Pondering Priceline...

Old Jun 19th, 2008, 10:07 AM
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Pondering Priceline...

I've never used Priceline for booking a hotel room, but what I've gathered is this: you select a city, a check-in/check-out date, it gives you several choices based on star ratings, you select which star rating you want, and then after you book it, they let you know which hotel you've booked with. Is that the gist of it?

Have any of you been disappointed with a room you had booked with Priceline? Are there any other reservations you have with them? (No pun intended. I promise.)

(crossing fingers behind back...)
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Old Jun 19th, 2008, 10:20 AM
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WIthin in city, there are smaller regions to choose. The different regions may not have hotels at all star levels. You usually start with 1 area and 1 star level. If it's rejected, you can increase the bid only by adding another area or star level. So if you are looking for a 4 star hotel, and there are regions, that may be less desirable, within the area that only have 2 or 3 star, you can add that region, raise your bid, and not have to worry about ending up in that region (because no 4 stars exist). This is referred to as a free rebid. I do this all the time, but carefully do your homework first. If you make a mistake, and the bid is accepted, you are out of luck.

The most imortant thing is to know your prices in advance for hotels in the area of interest. Check biddginfortravel.com to get an idea of what hotels are usually awarded. Look for the best rate you can find on those hotels, then bid roughly 50 to maybe 70% of the lowest price available. Ignore the suggested prices priceline gives. They are nothing special.

Also, priceline only guarantees a room for 2, so if you are more than 2 be careful. We've never had a problem, and frequently used priceline for family of 4, but in certain places, like the bigger cities, I wouldn't use it becasue many hotel rooms only have 1 bed.
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Old Jun 19th, 2008, 10:23 AM
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Thats biddingfortravel.com
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Old Jun 19th, 2008, 10:28 AM
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That's hotwire, not priceline. You don't know the hotel if you bid on priceline, but you do if you just pay the price given.
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Old Jun 19th, 2008, 10:29 AM
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"it gives you several choices based on star ratings, you select which star rating you want, and then after you book it, they let you know which hotel you've booked with"
You are sort of more closely describing Hotwire. They give you a price and star rating.

With Priceline, you have to enter a "bid" it's either accepted or rejected. If rejected, you need to change some things to re-bid, or wait 72 hours to rebid the exact same perameters. AS mentioned, for Priceline help, go to www.biddingfortravel.com and www.betterbidding.com
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Old Jun 19th, 2008, 10:32 AM
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I use betterbidding.com first.
Go in there and look at the maps and read the list of hotels in each area and read the user reviews of the hotels, etc. In other words, do research.

Then, I know when I'm bidding for a 4* hotel in MTW in NYC, which of the 5 or so hotels I'm going to end up with.

I've not been disappointed with 4* hotels. 3* and 2.5* you can often book directly with the hotel for about the same rate as some Priceline bids.

But, the actual room itself? Always okay.

Be clear that you are bidding for a room for 2 adults. If you can't share a bed or want to have more than 2 ppl in the room, don't use Priceline.
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Old Jun 19th, 2008, 10:46 AM
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Thank you for your replies. I will check out the other bidding websites you mentioned.

Having not used them, I am confused about the differences between Priceline and Hotwire. Would someone be willing to write an 'in a nutshell' explanation of what the differences are?

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Old Jun 19th, 2008, 10:53 AM
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Hotwire displays a price and star level....if you think it's a good deal, you buy it (no refunds) and then they will tell you the name of the Hotel.

Priceline gives you areas of a city that you can bid on hotel rooms "naming your own price" at different star levels (depending on what hotels participate) if your bid is accepted you "win" that hotel (no refunds) and they will then tell you the name of the Hotel.

With Hotwire you know the full price you are paying before you accepted it...you don't need to play around with bidding. But with Priceline, you can usually do a little bit better than the price Hotwire offers, but you have to know how to bid smartly.

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Old Jun 19th, 2008, 10:56 AM
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The main difference is that, using the "name your own price" option on Priceline, you bid, which is either accepted or rejected. For Hotwire, a price, but not the name of the hotel, is given. Once you book it, they tell you the hotel.
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Old Jun 19th, 2008, 11:00 AM
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Hotwire displays a price and star level....if you think it's a good deal, you buy it (no refunds) and then they will tell you the name of the Hotel.

Hotwire also displays the area of the city you've chosen (for ex., there are about 10 different areas if you're looking at NYC, you can check or uncheck any of them). Hotwire also often tells you the Tripadvisor rating for the "unnamed" hotel and sometimes you can match it up so you know what you're going to get.

 
Old Jun 19th, 2008, 11:24 AM
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Thank you- much appreciated
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