News and Blog

An Icelandair & Expedia Horror Story 

This article is written by Geoff McCausland. I'm the fiddle player with Murder Murder and have booked all of our flights to Europe for the band over our career.

Over the last two weeks I've spent about 20 hours on the phone trying to resolve an issue with our band's flights to Europe in less than a week - full days on the phone with Expedia and Icelandair for a booking I made in Oct/17.

Icelandair cancelled our original flight (YYZ-KEF) in December, and while I spent the first 5 or so hours rebooking, I found it very disturbing that the representatives at Expedia could not tell me whether our tickets would include checked bags. I agreed to a flight where we would leave earlier on the 23rd and add a leg with Westjet through Boston (YYZ-BOS-KEF-AMS) which would have us land in Amsterdam at the original time. That was the first time a representative of Expedia and I called Icelandair together, but in the end I was told they would not know about baggage until the tickets were issued. I was told that our new tickets through Boston were "Guaranteed" over the phone, but would not be issued until later, maybe even only a few days before we departed. That sounded bizarre to me, but the supervisor at Expedia I was talking with was very confident, and so two weeks and the Christmas holidays went by. Then I started to get nervous as we had received no confirmation of our new flights and no tickets whatsoever. 

After 5-10 more hours on hold, I found out that our tickets were reserved, but that I had unknowingly purchased 7 “Economy Light” flights, and they would not include checked baggage. I booked the same YYZ-AMS “Economy (U)” flights one year earlier through Expedia, and although appearing identical throughout booking, that first time I received 7 Economy Comfort tickets with 2 checked bags per person. Neither party will acknowledge that when you buy an Icelandair Economy ticket through Expedia, you get 1 of 5 Economy ticket options, with no clear indication of what the "U" "L" or "S" Economy designations indicate, some baggage cost estimates and the disclaimer "Estimated baggage fees charged by Icelandair (Please confirm with airline)". I assumed as the class was identical to the previous purchase I had made (U must designate Comfort Class, right?), and the ticket cost was only slightly more expensive than the year prior ($516.73 pp vs $554.66 pp), that we would be getting Economy Comfort again.

It turns out that the estimated checked bag cost was the reality bag cost, and one roundtrip checked bag would cost $252 per person, for a total increased cost of about $1764 (+45% of our original ticket price). To add the two bags included in Comfort Class would just about double the original booking cost.

Screenshot from my Jan 11, 2017 flight confirmation indicating "Economy (U)":

Screenshot of Jan 23, 2018 flight confirmation indicating "Economy (U)":

The five different Economy tickets currently offered by Icelandair: 

The issue is really based in the conflict of their two systems. Expedia only wants to indicate that you are getting an Economy, Business Class, or First Class ticket, and lacks the specificity that should be required to sell Icelandair economy tickets. In the end I was told by Icelandair that due to the flight schedule change they had initially made, I could cancel the flights without penalty. I booked new flights on Jet Airways (at the last minute, so costing $862 more than our original flights cost), called Icelandair, waited 45 minutes on hold, verified my credit card and the amount that would be refunded, authorized and confirmed the refund. 

That was nearly a week ago. That transaction has still not been completed, and so I called again, and spent another 3.5 hours on the phone yesterday. 1 hour on hold with Icelandair, before being told they had no record of a refund, and in fact they could do nothing to refund my tickets, but instead I must seek resolution from Expedia. 

I called Expedia, and the agent there told me that he could do nothing for me without contacting Icelandair. The Expedia agent and I spent TWO HOURS AND TWENTY THREE MINUTES trying to contact Icelandair to have the refund processed (Expedia has no direct or priority phone line to Icelandair so you just get in line with everyone else). Finally, the Expedia agent got through, started the refund process, and then while inputting data, was DISCONNECTED BY ICELANDAIR!? 

At this point I am angry, frustrated, disappointed, and don’t know what to do. Yesterday was actually the third time I spent 1-2.5 hours calling Icelandair while on hold with Expedia (as well as having called 4-5 times myself). I’ve emailed Icelandair, sent them Facebook messages, I called again this morning and was disconnected after another 43 minutes on hold. I’ve spent about 20 hours now (no exaggeration as I have the phone records to prove it) talking to supervisors at Icelandair, their customer care department, Expedia, Expedia supervisors, even Expedia corporate (who gave us a partial $500 refund to say sorry for the inconvenience but without fixing anything or admitting responsibility in any way), and still I have no resolution. I’ve gotten false information and been sent back and forth on a wild goose chase. This whole process has been a complete embarrassment for all parties, and both have shown a complete disregard for their customers' time.  

In talking with the airline, they made it clear that they are well aware of this problem, but as there has been a flood of cases like ours, they have resolved not to have any discussion about or make any changes to all "Economy Light" tickets that are booked. 

I read that Icelandair changed their ticket structure to compete with WOW air, the new Icelandic discount airline.
It seems they’ve discounted their standards as well.

Geoff McCausland, Jan. 17 2018 (we now fly out on Jet Airways direct from YYZ-AMS on Tuesday Jan 23rd)

Winter 2018 European Tour 

Murder Murder are excited to announce an upcoming European tour:

*Please contact if you are a venue/booker in the area and would like to book us for one of the TBD dates.

01.25 Missy Sippy // Gent BE 

01.26 deDingen // Kortrijk BE

01.27 Rozenknopje // Eindhoven NL 

01.28 Jay's Biercafe // Waalwijk NL

01.28 Extase // Tilburg NL

01.29 House Concert // Torhout BE 

01.30 TBD

01.31 Volksbad // Flensburg DE 

02.01 Belami // Bergedorf DE  

02.02 Last Orders // Neubrandenburg DE 

02.03 Bucholz Saloon // Altlandsberg DE 

02.04 TBD 

02.05 Ramones Museum // Berlin DE  

02.06 Die Blaue Stunde // Berlin DE 

02.07 Stoned // Leipzig DE 

02.08 Konrad Cafe // Luxembourg LU 

02.09 Cowboy Up // Waardamme BE

02.10 Dranouter Centrum // Heuvellend BE 

"Wicked Lines & Veins" Release Tour 

At long last, our new album is cut and is ready to be taken on the road. 

On Friday, September 15th, Murder Murder will be officially releasing their third full-length album, Wicked Lines & Veins, at the Townehouse Tavern. The band is back and darker than ever for their third release, with 11 brand new original songs soaked in tension, storytelling and tragedy, and put together by an eclectic mix of bluegrass instruments playing with reckless abandon.  

"With this record, Murder Murder manages to somehow sound like the past and the future at the same time... [they're] the real deal. They build a musical tension as heavy as the playing itself... This record makes me want to commit a crime just because I now have the perfect soundtrack for being on the lam."
Jonathan Torrens (J-Roc) 

"It’s surprising how far Murder Murder have come with Wicked Lines and Veins. They’ve blown the dust off a genre and taken the first few layers of skin too. Future classics."
Alex Cook, The East Magazine 

Check out the first single from the album

Check out the release tour Facebook Event.

09/15 Official Release Show, Sudbury ON 
09/16 Official Release Show, Toronto ON 
09/20 Live! On Elgin, Ottawa ON 
09/21 Divan Orange, Montreal QC 
09/22 Red Herring, St.Andrew’s NB 
09/23 Fox & Hound, Moncton NB 
09/26 Grimross Brewery, Fredericton NB 
09/28 The Carleton, Halifax NS 
09/29 The Commune, New Glasgow NS 
09/30 Carriage House, Port Hawkesbury NS 
10/1 Governor’s Pub, Sydney NS  
10/4 A.C. Sharkey’s, Bristol NB 
10/5 Wilser’s Room, Fredericton NB 
10/6 Taco Pica, Saint John NB 
10/6 Pepper’s Pub, Saint John NB 
10/7 Quai des Brumes, Montreal QC 
10/13 Beef & Bird, Sudbury ON 
10/14 Oktoberfest, North Bay ON
10/19-22 FMO Conference, Toronto ON 
10/27 Raven & Republic, North Bay ON 
12/7 Petit Theatre, Rouyn-Noranda QC

Summer Festival Touring 2017 

We have festival bookings all across Ontario this summer, every weekend but one, and we'll be touring many of the tunes from our upcoming record - "Wicked Lines & Veins".

If you get a chance we'd love to see you out this summer, and otherwise we will be heading East for a record-release tour in September/October, before making our way back for the Folk Music Ontario Conference where we will be featured in an official showcase performance. Hopefully make some noise about our new creation.  


Canadian Music Week  

We are performing a showcase at the Dakota Tavern as part of Canadian Music Week on Thursday, April 20th. They've got a heavy lineup of Americana-type bands from around Canada that night, and for $10 it should be a great time. On Friday we head up to North Bay to play the Raven & Republic with our friend Kayla Luky. 

Euro-Tour Kickoff Party on Boxing Day 

Before boarding in January, we will be hosting a Boxing Day Tour Kickoff party at The Townehouse Tavern, with friends from across the atypical folk scene in Canada.

Montreal's Street Meat will be making the harrowing drive from Quebec for the night, and always offer up a delicious concoction of Rockabilly, Gypsy Jazz, Bluegrass and Prog Rock.

Peterborough-based fuzz-folk duo The Mayhemingways will also be coming up to open the show, and they have been described by Tom Wilson of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings as "mind-bending and original music with deep roots in the tradition of dark North American folk". 

A heavy lineup for Boxing Day, and be sure to come early as tickets will only be available at the doors for $10. It's also going to be a late one, so pace yourself with the egg-nog, as doors open at 9pm but the bands will play from 11pm until 2am. 

Winter European Tour 2017 

We are very excited to be embarking on a European tour in just over a month! 

We fly out from Toronto on Jan 11, and then from Jan 13 - Feb 4 we will be performing 19 shows across 9 countries. We'll be traveling in a rented 9-seater van

with the 6 members of the band and our resident sound wizard Matthew Wiewel. The highlight of the trip will be our showcase opportunity at the 2017 Americana Music Association UK's Conference and Awards, where we are one of only 18 international acts showcasing. 

Facebook Event:

Thanks to Haley Cassio for the beautiful poster. 
Thanks to Darren Eedens of Broken Banjo Bookings for booking. 

January 2017 
13th Steinbruch– Duisburg DE 
14th Cowboy Up -Waardamme BE 
15th Café Verinshoes – Vaals NL 
16th Café De Dingen – Kortrijk BE 
17th Konrad Cafe & Bar – Lucembourg 
18th MusicStar Norderstedt - Norderstedt  
19th BeLaMi Bergedorf –Hamburg Bergedorf DE 
20th Volksbad – Flensburg DE 
21st Last Orders Pub Neubrandenburg – Rostock DE 
23rd Blues Bar – Dresden DE 
24th BOSS BAR official – Poděbrady CZ 
27th Carty Bar – Gaildorf DE 
28th Rümpeltum – Sankt Gallen CH 
29th Tankstelle Bregenz – Bregenz AU 
30th Tom Bombadil – Solingen DE 

February 2017 
1st LONDON – Showcase for The Americana Music Association UK 
2nd The Magic Garden, London UK 
3rd Bar 236 - Prestatyn UK 
4th Telford's Warehouse - Chester UK

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