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Hotwire Sale - East Coast US to London - Help!

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Feb 9th, 2005, 10:18 PM
  #1
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Hotwire Sale - East Coast US to London - Help!

I signed on to Hotwire about an hour ago, doing my daily slog through a thousand websites to find a bargain airfare from Boston to London.

Lo and behold, American Airlines appeared for less than $400 round trip, all taxes and fees included.

So, I started typing as fast as humanly possible. I tried every combination of times and flights (w/ and w/o layovers). Every time I did, it came up with a message saying the flights were no longer available. I tried over 30 combinations of dates and times. Each of them "disappeared" as I requested it.

In frustration, my husband called Hotwire. A very nice lady there told him that there was probably a glitch in the system. Most likely they're in the middle of downloading fares from AA, but they won't really be available "for a couple of hours." And the price might be more or less than what I already saw posted. She was able to check her system and see all of my attempts to purchase tickets, and seemed fairly confident that the glitch w/ downloading was the problem.

So, my question is: does anyone have any experience with Hotwire and this glitch? Do I really have to stay up all night (it's 1:10 or so in the morning right now) and keep trying the search every few minutes to try to "catch" this sale? Or is there something else I can do?

Hoping for a miracle....

Thanks.

Gayle

P.S., I'm looking for tickets in mid-July (high season, I know, but that's when the schedule works). Before tonight's brief excitement, the cheapest fare I could find was $737, so under $400 is a tremendous bargain!
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Feb 9th, 2005, 11:01 PM
  #2
rex
 
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This is such a good question - - I hope someone has experience to help you (I don't) - - and staying up all night looking for answers here is probably not very promising either!

Best wishes,

Rex
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Feb 9th, 2005, 11:01 PM
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There's no way to say what will happen . That may have been a glitch that won't come back - or maybe not.

I know it's very frustrating. I saw a very good SEA-LGW fare on Hotwire, and I'm not ready to buy - and now it's gone.
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Feb 9th, 2005, 11:11 PM
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Another thing to consider - if you are actually comfortable with Hotwire's conditions, you would be comfortable with Priceline's conditions too. If American Airlines has some low fares available, Priceline might have them. But keep in mind the nonrefundable, nonchangeable aspect, of course.
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Feb 9th, 2005, 11:18 PM
  #5
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Thanks, rex and WillTravel.

I have tried Priceline periodically throughout the past hour, and I've checked American's website, too. Nothing at either place.

The fares just showed on the screen again a few minutes ago, but are still unbookable.

Oh, well, maybe I'll find better fares somewhere, sometime!

Thanks again,
Gayle
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Feb 9th, 2005, 11:21 PM
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What dates are you looking for?
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Feb 10th, 2005, 07:35 AM
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Topping to find out if Leon was successful...
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Feb 10th, 2005, 06:42 PM
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Nope. Stayed up wa-a-a-y too late (2:30 ish) and the fares did appear again. I thought "Yippee!" now they'll work.

No such luck. Called Hotwire again, went through a phone booking process, only to be given the same story about computers and loading flights and glitches and "try again in a few hours."

Haven't seen the rates since.

WillTravel, I'm trying to book four seats from BOS to London (any airport) either the redeye on July 8th or a daytime flight on July 9th. Returning anytime on either July 24th or July 25th.

I would much prefer a nonstop flight.

Any advice?

Gayle
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Feb 10th, 2005, 07:11 PM
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Gayle, I like trying to find cheap airfares. The cheapest I found for your dates was $685. If you have $737 conventionally, I don't think Hotwire is worth the risk and inconvenience at this point.

With Hotwire, do separate searches for every airport pair. All-inclusive abbreviations like LON don't necessarily pick up the cheapest options. Maybe you're doing this already, but I thought I'd mention it.
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Feb 10th, 2005, 10:17 PM
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same problem with expedia. fares $150 below others show up, but get repriced when you click on them...back to a competitive rate.
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Feb 15th, 2005, 01:59 PM
  #11
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I think I'm going to be really brave and try Priceline bidding for this trip. I talked it over with my travel group for this summer, and we agreed it was worth a try.

So, tonight or tomorrow evening, I think I'll place a bid for travel to London and see whether I can get a low rate.

If not, I'll just go ahead and buy the "regular" fare on one of the travel engines.

Wish me luck!

Gayle
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Feb 15th, 2005, 02:02 PM
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Gayle, in the last day or so I've seen some very cheap fares to SEA-LGW on Continental on Hotwire. I didn't pay for them, but went right up to the final screen. Give Hotwire another try just in case. But Priceline is just as safe as Hotwire in my opinion - perhaps safer because the layover maximum is much shorter.
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Feb 15th, 2005, 07:58 PM
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In the hope that this might help someone else, let me post the results of my search and my Priceline experience.

I did not get accepted by Priceline for either of my bids, but I just wasn't comfortable bidding more than $550 each for totally unknown ("midnight to midnight") departures with unspecified connections on both of my travel days. (Trip planned for 8 or 9 July through 25 July.)

However, just as I was getting ready to bid, I found an OK rate on Hotwire - $683 pp (x4 people), including all taxes and fees. While I didn't know exact flight times/connections, Hotwire did tell me that it would be morning flights on both 9 July and 25 July, and no red-eyes were needed.

So, I bid on Priceline (around $500, including taxes, then expanded from Heathrow to Gatwick and went all the way up to $550 ). Got rejected both times, but was offered fares of $613 pp, if I purchased within 60 minutes.

I thought about that, but decided to go for the slightly less nebulous Hotwire deal.

I got a direct, nonstop Boston-Heathrow flight on Saturday morning, on American Airlines.

Return is early (8:00 AM) out of Heathrow (on AA again), but it flies to Chicago with 1.5 hours there, and then back to Boston. A little out of the way, but we still land at 3:00 PM in Boston.

And AA has already given me seat assignments, which I wasn't sure they would do in advance, since I booked through Hotwire.

I'm happy. My three friends are thrilled. My husband is glad he doesn't have to drop us off at the airport at the crack of dawn (or during Friday night rush hour in Boston). And now I can get on with the fun parts of planning my trip!

Thanks, especially, to WillTravel for your comments. It was nice to have someone "walking through the process" with me.

Gayle
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Feb 15th, 2005, 08:21 PM
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Gayle, glad that worked out so well for you.

I should have been clearer above. The Hotwire provision for an 18-hour layover would only apply to flights that don't specify any times at all, or specify times that would allow that. In your case, it's obvious you weren't in any danger of getting an 18-hour layover, with the info you were given.
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