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Priceline flights - any horror stories or reliable?

Priceline flights - any horror stories or reliable?

Old Sep 16th, 2003, 01:29 PM
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Syv
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Priceline flights - any horror stories or reliable?

1st time user - just read all the info about Priceline on their site. Never really understood what it was all about before.

Is this a good way to find a cheap flight? Has anyone experienced any problems with e-tickets, security, privacy, mix-ups upon arrival at the airport, etc.?

Thanks for the info. It would be for an international flight (probably Buffalo to Belfast or Dublin).
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Old Sep 16th, 2003, 02:07 PM
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Not sure what your concern is. You are afraid Priceline will mix up your tickets? They have been in business a few years; you are no more likely to experience such problems than you are booking on your own. In any case, if you pay by credit card, you do have your credit card company behind you...

Note though that Priceline's flight deals don't seem to be as attractive as they were a few years ago, when the business was better. Nowadays you can often find as good a deal as you can get with Priceline on your own, if you do your homework.

See www.BiddingForTravel.com for a great "Priceline User's" web site where you'll see what flights people are getting and what they are paying. You'll notice there aren't a ton of successful bids these days - far more hotels.

As an alternative to Priceline, try www.Hotwire.com also.

Andrew
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Old Sep 16th, 2003, 07:20 PM
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I've also bid on Priceline successfully for flights. Just a few FYI's here: when you place your bid, you are bidding without the airport taxes, so you need to bid down; you won't accumulate any frequent flyer points; you agree to make at least one connection (you may very well not get a non-stop flight, even though one is available); you agree to a maximum of a 2 hour layover between flights if you don't get a non-stop; and it can be dangerous to make a bid for a short trip domestically - your outbound flight may very well be the last scheduled flight out in the evening, and your return flight may very well be the first scheduled flight in the morning. However, if you are flying to Europe (which I have done via Priceline), it's a no-brainer to fly with a Priceline bid because there aren't a lot of variables on the "across the pond" flights unless you are flying into London.

If you're flying domestically, and your time is limited, you may be better off buying a ticket directly from the airline.

Here's some more information. If your flight is cancelled for any reason, it is the airline's responsibility to get you on the next available flight. At that point, you are a customer of the airline, and Priceline is out of the loop. But, if you have to cancel, you are out the total airfare - no ifs, ands, or buts. Under the same circumstances, if you had to cancel with an airline, say Delta, you would lose $100 of the face value of the ticket as a penalty, and then have to reticket at the prevailing rate.

If you need any more information, post your email address, and I'll be happy to respond to you either here or privately.
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Old Sep 17th, 2003, 03:30 AM
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Priceline now offers travel cancellation insurance, check their web site for policy details.
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Old Sep 17th, 2003, 03:46 AM
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Leslie,

Syv thanks for asking this question. I would also like to try Priceline for flights but have been afraid and concerned about how they may route you thru to England.

I am flying out of St. Louis and due to recent cuts by AA will shortly have no direct flight to Gatwick. Also have a son in San Diego and AA is down to only one fligt per day and the fare is staying up.

Leslie your FYI were very helpful.

Sandy
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Old Sep 17th, 2003, 05:40 AM
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Sandy, last year I bid on Priceline for an airline ticket from Boston to London. There are many options for a non-stop flight on that route - British Airways, American and Virgin. I was looking for a cheap ticket - no more than $300 including the tax for Thanksgiving weekend. Traditionally, the sale fares for fall are available at the end of August, but the cheapest ticket I could find was approximately $525. I bid on Priceline, and ended up getting a ticket for $275 including the tax, but flew on Air Canada. I flew Boston-Montreal-London-Toronto-Boston. For what I spent, it was well worth the strange routing. And, traditionally flights from London to Boston leave by 10am, but my flight from London to Toronto left at 1pm, which was great, as I was able to get to have breakfast with my friends before heading off to the airport.

The Air Canada flights were fine. In fact I volunteered to be bumped off the Montreal-London leg, as the flight was overbooked with a school group, and there were 4 options for flights on Air Canada that evening that would get me to London about 3 hours later. As it turns out, besides being compensated for being bumped, I ended up on the same flight I was scheduled to fly out on. The connecting flight with the school group from Edmonton was delayed because of weather, and the school group ended up on the later flights.
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Old Sep 17th, 2003, 08:42 AM
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Syv, I've used priceline for a trip to Belfast. The only problem with using priceline for a trip like that is the routing. I ended up going from DC-Brussels-Belfast. It wasn't too bad as my layover wasn't that long, but it adds an hour each way to the trip (you'd normally connect through Heathrow).

On the plus side, my flight was originally scheduled for 9/13/01. And I was able to deal directly with the airline to sort out a new schedule, and ended up going out on 9/16/01. No problems at all there.

Do plenty of research before you bid on a flight. You may (or may not) be able to get a better fare through other channels. To Dublin, check with Aer Lingus. They often have good deals (not my favorite airline, but they tend to be the cheapest to Ireland). Also, look for cheap flights to London, and then look for flights to Belfast on British Midland (flybmi.com) or British European (flybe.com).
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Old Sep 17th, 2003, 10:13 AM
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thanks everyone for the good info. I'll do more researching into this. Still lots of time.

Thanks!
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