Priceline bidding, good or bad?

Old Jul 21st, 2005, 06:29 PM
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Priceline bidding, good or bad?

I was thinking about bidding on airline tickets from Chicago to Paris. Priceline does not guarantee nonstop flights, so odds are you're going to get 1 layover somewhere, so arrival time would not be guaranteed. Is that too much of a chance to take? Has anyone had good or bad experiences bidding and receiving tickets through priceline?
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 06:42 PM
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The only time I ever bid on Priceline for airline tickets was for a Bahamas trip at Christmastime a few years ago. I knew we'd have crappy connecting flights, and we did. I would NEVER use Priceline for a European trip, as I go too often to want to deal with stops, layovers, etc. But for a young student, e.g., it might not be a bad deal.
The actual process was pretty easy. I plugged in our bid, we won, and they emailed the ticket confirmation.
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 07:03 PM
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How much crappy connecting might there be between, say, Dulles and Heathrow? Will they route you through Capetown?

The reason I ask is: Southwest is plopping cut-rate fare offers to the east coast on my desk every day, and I was wondering how I might be able to make out if I can hook up one with a Priceline flight.
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 07:18 PM
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Well, in my limited experience with "trying" Priceline for Europe, they wanted two stops to get me from Dulles to Paris. I'm not even happy with one, so I won't use them for trips to Europe.

But experiment. Maybe you'll get lucky. Just know that once you've bought tickets there are NO changes allowed. On our return trip from the Bahamas we had something like a 4-hour layover in Atlanta, and there were flights leaving sooner than our flight was scheduled to leave which had available seats, and we couldn't get on those planes because we'd booked through Priceline.

I think they're a much better deal with hotels, and then only in certain cities (London being a primary one).
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 07:40 PM
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I was under the impression that, at least for some city pairs, you can specify a minimum of one connection.

Maybe that's domestic flights only? Never used for either.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 07:42 PM
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Most of the European flight reports on www.biddingfortravel.com got erased when their site was hacked last month, so not much to go on. IIRC though, the typical winning PL bid had one stop to Europe, usually either Toronto (changing to Air Canada transatlantic) or via Iceland on Icelandair. Savings were typically something like 10-15% all in over the regular fares, which in my book is not worth the crapshoot. YMMV.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 04:51 AM
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In 2003, I got four tickets PHL->CDG on priceline for ~$350/ticket, leaving July 3 returning July 14.

We were routed PHL->ORD->CDG, AA all the way. I just checked out the website, and they will not book you with more than one connection each way.

That said, I gather priceline has changed a lot since 2003 (back then they allowed infinite free rebids, for example) and I'm not sure I'd bother with them these days, unless I could get a really cheap ticket (say 40-50% off normal roundtrip fares).

I'd check out www.biddingfortravel.com, although as Gadryloo says, most of the Europe flight reports are missing.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 09:24 AM
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It isn't just the number of changes or layovers, it's where they are. AA has been having a lot of financial problems so has had some fare sales -- that's probably why they are on Priceline. However, they want to route you through their hub in Chicago. So it isn't just one change, it may be extending your trip by several hours just for the flight time alone if you have to go from east coast US back to Chicago and then to Europe. Other airlines may do this also. Aside from that, the layover may be very long, not just one hour or something.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 12:34 PM
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Ouch! That might hurt.

PHX-PHL 5 hrs.
PHL-ORD 3 hrs.
ORD-CDG 8 hrs.

Jeez - we used to get there faster on the Connies!
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 01:01 PM
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I use PL for hotels all the time, but prefer trying consolicators for airfare to Europe. I usually go to a bookstore, pick up the latest Frommers and Fodors, and check to see which consolidators they are currently suggesting for the country or city I want to visit. This has worked well on a couple of occasions.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 01:15 PM
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Do we know who hacked into biddingfortravel? A PL sleeper?
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 01:26 PM
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Why would anybody from Priceline want to sabotage a web site that probably brings them more business than those stupid Spock/Kirk commercials>
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 01:27 PM
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Why would anybody from Priceline want to sabotage a web site that probably brings them more business than those stupid Spock/Kirk commercials?
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 01:33 PM
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The entire EZBoard.com site was hacked. The BFT site is just one of the thousands of boards hosted by them.
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