U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Frugal Living
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-10-2009, 08:48 PM
 
13,714 posts, read 22,852,078 times
Reputation: 18526

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheridan1962 View Post
If you are scared of priceline, try Hotwire...you can see the name of the hotel, but you don't get to name your own price. But I have found it to be cheaper than booking with the hotels directly, but not as cheap as Priceline (which I have used a few times).
That is NOT true. You get to see the amenities of the property but you do NOT see the name of the property until you agree to make a purchase.

I would agree with you that generally, Priceline is less expensive. However, in general, Hotwire is a lot easier to use BUT they tend to overrate the quality level of the property . A 3.5* property on Hotwire is a 2.5-3* on Priceline.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-10-2009, 09:21 PM
 
13,714 posts, read 22,852,078 times
Reputation: 18526
Quote:
Originally Posted by k101608 View Post
Has anybody used this website to book a hotel? I'm on here right now and I'm a little scared of entering my c/c because of their diclaimer...


Can anybody explain how this really works? It says you don't get a choice of hotel but does it a least show you the hotel before actually charging your card?

Has anybody recieved a really good price using this website? How was the hotel?
As a veteran of 150 Priceline hotel stays, let me explain how it works as some of the posts have been been confusing.

First, I have never used the airline product as you can end up with inconvenient flight times. I have used the rental car product occasionally but there are generally ways to do better.

Hotel rooms are a commodity that spoils. Say I have a hotel with 150 rooms. My advanced sales are 100. I know that I can expect maybe 20 walk-ins. That means I am sitting on 30 rooms for which I will receive no revenue AND for which I will be paying overhead costs (utilities, housekeeping, advertising, etc.).

Now I could lower the rate to sell those rooms. If I do that, the first 100 people who paid the rack rate will demand the lower rate. And if I lower the rate too much, people will start to question the quality of the hotel.

Priceline and Hotwire give hotels an out. They can sell rooms for 25-75% off the rack rate without revealing the name of the property. The Hyatt can sell rooms for $40 to cover their fixed costs without any of their usual customers knowing it. These opaque sites (blind bids) do not alow their normal customers to be able to know which hotel they are getting.

In other words, Priceline allows you to name the location of the hotel, the amenity levels of the property, and the price that you are willing to pay. In return, they find you a room at a hotel with those characteristics. . You get a cheap room and the hotel gets rooms sold to cover their costs.

For example, I have a lot of business meetings near the St. Louis Airport. There are three large airport hotels in the area - Marriott, Hilton, and Renaissance. I have stayed in each of these places 20 times or more and I really can't tell the difference. In general, their rates are $99-139/night depending on the negotiated rates of my clients. In general, I will bid between $30-55/night on Priceline and get one of them. I do not know which one until my bid is accepted. For a $50 savings, who cares?

The savings can be incredible. In the last two years, I have stayed at teh Hyatt Lodge in Chocagoland for $35, the Embassy Suites in DT Philadelphia for $80, a Holiday Inn in the Boston financial district for $80, seveal extended stay properties in Chicagoland for $23/night.

Priceline and Hotwire reservations are NON-REFUNDABLE, NON-CHANGABLE, and NON-CANCELLABLE. There are no refunds if your plans change. So don't bid if your plans change frequently.

Priceline is not for everyone. They only guarantee rooms for two people so if you have a large family, it won't work. If you MUST stay at a Marriott or a Hilton. there is no guarantee that you will get the hotel you want. If your plans change, you will either bid at the last minute and will likely find that it does not work for you.

My wife and I travel occasionally on business and take 3+ weeks of vacation plus 6-10 weekends per year travelling across the US. if we had to pay "full price", we would not travel as often.

Biddingfortravel.com is probably the best site on how to bid using the Priceline product.

This weekend, I bid for a couple of nights in Kearney, NE and was successful at $40. The best web price for the Country Inns and Suites was $85.

The savings are more dramatic in larger cities as there are more hotels with vacant rooms during off periods.

As for the quality of the hotels, you will find a wide variety just as if you purchased through Orbitz. If you stay at 3* and above, you generally get some pretty decent hotels. We have also had some pretty good luch at 2* properties.

Hope that helps.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2009, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Lakeland, FL
326 posts, read 1,147,168 times
Reputation: 127
Thanks for your help Jlawrence...
One more question...
Since you say you have used it alot for booking a vacaction, have you ever used it to book a hotel in a beach area? How far away from the beach were you?
I wouldn't mind walking distance since I'm assuming you probably wouldn't get a hotel right on the beach, but I don't want to be so far that you have to drive...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2009, 02:04 PM
 
13,714 posts, read 22,852,078 times
Reputation: 18526
Quote:
Originally Posted by k101608 View Post
One more question...
Since you say you have used it alot for booking a vacation, have you ever used it to book a hotel in a beach area? How far away from the beach were you?
I wouldn't mind walking distance since I'm assuming you probably wouldn't get a hotel right on the beach, but I don't want to be so far that you have to drive...
My wife and I are generally not beach people ... or we hit beaches at off-peak periods where they are not crowded.

When you go to the Priceline website and look at the areas to bid in, there is a map that shows you the area that hotels are located in. Then, YOU need to decide.

As I have said, there are times when Priceline just will NOT work for you. If you need a very specific location, you might book other ways.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2009, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Lakeland, FL
326 posts, read 1,147,168 times
Reputation: 127
Thanks again
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-12-2009, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Banana Republic, LA
378 posts, read 980,799 times
Reputation: 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by k101608 View Post
Thanks for your help Jlawrence...
One more question...
Since you say you have used it alot for booking a vacaction, have you ever used it to book a hotel in a beach area? How far away from the beach were you?
I wouldn't mind walking distance since I'm assuming you probably wouldn't get a hotel right on the beach, but I don't want to be so far that you have to drive...
Just wanted to add that you should check out vrbo.com for condo rentals at the beach. I've found great deals there, particularly at the last minute if someone cancels. Of course it won't be in the $40 a night range like Priceline, but you can get a nice beachfront for under $100 usually. And I like condo stays better; there's no housekeeper waking you up early.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-12-2009, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Lakeland, FL
326 posts, read 1,147,168 times
Reputation: 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbean View Post
Just wanted to add that you should check out vrbo.com for condo rentals at the beach. I've found great deals there, particularly at the last minute if someone cancels. Of course it won't be in the $40 a night range like Priceline, but you can get a nice beachfront for under $100 usually. And I like condo stays better; there's no housekeeper waking you up early.
Great website!! Saw a couple of places that looked really nice and afforable.

Thanks
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-04-2009, 04:58 PM
 
447 posts, read 974,293 times
Reputation: 883
Default Rental Cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
You can narrow your region and star rating to be pretty sure of getting the 2-3 hotels that meet your criteria. I have seen some tutorials on travel websites how to really narrow the options.

I use Priceline for rental cars, and often get them for $12 to $16 / day.

I don't like the airfare, as I am picky on airline AND routing / elapsed travel time, I don't like switching carriers enroute if at all possible, and I usually book in such a way as to be more likely to get bumped (free vouchers for the next trip).

The biggest deterrent of PL is paying up front and no way to change. Life happens, people die, kids break their leg 4 hrs before you leave for 2 months of international travel (btdt)...schedules change... I prefer to have some cancellation options.
That's a great deal on rental cars. Is the pricing regional? They're recommending I bid $46/day, albeit in New York. Still, that'd just be foolish.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-05-2009, 08:33 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,417,041 times
Reputation: 10476
I have used Priceline several times for hotels. I have only used it once for airline tickets and that was when I knew that the hours of the airports would work with my plans (flying out of small airports that were not open past 10PM). For hotels, if you check out bidding for travel for the area you can pretty much find which hotels typically come up on Priceline and for which star category. Priceline also gives you an idea of which hotels are in that category-if you click on say the 3 star places it will show that you typically see Country Inn, Fairfield and Courtyards, for example (these are not necessarily what you will see I just made these up for an example).

We just used Priceline for our DC trip. We wanted to stay in Alexandria so we only bid on that area. I started low, 70/night for a 4 star. My bid was not accepted. My choices were to add a lower star rating or another area of the city. I chose to wait 24 hours and start again. I waited 24 hours and tried 80. My bid was rejected again. I then tried bidding from a different computer with a different email address at higher prices. We eventually got $100/night for the Westin in Alexandria. The hotel was fine, good location, etc.

If I wanted a VERY specific hotel I would not use priceline but overall it is a good way to save money on hotels.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-05-2009, 02:28 PM
 
13,714 posts, read 22,852,078 times
Reputation: 18526
Quote:
Originally Posted by callsnap View Post
That's a great deal on rental cars. Is the pricing regional? They're recommending I bid $46/day, albeit in New York. Still, that'd just be foolish.
New York is perhaps the most expensive state to rent vehicles in. It is cheaper to pay a $150 higher fare into Toronto than to take the cheaper flight into Buffalo and pay a lot more for the rental car.

My best car deal was $9 per day for one day at Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Frugal Living
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top