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Priceline - Should I trust it?

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Oct 10th, 2003, 10:25 AM
  #1
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Priceline - Should I trust it?

I'm planning a trip to west USA, actually we'll just go to LA, SF and Las Vegas. I already have a nice place to stay at Vegas, but finding a nice and not-so-pricey hotel is hard in SF. I checked Priceline and I found a place at Fisherman's Warf for $55 p/night, do you think I should go with it even if I have no idea what kind of place it is? What I'm most concerned about is that I'm traveling with a 6 year old, so I need a nice, safe place. Any advice?
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Oct 10th, 2003, 10:28 AM
  #2
Dan
 
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You can't "check" Priceline. You can only see what others have bid when you view sites like biddingfortravel.com. With Priceline, you never know the acceptable price until you bid and it's accepted by the hotel.

You CAN see a price/neighborhood/star level "before you buy" on Hotwire, but generally Priceline is a tad cheaper.

With both sites, the room is yours. Nonrefundable!!!

I've used both and like both.
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Oct 10th, 2003, 10:31 AM
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In those cities, you should bid no less than 3* and as Dan has said, check biddingfortravel to see what's awarded and at what price. We've had great luck with priceline.
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Oct 10th, 2003, 10:31 AM
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As Dan explained, you cannot "find a place" on Priceline unles you actually bid on it and win it (did you do that?).

I strongly recommend that you go to www.biddingfortravel.com, read their hotel FAQ and look at their hotel lists for your cities, keeping in mind that these are only tentative lists. The reviews that are linked to the hotel lists are very handy.
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Oct 10th, 2003, 10:44 AM
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I don't want to make a bid or anything before knowing if I should trust it.
What I want to know is if you've had luck with it before. It seems like you have, though. So if I bid on anything less than 3 stars it will be bad?
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Oct 10th, 2003, 10:47 AM
  #6
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Oh and also, about it being nonrefundable, have you tried buying the insurance they offer? I don't understand well the terms. If I can't make it, does it cover just the cancellation charge, or pays for the whole thing?
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Oct 10th, 2003, 10:49 AM
  #7
Dan
 
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Can you "trust" it? Absolutely. Priceline is a reputable company whose policies, while sometimes unpopular, are clearly stated.

Can you get a hotel you don't like or want? Absolutely.

Because of this, I always bid at least 3 star and usually 4 star. You have a lot of time before New Years so I'd recommend bidding a reasonable price for a 4 star and see what happens.

Again, I can't emphasize enough: check out biddingfortravel.com to see what other people have received in San Francisco. There's also a hotel list at the top of each bft.com area page.
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Oct 10th, 2003, 10:50 AM
  #8
Dan
 
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I don't know the insurance specifics, but I bet you have to have a pretty good excuse.

Your entire stay is nonrefundable on Priceline, whether it's 1 night or 10 nights.
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Oct 10th, 2003, 10:50 AM
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You can trust Priceline... just do your homework. As mentioned, go to biddingfortravel.com and read through the site. It is a very helpful tool.
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Oct 10th, 2003, 10:52 AM
  #10
 
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I've used priceline multiple times. For $55 there is no reason to bid below a 3* or 4* since both of those can easily be had in San Francisco for your price range. As sugested by other posters look at www.biddingfortravel.com. I would avoid Civic Center (safety) and Cathedral Hill (location).
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Oct 10th, 2003, 10:52 AM
  #11
 
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I've used Priceline many times and always been satisfied. As others have mentioned, check biddingfortravel to see what hotels people have gotten in various neighborhoods with various star levels and bids. It's a very helpful site.

Here are some examples of my bids on Priceline:

SF:
Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf 3* - $50
Marriot on Columbus and Bay 3* - $60
Sacramento:
Hyatt near the Capitol 4* - $57
AmeriSuites Rancho Cordova 2* - $35
San Diego:
Radisson Harbor View 3 or 4* - $72 (this one I probably could have gotten a better price, but I was in a hurry and didn't want to wait to rebid)

All of these hotels were great and I didn't have any problems with reservations.

As for the hotels in the FW area in SF, if you go with 3* or above, you will get a good, safe hotel.

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Oct 10th, 2003, 11:15 AM
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By saying that those hotels were great you mean you had a pivate bathroom. Right? Because yesterday I found this cute little place at Union Square but had public bathrooms! I'm not in for that. And also, am I getting annoying with all thse questions? , I didn't know I could rebid. If I didn't like the place or price I get, can I do it again?
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Oct 10th, 2003, 11:22 AM
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Are you travelling alone with your 6 year old or also with a spouse? Priceline will only guarantee a room that will sleep two people and that could mean one double bed. Most hotels try to accommodate people who need more than one bed but if they can't, you'll be stuck.

The travel insurance Priceline offers to sell you is a policy with an independent insurance company. If an emergency arises and you can't take your trip, you will still owe Priceline the money for your hotel rooms. You will have to make a separate claim to the insurance company to get reimbursed. They are quite specific about which emergencies/ circumstances they cover and you wlll want to make sure you understand that before you purchase it.

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Oct 10th, 2003, 11:35 AM
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Priceline only offers hotels wtih private baths. Shared baths are VERY unusual in US hotels, usually only found at the very bottom of the scale of economy and comfort.
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Oct 10th, 2003, 11:42 AM
  #15
 
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Once an hotel is awarded, that's it. You're credit card is charged. You can not rebid. There is no reason to not 'like the price', since you are providing the price. If they can't offer a room at the price you provide, your bid is rejected, in this case you can re-bid, but you have to either wait a few days or change some information on your bid. I strongly suggest you do some homework as already suggested. If you are not comfortable with bidding, then don't.
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Oct 10th, 2003, 11:44 AM
  #16
Don
 
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If you don't like the place or price you get, you can't "do it over"--if Priceline finds a hotel at your price, that's it.

Rebidding refers to a rejected bid--by adding more zones, adding different hotel rating levels, or changing your travel dates, you can rebid on a rejected bid.

As so many other posters have pointed out, see BiddingForTravel.com and read the Hotel FAQs. Then go to the California - San Francisco hotel thread on that site to see the prices people have gotten for various hotels. You can also read hotel reviews on that site so that you'll have an idea which zones are "safe" to bid in--people have been satisfied with the hotels they've gotten.

Good luck!
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Oct 10th, 2003, 11:45 AM
  #17
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That's another thing I didn't know. Actually I'm traveling with my husband,2 teenage daughters, my six year old and my daughter's boyfriend. My eldest daughter plans to stay at a room w/ her boyfriend, so they're alright. But the other room should fit 4 people, how come they don't ask the amount of people p/room? Does it say so i the terms/conditions?
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Oct 10th, 2003, 11:56 AM
  #18
 
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Priceline will only guarantee a room that will sleep 2 people. That's why they don't ask for the number of people per room. If you make a successful bid, you can contact the hotel directly about having enough beds to accommodate your family. But if the hotel cannot meet your needs, you still pay for the room.
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Oct 10th, 2003, 11:57 AM
  #19
 
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You can't guarantee a room for more than 2 people on Priceline--that's one of their basic conditions! In many suburban areas, some people are willing to take a chance that the hotel will have many rooms with 2 double beds, and they just call the hotel after they've 'won" a priceline bid to request (not GUARANTEE) a specific room type.
In big cities, with many hotels with small rooms, you may very well be out of luck, The only guarantee of space i is if you'd book an extra room (3 total)--2 people per room. I fthat option isn't acceptable, then Priceline probably won't be useful for you this time around
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Oct 10th, 2003, 12:13 PM
  #20
 
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Given the types of questions that are still coming ("how come they don't ask the amount of people p/room?"), the evident lack of willingness to read the background materials at the PL and BFT sites, and the 6-person requirements, I'd say that the OP should forget about using Priceline, at least this time.
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