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john Jun 1st, 2002 04:29 AM

Priceline or hotwire for flights?
Which is better? Any pros or cons? I see these two compared a lot for hotels and car rental but I cannot find info on how they are for flights. Is there a better company than these?

Anthony Jun 1st, 2002 07:20 AM

I have used Priceline for airfare, and have gotten good deals, nd never had any problems. In almost every instance, Priceline will beat Hotwire with regard to airfares. Just remember that you have to be flexible; meaning that on the departure and return dates you choose, you can be given morning, afternoon, or evening flights. Because of this, Priceline or Hotwire is not the best service to buy tickets for a short, say long weekend trip - since there could be a likely chance that you would get the last flights out on say a Friday, and the Early flights back on say, the Monday. Of course, if you have to take a flight, and reserving through regular means is too expensive, ou will almost always save money using Priceline. Again, if you are attend a specifc event,don't fly on the day the event is scheduled for; depart a day earlier, otherwise you risk getting flights that will miss the reason for your trip.<BR>If you are not already aware, is a great site for getting bidding advice for Priceline. It is an online bulletin board for Priceline bidding information - it is a MUST SEE before any Priceline bidding.

anon Jun 1st, 2002 07:23 AM

try this website for a current thread "hotwire" that compares the two:<BR><BR> (select st. maarten/martin, look for hotwire)<BR><BR>this website is also mentioned:

Mel P Jun 1st, 2002 07:26 AM

For flights they pretty much have the same cons...IOW you won't know your airline, times, and routing on a connection (if any) until you buy... So you need to be really flexible on both. Hotwire includes all taxes and fees in their price, Priceline only a portion, so you have to estimate the rest and bid accordingly. Anyway, I have used Priceline successfully for two flights recently. One I actually booked for my parents, this was a very last minute flight (17 hour lead time, death in the family). Hotwire wanted $1231 per ticket for it, that was the minimum for Orbitz and every other place as well. Priceline came up a winner with a $601 (+ $25 bonus) bid, total out of pocket with taxes was $636 each for 2 tickets for good flights on United, one straightforward connection going, non-stop coming back. I just used Priceline again for a NYC - Toronto trip (bought 7 days in advance), Hotwire wanted $231, everybody else wanted $420, I got it for a bid of $106 (plus $10 bonus) for total out of pocket with taxes and fees of $146.

priceline purchaser Jun 1st, 2002 07:53 AM

As the above poster, Mel P indicates, it's very important to first check what's available thru Hotwire, Orbitz, Travelocity (don't forget the airlines themselves!) -- THEN once you understand what the going 'best' prices are, you can make an informed bid to Priceline. Don't forget that Priceline will add a few dollars for taxes/handling; again, as Mel P described his NYC-Toronto bid of $106 actually cost $146 once all the fees were charged. Finally I'd suggest that you log into & register w/ 'Smarter Living' = website @ They always have a deal running by which you'll get an extra $10 bonus added to your Priceline bid. Once you're in Smarter Living, then click on their link to Priceline. Occassionally I've seen their bonus dollars go up to $25.<BR>

Mel P Jun 1st, 2002 08:13 AM

Just wanted to add that when making all the comparisons, do check on the taxes and fees. The percentage of that may be covered by your Priceline bid may vary by destination, it seems. For example on my Toronto bid, some of it was already included as part of my bid, the airline sites and Orbitz said taxes and fees that were added on to come up to their $420 price were $52, yet the taxes and fees added onto my bid was only $40. On most US/European flights though taxes and fees are pretty much comparable. Conversely I saw an Air Canada websaver (not for the dates I bid) that had a $129 price for NYC-Toronto, but on further investigation that did NOT include over *$90* in taxes and fees, so the out of pocket price was really in the $220 range...

john Jun 1st, 2002 09:12 AM

Thanks so much for the information. It has been very helpful!

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