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Help, please help with a quick Priceline question

Help, please help with a quick Priceline question

Old Jan 18th, 2004, 02:04 PM
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Help, please help with a quick Priceline question

OK, I've been on biddingfortravel and it states Priceline bids are to be considered double occupancy. What if we are traveling with our 2 kids? I don't want to take a chance we'll be stuck in a room with just one bed! Does this mean Priceline won't be something I should consider this time? A quick answer would be GREATLY appreciated, as I wanted to bid tonight, if feasible. Many thanks.
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 02:09 PM
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They mean that Priceline should not be used if you have more than two people.

People will tell you that the hotel will give you a room for quad occupancy but I would not take the chance .
 
Old Jan 18th, 2004, 03:11 PM
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YOu are only guaranteed one bed, and so I'd think that priceline would not be a good bet for you. YOu could take your chances, but would have no recourse if you did end up with one bed.
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 03:22 PM
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As others have said, Priceline guarantees occupancy for only 2 people.

BUT . . a lot depends on what city you're bidding on. The chances that a hotel will have no rooms with 2 double beds is small, except in congested places like NYC.

What location are you bidding on?
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 04:10 PM
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GoTravel, kodi and Anonymous - many thanks for your quick replies! I am hesitant to bid now. I wanted to bid on the Marriott Harbor Resort in Fort Lauderdale. Have considered calling them directly to see if they would let me confirm a 2 bed room if I had a successful bid, but they might not be too happy knowing they were losing a "full price" customer. I started to bid and Priceline warned me my bid was low ($105) and had a small chance of being successful.
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 04:16 PM
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I've never used Priceline myself, but it can't hurt to call the hotel and just ask about general availability on double beds. The worst thing they could tell you is that they don't know! We've had the experience of being told that the beds we wanted weren't available even at fancy hotels where we had reserved in advance and paid full-price, so who knows??!!
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 04:53 PM
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Karens, you need to go back to Bidding For Travel and read the Hotel FAQ (http://pub210.ezboard.com/fpriceline...opicID=2.topic). You cannot bid for a specific hotel, only for an area. And Priceline bids will not guarantee two beds, only double occupancy, which means two people, not four (even if two of the four are children). If you need something else, you should not use Priceline.

To quote from the Priceline Ts&Cs: "All hotel reservations are guaranteed for double occupancy (one double bed or two twin beds). Priceline requests that our hotel partners provide non-smoking rooms. However room assignments are based on hotel availability and are at the hotel?s discretion. Priceline cannot guarantee a non-smoking room, nor can we guarantee you will have one bed or two. If you have special requests (such as smoking room, pet accommodations, type of bedding, connecting rooms, view, floor location, etc.), you must call the hotel and verify that special requests can be met after your reservation is confirmed. Priceline makes no guarantee that special requests will be met. A hotel reservation cannot be refunded, canceled or modified on the basis that the special requests of a guests were not (or could not be) met by the hotel." (By the way, if you want to review the full Terms & Conditions, go here: http://www.priceline.com/hotels/lang...r/popup_TC.asp
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 04:53 PM
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karens, here are some Priceline tips:

1. Even if only one hotel is listed by biddingfortravel in a given zone/star range, it's no guarantee that another hotel won't pop up. BFT relies on customers' reports, they don't get official information from PL.

2. The PL warning about your bid adequacy is baloney; ignore it, and also ignore the advice that you get if your bid is indeed too low, suggesting a bid that's a LOT higher.

3. Most hotels don't consider PL customers to be the loss of a full-paying customer. First of all, they know that PL users are budget-conscious and would probably be staying somewhere else if they hadn't won that room on PL. Also, hotels submit rooms for booking thru PL because they expect to not fill them otherwise, so it's OK for PL customers to have the attitude of, "If it weren't for me, you wouldn't have sold that room at all!" It certainly doesn't hurt to call and check -- you don't have to ID yourself, and it's a good way to size up their attitude about PL customers. It doesn't hurt to ask!
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 05:11 PM
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carolldf - thanks for your reply and warnings. I have read here on Fodors that the Marriott Harbor Resort is the only Resort in that geographical area - that is why I assumed that is what I was bidding on. I understand Priceline's policy, but it seems they have totally eliminated themselves from the family market. I see they recommend getting two rooms, but right now I don't trust my kids alone in a room!
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 07:17 PM
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Karens, there is always the possibility, no matter what you see on BFT, that Priceline will add another resort today and you might be the first to get the "new one". It is a high probability, yes, that you will probably get the Marriott Harbor Resort, but it is not guaranteed.

In many cases, hotels you book with Priceline will have rooms with two beds. As I understand it, the rooms with one big bed go before the rooms with two beds. I would call the Marriott Harbor Resort directly and ask about their rooms - do they have rooms with two beds? Most likely they do.

I needed two beds when traveling some months ago and every Priceline hotel I booked let me set my bedding preferences ahead of time (I called the hotels soon after each successful Priceline bid). I got two beds each time. If the hotel is not full, your chances of getting two beds are better. If you check in early, your chances are best of all of getting the bedding choice you want.

Keeping that all in mind: you could save quite a lot of money on this, and it is only a small risk (in my view) that you won't get a room with two beds. Maybe before bidding you can try to find people who have stayed there with kids and get their feedback on how easy it was to get their room choice.

By the way: ignore Priceline when it tells you your bid amount is too low. Many times Priceline tried to talk me out of ridiculously low bids saying there was almost no chance of them being accepted, but they still were.

Andrew
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 04:41 AM
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I worked in hotels in both Miami and New Orleans. If a hotel is full, Priceline/Hotwire customers get the "worst" rooms in the house. Higher paying guests get better ones. It's one reason I hesitate to use this service too much.
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 07:33 AM
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karens, the Marriott in that area is a resort. From now until the end of April is peak season for them. Peak season means families and tons of them. Spring Break, Easter Break, Presidents Week, and the like will send the demand for quad rooms through the roof.

If it were in a slower time, non-school holiday (your kids are going so I'm assuming they are out of school on vacation and other kids will be??) I'd chance it but not with your circumstances.

Out of the four times I've successfully bid on priceline, I've never gotten two beds in one room and twice there was no way the room would have held four people.

My suggestion would be to drop back to a 3 star and bid for two rooms.
 
Old Jan 19th, 2004, 07:42 AM
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karens,
Another suggestion. Go to www.biddingfun which is a site that specializes in cruise ship ports. We really needed Embassy Suites because of our family size. Through that site I was able to identify the hotel amenities and used Hotwire. It is a very nice hotel and the Hotwire price at that time was really, really cheap.
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 07:47 AM
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GoTravel, out of curiosity, out of those four Priceline bids, after how many of them did you call the hotel (before checking in) to set your bedding preference? This is what I always do, and I've always gotten my bedding preference. Once I had to fight for the non-smoking room I'd been promised at a Marriott in Amsterdam; after being told twice that there were no more non-smoking rooms, I asked a third time and magically she found one (not a fancy room - it was completely standard). Most hotels will at least allow you to set a preference in your record for a room type with a Priceline reservation - others will guarantee you a room type, in my experience.

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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 08:12 AM
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I`ve always gotten 2 beds, and have always called the hotel, as soon as I get a priceline bid accepted. Do your kids want to sleep together? You might check and see if a roll a way bed is available through the hotel too, just in case. How old are your kids?
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 08:21 AM
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karens,

DON'T BID ON A 3* IN FORT LAUDERDALE. see my posts on the Holiday Inn Fort Lauderdale Beach. If I may make a suggestion: It's tough to be budget conscious a) travleing during peak season, and b) when you have a specific requriement, such as 2 double beds. It's like walking into a car dealership and saying I want a blue car, you'll get the blue car, but you'll pay for it.

consider this: you need to weigh what the extra dollars a night will cost against the chance you will have an absolutely miserable time stuck with a room with 1 bed -- not out of the question given the time you're traveling. For me, i'd save the PL bid for when you can be truly flexible.

Also, consider going on some other travel websites, hotwire comes to mind, and checking betterbidding.com for what the offerings are in and around FL at that time. Finally, because you'll be with the family, consider a high end condo (VRBO.com) which would have a kitchen and might afford you cost savings and the benefit of 2 bedrooms, let alone 2 beds!

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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 08:38 AM
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To illustrate Anonymous' point number 2, above: Last night my son was using PL to bid for a hotel at Lake Tahoe. The message on the screen was that he needed to bid $119. He bid $50, which was accepted. PL is a great resource, but you have to do your homework on BFT first.
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 09:36 AM
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The hotels I bid on that gave me one room were the Surfcomber in South Beach, Hilton NYC, Hyatt NYC, and Swan/Dolphin in Disney. Asked for double/double for all four and received one king on check in.

I forgot about the Hyatt in Atlanta. I asked for and received a double/double room.
 
Old Jan 19th, 2004, 09:40 AM
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Hasn't this happened to you with "traditional" reservations, too, though?? It sure has to us.
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 09:42 AM
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That is the point. It seems as though karens time frame is peak season in Ft. Lauderdale. Those paying full price will get their requests taken care of first.

Since it is a time when many families visit, I'm afraid she could end up with only one bed in the room.
 

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