If I book my flight through Expedia, can the airline make changes to that reservation (e.g. if I wanted to change my return date), or do I have to call Expedia directly?

  • just had an one-hour phone call with Expedia trying to change my flight, but still couldnt .. it is really annoying
    – user26516
    Jan 31, 2015 at 16:17

2 Answers 2


Yes, the airline can make changes to a ticket issued by a 3rd party.

Whether they will make changes is a different matter.

In general, the ticket is deemed to be 'owned' by whoever booked it - generally either the airline itself, or a 3rd party travel agency. That party is the one that has been paid to issue the ticket, and is generally responsible for making any changes at least up until the start of the first flight.

So in general, any changes - at least before the start of travel - will need to be made by Expedia.

Some airlines do give you the option for them to "take over" the ticket so that they can make changes, however (at least in the US) they will generally charge you for doing this. eg, the United Airlines Contract of Carriage states :

UA will assess a 50.00 USD/50.00 CAD fee to assist with a voluntary change on tickets originally issued via any external ticketing source (travel agency, internet agency, other airline, etc.). The fee is non-refundable and applies in addition to all applicable charges.

American Airlines call it a "External Reservation Handling Charge", along with a US$25-35 fee.

This fee may be waived if you are a high-level frequent flyer, or potentially if you are on a high fare ticket - but often that's at the discretion of the phone agent.

You can always try calling the airline, especially as every airline has slightly different policies, but for something like a change of date of a flight I would not expect them to assist you without paying this fee. If your travel has already commenced then you might have more success.

  • 1
    I know that some airlines won't take over 3rd party tickets until 24 hours before the departure of the first flight, so timing can matter too
    – Gagravarr
    Apr 25, 2014 at 15:27
  • I get the idea that 3rd party services like Expedia "own" the ticket in the same way that if I buy a ticket for a friend, I own it and my friend can't cash it in a refund without coordinating with me. But why don't airlines allow 3rd party services like Expedia to transfer ownership of the ticket to the passenger? I've seen many airlines deal with frustrated passengers at the airport who can't understand the difficulties adjusting flights they "bought". Wouldn't everyone be happier if ownership transfered? Nov 30, 2017 at 15:50

According to Expedia's FAQ

Major Airlines

If your travel plans change and you need a different flight than what you originally booked, please consider the following:

The airlines will assess a fee for most changes to your flights. The change fee varies, but a typical change fee is $150 for within the United States, and $200 for international flights. This fee will be passed on to you. When changing your reservation, the new flights selected must be on the same airline. It may be helpful to familiarize yourself with the alternative flights available prior to calling. If there are differences in the airfare between the flights originally booked and the new flights selected, the difference will be charged to you. Most airlines do not allow changes to the names of the travelers originally booked without incurring a change fee.
To change your flight reservation, please contact us. Find your contact method below and provide your travel details to expedite your service.

If your flight is part of a Vacation Package booking, please read How do I change or cancel a Vacation Package? for assistance from an Expedia Vacation Package agent.

Low-Cost Carriers

For flight changes or corrections on our Low-Cost Carrier airlines, view our FAQ for the specific airline below or go directly to their Web site and click "Manage my Booking/Trip." Because Expedia cannot access the booking systems of Low-Cost Carriers, Expedia Customer Support cannot make modifications to Low-Cost Carrier reservations, even if they were booked on Expedia.

To access your flight details on the airline's website, you may need to set up an account using the same email address you used to book your flight on Expedia and/or provide your airline booking confirmation code.

  • 4
    I realize that, but I was wondering whether or not I could also call the airline directly, since I dislike calling Expedia. Apr 25, 2014 at 14:38
  • 6
    If you don't like dealing Expedia, is there a reason why you booked it with them in the first place?
    – Gagravarr
    Apr 25, 2014 at 15:28
  • @SamuelFront It depends on the airline. I have direct experience of doing this with a LAN fare booked via Expedia - both of changing via Expedia and changing it directly with the carrier. If you go the route of changing it directly with the airline, which some but not all airlines allow, Expedia notice the change and send you an email along the lines of "Dear Expedia.com.au Traveller, We have received notice from XX airlines that they have changed the [departure|arrival] date for xx of your flights
    – imoatama
    Mar 3, 2017 at 6:25

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