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What is Priceline & is it any good?

Old Jan 26th, 2004, 10:42 AM
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What is Priceline & is it any good?

Hi there,
I'm coming over to America fron the UK in April & in one of the posts someone recommended I try Priceline for hotels.
How does it work? What happens if I don't like where I'm put? And is it really a bargain or would I be better off booking some where I know like Best Western or Comfort?
Thanks
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Old Jan 26th, 2004, 10:55 AM
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Priceline allows you to bid a specific amount for hotels in an area. You specify the quality level (by stars) and the area, from their pre-determined list. You then bid what you're willing to pay. If they find a hotel at that price, you are charged for it. It is non-refundable.

Priceline can save you quite a bit of money, or none at all depending on the location and time you'll be there. It's best when using priceline to have a backup reservation at a hotel that is fully cancellable.

Check out www.biddingfortravel.com for in depth information on how to best use priceline to get good deals on hotels. There is a lot of information there, but it's worth reading as it might save a lot of $$. I've successfully used priceline for hotels in Chicago and London and been very happy with what I've gotten for price, location and quality.
 
Old Jan 26th, 2004, 11:33 AM
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Welshgirl,

To answer your question, if you don't like where you're put, it's really too bad. If you have specific requirements and are not extremely flexible, you probably don't want to try Priceline. Once you enter a bid for a certain area, if it is accepted, you've bought and paid for the hotel. You do not know specifically which hotel you will receive until afterwards and you have no recourse if you don't want that particular hotel.
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Old Jan 26th, 2004, 11:38 AM
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As jenifer advised above, go to www.biddingfortravel.com for a wealth of invaluable information ranging from tips on how to win bids, to explanations of some of Priceline's rather arcane rules (e.g., free rebid zone) and especially the lists of hotels that people have reported winning, their winning bids, and reviews of these hotels.

Since BFT's lists are based on reports from users, not from PL themselves, they're necessarily incomplete and subject to being obsolete at any time. BUT I've had great luck, whenever I try a new city, printing out the BFT list of hotels won, annotating hte list with notes on winning bids and the reviews, then ruling out bidding on any combination of zone and star rating that includes unacceptable places. This gives me a shorter list of OK hotels and a very high level of probability that I'll win one of those.

PL offers trip insurance now, and a best-price guarantee.
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Old Jan 26th, 2004, 11:39 AM
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P.S. Best Western in the US is a very different group of hotels than in Europe, they tend to be very basic budget places.
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Old Jan 26th, 2004, 12:59 PM
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I tried Priceline for the first time 2 weeks ago. (I, also prefer to know where I'm staying in advance, but for this particular stay I was not being picky!) and landed a Hyatt in Miami for $48 a night on Pricline which is $215 on the Hyatt website!

I studied Bidding For Travel before I tried, read the reviews there, as well as on Tripadvisor before committing to trying to bid. Once you know which hotels on the list you want to stay at, and what bids won on those places, it's not that difficult.

My other tactic (sneaky as it may be) was I happen to have a recently cancelled credit card. I was testing which bids would win using that number, knowing it wouldn't process. Once it would come back to me telling me it needed the right credit card number, I knew then that bid would be accepted. Hope this helps!
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Old Jan 26th, 2004, 01:33 PM
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Use www.priceline.co.uk for room bidding from the UK. Also look at www.cleverbidding.co.uk, the UK version of Biddingfortravel.com. Same idea, only with sterling denominated prices and more experience of UK users of Priceline.
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Old Jan 26th, 2004, 03:58 PM
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There are a fair number of cities where Priceline is not that helpful. But there are others where it is extremely helpful.

About Best Western or Comfort Inn, I would look at it this way. If those hotels are in a good location and have good reviews, and the price is about equivalent to what I could get for a 4* hotel on Priceline, I would probably go for the conventionally booked hotel. But I don't put that high a premium on luxuries beyond the basics. I do put a really high premium on location and convenience. On the other hand, if I think I have a good chance of getting a good-quality/convenient 2* or 2.5* or 3* with Priceline, I would take the minimal risk of bidding since those places on Priceline are likely to be pretty cheap (in some cities).
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Old Jan 27th, 2004, 09:51 AM
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Hi there!
As I'm going to be booking 2 rooms I'm afarid if I use Priceline we'll end up in 2 different hotels!
Any one had any experience of Drury Inns especially in the Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis areas?
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Old Jan 27th, 2004, 10:12 AM
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You won't get two different hotels if you book the two rooms at once.
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Old Jan 27th, 2004, 10:30 AM
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For reviews of any hotels (anywhere) try looking on the website tripadvisor.com

I hope you took note that Best Western in the U.S. is NOT like Best Western in Europe. It's usually clean & reliable but nothing great.

I also think you need to pay attention to location in the cities you're visiting. Some areas in some cities are not very good.
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Old Jan 27th, 2004, 12:06 PM
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Have a look here for info on Memphis & Nashville.

http://www.frommers.com/destinations...016010003.html

I don't think there's a Drury Inn in these places. Maybe have a look at the chain Hamptons Inn.
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