Hotwire or Priceline for airfare. Any issues?

Dec 12th, 2008, 11:27 PM
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Hotwire or Priceline for airfare. Any issues?

I've only use them for car rentals (and both are great), but may try them for airfare soon and was looking for some feedback.

Also, how would you compare them to Orbitz and Expedia?

travelinandgolfin is offline  
Dec 13th, 2008, 04:17 AM
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With Orbitz and Expedia, you pick your flights.

With Priceline, you don't know your exact flights unless/until your bid is accepted.
abram is offline  
Dec 13th, 2008, 04:55 AM
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Not sure if it has improved at all but you may get a multiple layover trip. The one time that I used PL for a flight I flew Albany to Philly to Charlotte to Charleston.
tchoiniere is offline  
Dec 13th, 2008, 04:58 AM
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Does PL pricing offer enough difference to consider taking a chance on what might be a 3 or 4 leg itinerary ??
nygvic is offline  
Dec 13th, 2008, 05:03 AM
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I like Priceline & Hotwire for hotels and car rentals. I won't use them for airline tickets because I want more control over the times and # of segments.

margyb is offline  
Dec 13th, 2008, 09:10 AM
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One thing to know about getting a flight through Priceline, and they make no pretense about it. If you ask to fly on a specific day, they fulfil their contract by getting you a flight at ANY time of that day, from one minute after midnight to one minute before midnight. If you ask them to find you a cheap flight from NYC to LA on the 20th, you may end up leaving NYC at three in the morning. Don't want to get to LaGuardia in the middle of the night? That's YOUR problem.

It's not a scam; they're very up front about this fact. But just be aware of what you might end up with.
PaulRabe is offline  
Dec 13th, 2008, 09:13 AM
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I can understand PL and the chance you are taking since you don't exactly know what you are bidding on.

But I tried Hotwire and it comes up with several flight choices, that pretty much mirror what Orbitz has. The prices are pretty similiar as well.

What's the benefit of Hotwire as opposed to Orbitz? Or vice versa?
travelinandgolfin is offline  
Dec 13th, 2008, 11:55 AM
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I think Hotwire rolls over to conventional bookings (when you pick the airline/flights) in many cases but will sometimes offer you a special "hidden info" deal that is a bit cheaper. So obviously there's only a benefit to using Hotwire for flights if you save money by taking the risk that you'll get a half-decent flight for a big savings on one of their specials.

I'd be very careful in using Priceline or Hotwire for flights when you don't know the exact times/airlines. And remember, you now have to pay various bag fees on some airlines. Add all that in when figuring prices.

I'd have to save a TON of money on a flight to use Priceline or Hotwire without knowing info ahead of time.

I happen to prefer Southwest for domestic flying (no fees for ANYTHING including change fees). And they don't show up in Orbitz or any other "travel site" so if you are flying domestically, be sure to check Southwest separately. I always try to book directly with the airline websites and avoid the middle man like Orbitz or Travelocity, who really adds no benefit other than extra fees to change your flight, etc. Once in a blue moon they offer better deals than the airlines themselves (as some sort of promotion) but in most cases it's slightly cheaper, too (no service fee), to book directly with the airlines.
Andrew is online now  
Dec 13th, 2008, 12:19 PM
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I've been playing around with Hotwire for a couple days now and I notice it always lists all the details for your flight (airline, time, date, layovers, etc.).

It doesn't seem to be like PL, where you don't know what you're getting.

Or am I missing something? I just want to be careful...
travelinandgolfin is offline  
Dec 13th, 2008, 12:46 PM
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Hotwire started out very Priceline-like (except they told you the price first and you could choose it or not). But in recent years they have added more conventional bookings to their search results. I haven't checked flights recently, but I seem to recall they were moving away from "hidden info" flight deals. Even Priceline's aren't known to be such great deals anymore. I think when Priceline first started they were ahead of the airlines in their ability to market on the internet, but in recent years they don't offer Priceline much in the way of airline discounts anymore. Look at BiddingForTravel or BetterBidding to see what kind of airline deals people are getting. Not much I think you'll see.

Priceline still seems worth it for hotels and rental cars, but I never even consider them anymore for flights, just because I know the really great deals are mostly gone, and I've never had a successful bid for a flight. Haven't tried for years now. It's not worth saving $20 or something - I'd need to save hundreds on, say, a ticket to Europe.

Andrew is online now  
Dec 13th, 2008, 02:04 PM
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Check for more info. Find out if taxes are included in prices on PL and Hotwire. A friend once bid on PL and wound up paying more than a regular ticket would have cost b/c she didn't realize taxes would be added to her bid price.
mclaurie is offline  
Dec 13th, 2008, 04:19 PM
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I'd agree with Andrew that Southwest is an excellent choice. If you can plan ahead of time, Southwest has some wonderful pricing and you get to choose your time and date of departure.
easytraveler is offline  
Dec 13th, 2008, 05:54 PM
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Unfortunately, SW airlines doesn't fly to Jackson Hole.
travelinandgolfin is offline  
Dec 13th, 2008, 05:55 PM
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Sorry, Jackson Hole is my destination for asking this question about Hotwire and PL.
travelinandgolfin is offline  
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