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Priceline - Name Your Own Price

timesharer

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Your comments about using Priceline - Name Your Own Price to purchase airline tickets to England is appreciated.

Thanks!
Sue
 

DeniseM

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Egret1986

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Personally, I won't use Priceline for airline tickets ever again

timesharer said:
Your comments about using Priceline - Name Your Own Price to purchase airline tickets to England is appreciated.

Thanks!
Sue

Several years ago when we were novice travelers, we bought tickets through Priceline from East Coast to West Coast. That taught us a lesson about airline schedules. It showed us how important it is not to have to sit in an airport for several hours and that if there's an opportunity of a direct flight, that it is better than having to change planes and possibly be delayed between flights.

Being assured of a schedule is more important than the money saved for us. There may be good experiences out there, but it only took one time for us to know than not knowing wasn't worth it to us.

We recently bought tickets from East Coast to Montana. The tickets were $630 each, which is the most expensive tickets we've ever had to purchase for a trip. But with all the schedules, plane changes ran from one to three, with flights running from 7 hours to over 24 hours. We purchased the one plane change, 7 hour flight. The other flights were less than $100 less than what we bought per ticket. Priceline may have been $200 less, but to have risked changing planes three times and spending 24 hours or more to get to our destination would not be worth it for the aggravation and cutting into our vacation time. I do believe you can put in the number of plane changes you are willing to accept, but the amount of time spent in an airport during those plane changes is the real scary part.

Others may have had good experiences and I hope they will post.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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I also do not use Priceline for air tickets. Not knowing whethe the flights are going to leave morning or evening is just too much uncertainly for my travel plans.

I have used PL extensively in the past for hotels and car rentals. But in the last couple of years, Hotwire has consistently beat Priceline for hotel rooms for the travel that I do. I also can always find a rental car cheaper by booking directly with a rental company - or via Hotwire - than I can with Priceline.
 

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T_R_Oglodyte said:
I also do not use Priceline for air tickets. Not knowing whethe the flights are going to leave morning or evening is just too much uncertainly for my travel plans.

I have used PL extensively in the past for hotels and car rentals. But in the last couple of years, Hotwire has consistently beat Priceline for hotel rooms for the travel that I do. I also can always find a rental car cheaper by booking directly with a rental company - or via Hotwire - than I can with Priceline.

I disagree. Hotwire's hotel is always higher than Priceline. In addition, Hotwire does not cover as much area internationally.

Case in example: I recently use priceline and booked a 4* union square hotel for $75 a night. Hotwire's price is between $128 & up for the same date.

I do agree with car rental, but I will add this: try to book through promo program either through airline or credit card company. I recently book car rental through AMEX offer and saved over 20% the car renta's own price.

I will never book air through Priceline, simply because the schedule and the particular airline I travel in is far more important than saving a couple of hundred dollars. Plus the airlines pricing are fairly competitive now, if you shop around on various websites, you can always get a good deal for the flight you want. Lately, it has always been the airline's own website that offers the best price, plus getting bonus miles, etc.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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JillChang said:
I disagree. Hotwire's hotel is always higher than Priceline. In addition, Hotwire does not cover as much area internationally.

Case in example: I recently use priceline and booked a 4* union square hotel for $75 a night. Hotwire's price is between $128 & up for the same date. ...
Jill - it depends on the particulars. One case in point does not prove anything.

I can tell you that the last ten hotel rooms I have booked working both Priceline and Hotwire, I have had bids turned down by Priceline at levels where I was looking at the standing offer from Hotwire. And I am making direct hotel to hotel types of comparisons, not just comparing star levels.

I do this type of stuff about 10 to 2o times per year, so I've got a good base of information to work from.

It's pretty clear that right now, for the type of travel that I do, that Hotwire will match or beat Priceline 90% of the time or better. That's a total reveral from three years ago where Priceline was beating Hotwire so consistently I considered Hotwire of value only for background on Priceline bidding.

But that's just the travel that I do. Other people, such as yourself who are looking for arrangements that I don't ordinarily do, report that PL consistently beats Hotwire

So what's the Grand Unitifying Principal here? Check both sites. You never really know for sure which one will be best. And it costs nothhing to try.

You also should check the best rates avialable directly from hotels. If you ptick a period when the hotels expect to be close to full, they only release inventory to PL and HOtwire at rates that are higher than what they would charge themselves. There are lots of stories of people who didn't do that - who simply assumed that a PL or Hotwire reservation would be less than the hotel rate - who later found out they paid more than the going rate for the hotel room or car rental.
 

JillChang

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But I do check both Hotwire, Priceline, hotel's own website, hotel.com, and expedia.

I booked hotels in San Francisco, Tucson, Toronto, Canada, Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, China, Tokyo, KyotoJ, apan, Taiwan, Miami, Hawaii during the past year. I find SF and Toronto, Priceline is always the cheapest, China I get the best rate by calling the hotel. Japan, Hotel.com worked best, because I need a room large enough to fit me and my two sons, I don't dare try priceline and get a room fitting only 2. Hawaii, again Priceline came through. Tucson, hotel's own website beat both Hotwire and Priceline.

But it is also kind of hard to compare Hotwire and Priceline, they don't have the same hotels. In downtown Toronto, priceline's 3 star is a very nice Marriott Courtyard, right on subway line, it is even better than some 4 star. Or you get one of the other two Marriott, which are also beautiful and downtown. Hotwire's 3 star hotel is Quality Hotel Midtown, I wouldn't even call it downtown, never mind a 3 star, at most a 2.5 star. So even if Hotwire's price is better, it is really not as good as Priceline's hotel in this case. Hotwire rates Metropolitan hotel in Toronto as 4.5 star, it is at most a 4 star. Hotwire lists Renaissance in Toronto as 3.5 star, priceline has it as 3 star. I can go on. I have noticed this incosistency before as others have. In general, Priceline's star rating is more accurate than Hotwire's.

But that is just my opinion.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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JillChang said:
But I do check both Hotwire, Priceline, hotel's own website, hotel.com, and expedia.

I booked hotels in San Francisco, Tucson, Toronto, Canada, Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, China, Tokyo, KyotoJ, apan, Taiwan, Miami, Hawaii during the past year. I find SF and Toronto, Priceline is always the cheapest, China I get the best rate by calling the hotel. Japan, Hotel.com worked best, because I need a room large enough to fit me and my two sons, I don't dare try priceline and get a room fitting only 2. Hawaii, again Priceline came through. Tucson, hotel's own website beat both Hotwire and Priceline.

But it is also kind of hard to compare Hotwire and Priceline, they don't have the same hotels. In downtown Toronto, priceline's 3 star is a very nice Marriott Courtyard, right on subway line, it is even better than some 4 star. Or you get one of the other two Marriott, which are also beautiful and downtown. Hotwire's 3 star hotel is Quality Hotel Midtown, I wouldn't even call it downtown, never mind a 3 star, at most a 2.5 star. So even if Hotwire's price is better, it is really not as good as Priceline's hotel in this case. Hotwire rates Metropolitan hotel in Toronto as 4.5 star, it is at most a 4 star. Hotwire lists Renaissance in Toronto as 3.5 star, priceline has it as 3 star. I can go on. I have noticed this incosistency before as others have. In general, Priceline's star rating is more accurate than Hotwire's.

But that is just my opinion.


Yes, and I'm also compensating for the star levels. In a lot of the areas I travel, they have the same inventory so direct comparisons are possible. And with rental cars, you can compare classes directly.

The bottom line is that there is no hard and fast rule that applies in all times and locales. I always check and work both sites.

I'll give my most recent experience. I need a Friday night in Oahu in August, as we're coming in too late to make our interisland connector. Best rate we can get booking directly is the Honolulu Airport Hotel for $100 per night, which a real dump and not worth it. Hotwire offers me a 3.5* in central Wiakiki, which I'm able to deduce is the Radisson. Orbits, Expedia, hotels.com, the Radisson site itself, are all listing the Radisson at $200 and up, genrally with a two-night minimum. Bidding 3* on PL I get turned down at $100.

That type of thing has been pretty typical of my experiences with PL for the last two years. Most of my bidding is for Las Vegas, but with a smattering of other locales mixed in. In the last couple of years, my other locales have included eastern Houston, Asheville, Savannah, Minneapolis airport, Reno, Hartford, Portland (OR), Boise. In every case, I've been turned by PL at the price point where Hotwire gave me a comparable offering.
 

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Priceline never worked well for Las Vegas, especially during certain time of the year. This is discussed in www.biddingfortravel.com

Priceline also does not work well for trade shows and conventions dates.

You happened to pick the two events that priceline don't work.

Sorry to argue with you, and not that I am standing up for Priceline. But I still find that for the past 6 years of travelling, Priceline beat Hotwire 90% of the time. I have only found one occasion where Hotwire had hotels which Priceline did not on a particular week for Whistler, BC. But when I tried 3 days later, I got the best hotel, Westin Whistler, for $95, when Hotwire was offering 3* for 140 and did not even have Westin.

Again, this is just my opinion.
 

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JillChang said:
Case in example: I recently use priceline and booked a 4* union square hotel for $75 a night. Hotwire's price is between $128 & up for the same date.

Which hotel did you end up in at Union Square?

I like the W Union Square, but I usually book it for points.

-David
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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JillChang said:
Priceline never worked well for Las Vegas, especially during certain time of the year. This is discussed in www.biddingfortravel.com

Priceline also does not work well for trade shows and conventions dates.

You happened to pick the two events that priceline don't work.

Sorry to argue with you, and not that I am standing up for Priceline. But I still find that for the past 6 years of travelling, Priceline beat Hotwire 90% of the time. I have only found one occasion where Hotwire had hotels which Priceline did not on a particular week for Whistler, BC. But when I tried 3 days later, I got the best hotel, Westin Whistler, for $95, when Hotwire was offering 3* for 140 and did not even have Westin.

Again, this is just my opinion.

I've been traveling to Las Vegas for ten years, most of that time using Priceline. I have flexibility in scheduling my travel, and I always avoid major conventions and trade shows. Every one of my trips, with one exception, was specifically scheduled to avoid conferences and trade shows. Before booking a trip I always check calendars to ensure I am hitting a period of surplus rooms.

In Las Vegas using PriceLine, I've picked up the Venetian for $89, Treasure Island for $35, Mirage for $39, MGM Grand for $49, Hyatt Lake Las Vegas for $99, to name a few. I could rattle off similar deals on car rentals, getting compact and intermediate size cars regularly for $10 - $18 per day. Everyone of those deals had a Hotwire comparison, and it wasn't even close between PL and Hotwire.

So I think I know how to bid Priceline in Las Vegas.

Beginning about four years ago, the car rental deals began drying up, on both PL and Hotwire. About two years ago, I stopped getting winning bids on PL. I started booking Hotwire more frequently.

BTW - it's not a case that Hotwire has dropped it's quotes. Hotwire is about where it's always been - never the screaming bargains I used to get on PL. And I've never had Hotwire offer me a car rental for less than I could get by blooking directly with a car rental agency.

Longtimers here at TUG know that I've historically been one of the most consistent and vocal supporters of PL through the years. Over at the BFT site they had a thread on "how did you find out about BFT". (The thread isn't there anymore since ezBoard site was hacked down last year.) I got quite a few mentions there from TUGgers who wandered over to BFT because I was so vocal about the great deals on PL.

But I'm not seeing them any more for my travel. I know they are out there, but PL isn't offering it to me on my travels.

I still check PL all of the time. I have my protocols for bidding on PL, and I still use them (including getting background prices). I still use them. I just haven't been successful on PL for quite awhile now.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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Judy said:
Another site with useful advice is www.betterbidding.com It includes hotwire as well as priceline.
Yes - BetterBidding is a valuable site, particularly for Hotwire information.

I used BB when I was doing the Honlulu reservation I discussed above, and was able to be almost certain Hotwire was offering me the Radisson.
 
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