereinafter referred to as "TD"). Oddly, Trip Advisor's little price comparison tool showed a very attractive price for that hotel on expedia .ca ("CA"). So I followed the link, and there it was, that very same really good price on CA's site itself. So I do the search on TD, again, input the hotel name (Rho Hotel, May 24-26, 2017, if anyone is curious), and it comes back with "sold out" on those same dates. CA's site had 3 rooms left at that price, and while it was was unlikely that suddenly 3 rooms had freed up and showed up on one, but not the other site, I thought I'd call the toll free number to ask if that was possible.
The agent who answered the phone actually repeated my question back to me to make sure he understood it. He was genuinely surprised. He then put me on hold, and came back a few minutes later, with the apparent new knowledge that this was not abnormal. What he had been told by a superior/more experienced coworker was that TD and CA draw from different inventories, and it is in fact possible for a hotel to be sold out on TD but not on CA.
That's bad enough, but it gets worse, as you could probably tell by the thread subject.
I had always wondered about the "because you booked a flight, here is a preferential rate on a hotel, etc., but it expires in "X" days, so hurry and book," but I have a hilton family&friends discount and usually book through them, so I never gave it much thought.
So I ran the same search on both CA and TD - and yes, it was the CA site, and not the US .com, and yes, I triple-checked the number of travellers and the dates, and yes I actually clicked on the individual hotel search results to see if I was comparing the exact same rooms, with the exact same amenities, with the exact same cancellation privileges, with or whithout breakfast, and I followed the link up to the checkout stage where the true total was displayed (CA's search results appear to show the tax-included price, unlike TD's).
There are some real savings, for some hotels, for sure, especially where it tells you you saved a certain percentage off (although the baseline price differs in many cases between CA and TD, so I wonder). I conducted the same exercise for Vancouver (I am flying there as well soon). But there were quite a few where the final TD price was 1-3% higher, even when it was purportedly "discounted because you booked a flight". If you factor in the forgone Expedia+ points that are worth around 1.5%, there can in many cases be no savings by using TD, and occasionally one loses money. On several occasions, the hotel rooms would have the exact same rate before taxes and fees, but the taxes and fees on TD would be around $4.00 more on a $250 reservation, so again a similar difference.
Again, there are some deals to be had, many perhaps, and it does appear that TD would have some hotels in its inventory that CA doesn't but my experience seems to contradict the statements on TD's website ("access to a full inventory of Expedia Canada's 400+ airlines, 510,000+ hotels worldwide, car rentals, vacation packages and more at a site exclusively for TD Travel Credit Cardholders") and at least one other TD Canada Trust source ("What's the difference between Expedia.ca and Expedia For TD? ExpediaForTD.com offers the same travel available on Expedia.ca with the added exclusive benefit for TD Travel Cardholders of being able to earn more TD Points for their travel bookings")
And that ain't right.