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Old 08-24-2017, 08:52 AM
 
9,769 posts, read 4,591,667 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njkate View Post
I look up hotels on trip advisor for reviews and go from there booking directly with the hotel
Glad that works for you.

And here's a specific example that anyone can verify.

Orbitz has a promo code 'bigadventure' for 15% off certain stays. Looked up Key Largo for Sept 16-23. Saw a listing for Pelican Cottages for base rate $108/nt, 20% sale from normal rate. Selected it to reserve, entered promo code, applied successfully saving $115, net total including taxes $715. Went to Home | Key Largo Hotel | The Pelican, selected book now, entered same dates, shows same room at base $103/nt (wow, $5 less!) but they don't take orbitz codes so net total including taxes $815. There ya go, booking through Orbitz is $100 less than booking direct. I get your point and you usually get a better rate direct but you can't blindly assume that.
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
31,181 posts, read 13,676,183 times
Reputation: 22219
Several years ago I booked a reservation at an upscale hotel for a business trip, I paid in advance to take advantage of a discount. But I got stuck in a storm enroute and didn't arrive until very late at night. When I tried to check in they said they rented my room to someone else because I was a "no show". I was so angry, told them that if they didn't give me a room I would bring in my pillow and blanket and sleep in the lobby, I guess they didn't believe me because that's exactly what I did. After I got all comfy and started to fall asleep they decided to call the cops and have me removed. The cops told me to leave so I showed them my prepaid reservation that said nothing about them being able to give your room to someone else if you were late. They advised the hotel to find me a room either in their hotel or another at their expense ASAP
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:00 AM
 
14,016 posts, read 7,471,764 times
Reputation: 25653
At the moment, I'm doing a ton of business travel where I'm paying my own way. I go wherever Priceline puts me. After I click on the "2 1/2 star hotel in the city center" and pay for the room, I find out what hotel they picked. Usually, you can figure it out before you pay for it but not always. Prepaid. Non-refundable. It's like a cheap coach seat on an airline where the change fee is more than just eating the ticket cost.

In my more normal business travel, I'm on expense report. I can cancel anytime before 6pm on my arrival date without penalty. I use my corporate rate which is much lower than the rack rate you'd pay using the hotel web site using AAA or a similar discount code.
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:24 AM
 
280 posts, read 572,678 times
Reputation: 230
I use the Choice Hotels web site and app. It covers about 9 different chains. There are still rules, but it's a loyalty program so they want to keep you as a customer of their hotels. In my experience, prices are as good or better than hotels.com, etc.
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:30 AM
 
6,387 posts, read 5,441,541 times
Reputation: 11015
You booked a non-refundable rate, which are almost always the least expensive rate. If you need flexibility, you need to pay for it. It's pretty simple.

Booking through a third party can be one of those "penny wise and pound foolish" things. It's all well and good if things go according to plan, but any modifications or cancellations need to go through two channels--the hotel/airline and the third party vendor. Sometimes their policies conflict and you are always beholden to that third party vendor you used.
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
13,108 posts, read 24,923,490 times
Reputation: 11146
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceangaia View Post
Glad that works for you.

And here's a specific example that anyone can verify.

Orbitz has a promo code 'bigadventure' for 15% off certain stays. Looked up Key Largo for Sept 16-23. Saw a listing for Pelican Cottages for base rate $108/nt, 20% sale from normal rate. Selected it to reserve, entered promo code, applied successfully saving $115, net total including taxes $715. Went to Home | Key Largo Hotel | The Pelican, selected book now, entered same dates, shows same room at base $103/nt (wow, $5 less!) but they don't take orbitz codes so net total including taxes $815. There ya go, booking through Orbitz is $100 less than booking direct. I get your point and you usually get a better rate direct but you can't blindly assume that.
Many many years ago I booked through expedia, there was an issue and NO ONE would address it, said I needed to go through Expedia, they were not prompt in resolving so this cured me of middle men no matter what the savings. The issue was the hotel in Memphis overbooked and they were not honoring my reservation for 2 rooms,claimed expedia never confirmed my reservation that was paid at time of booking, took expedia hours to find me 2 rooms in another hotel, thought hubbie was going to strangle me lol. For me just not worth it.
I don't blindly assume booking direct will get me a better rate, if there is an issue I'm dealing directly not being told I booked through xyz so therefore I need to go through xyz.

Different strokes for different folks
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,304 posts, read 10,796,678 times
Reputation: 20542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Those Who Squirm View Post
Earlier this year, I planned a trip to Charleston SC to view the Great American Eclipse, which was three days ago, and I'm still in Charleston. For reasons that seemed important at the time I booked the whole week at this one hotel. I used Expedia.

A few days before the trip I wanted to change my plans, thinking that would be a simple matter to let them know I wanted cut short my stay in Charleston so I could go see at least one additional city on the east coast, since I've never been here before. NYC seemed the most obvious choice But apparently you can't just "shorten" an existing booking; instead you have to cancel it completely, and then re-book from scratch. And this being the week of the eclipse, and truly a million extra people pouring into the area, there was no way I was going to get a new booking if I'd been foolish enough to give up the one I already had.

OK, I thought. I'll just wait until a day or two after the eclipse, and cancel the rest of my stay then. That was today, and I had actually started looking up flights from Charleston to NYC; a Sunday morning return flight would have dovetailed nicely with the flights I already have from Charleston back to San Diego, so I wouldn't have needed to change those.

As luck would have it, I can't check out early, unless I want to forfeit everything I paid for the remaining nights. Excuse me? How is that a thing now? Just because nowadays people usually pay for their hotels up front, when they book, instead of when they check out--the way it was traditionally done--that means the hotels can just glom onto your cash no matter what? Who made that happen--maybe the local tourist industries?

It's not a total loss; I'm finding enough to see and do right here. But I didn't realize that flexibility was a thing of the past.

And the eclipse? At the viewing party I attended we saw just the first tiny "nibble" into the sun's disc, and then the clouds blew in, thick and dark, and with thunder and lightning.

So nothing on the bucket list gets checked off on this trip...
Hotel cancelation policies have no baring when you book through a site like Expedia. You need to really read the fine print. Sounds like you didn't. You're getting a discount so you have to follow the rules of Expedia. You made an agreement to stay in that room for x amount of time so they agree not to rent the room to anyone else.

Many hotels don't let you change plans either once you're booked. Once you've checked in, most will not cancel the remaining reservation unless there's a major emergency like a death in the family. This isn't a new thing.

When you make a reservation, you're making a contract basically. They are saving the room you want. If you want to travel without a reservation so you can travel around at a whim, that's fine, but you'll pay much more for a room and you may have a hard time finding a room in some places. Trip insurance exists so maybe look into for your next trip.
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Old 08-24-2017, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
1,369 posts, read 553,462 times
Reputation: 1113
The OP didn't use the non-refundable option. He reserved the room months in advance. But several days before he checked in, he wanted to shorten the stay. But Expedia didn't allow him to modify the stay but asked him to cancel and re-book.

His strategy should be (which I always used) is to make two reservations. One booking under his name for the entire week, the other booking under his wife/partner/friend's name (I assume he is not traveling alone) for three days. Because his itinerary was made months in advance, there might be many variables. So he had to conceive any possible scenarios. Before the deadline approaches (now most hotels set a cancellation deadline of 72 hours instead of 48 or 24 hours), then he makes up his mind to cancel one of them.

In fact, before the deadline, he should check with Priceline or Hotwire to see if there is any last minute good deal.

Also Expedia may not offer the best rate. In the hotel's own website, it may offer other rates like AAA, AARP, Senior, government, military,.....rates which are better than Expedia's.
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Old 08-24-2017, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,304 posts, read 10,796,678 times
Reputation: 20542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian_Lee View Post
The OP didn't use the non-refundable option. He reserved the room months in advance. But several days before he checked in, he wanted to shorten the stay. But Expedia didn't allow him to modify the stay but asked him to cancel and re-book.

His strategy should be (which I always used) is to make two reservations. One booking under his name for the entire week, the other booking under his wife/partner/friend's name (I assume he is not traveling alone) for three days. Because his itinerary was made months in advance, there might be many variables. So he had to conceive any possible scenarios. Before the deadline approaches (now most hotels set a cancellation deadline of 72 hours instead of 48 or 24 hours), then he makes up his mind to cancel one of them.

In fact, before the deadline, he should check with Priceline or Hotwire to see if there is any last minute good deal.

Also Expedia may not offer the best rate. In the hotel's own website, it may offer other rates like AAA, AARP, Senior, government, military,.....rates which are better than Expedia's.
That could backfire on a person. Some hotels don't allow for cancellations and charge you for part of the stay. Expedia is all prepaid so good luck with any refund. In the fine print, it goes over the cancellation policy and it's on the hotels side not the guest. The hotel is giving up far more than the guest.
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Old 08-24-2017, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
1,369 posts, read 553,462 times
Reputation: 1113
Though it may not offer the best rate for domestic hotel, Expedia excels in other aspects.

It allows you to get full refund for flight booking within 24 hours. Most airlines do too but they have another policy that you can't cancel and get full refund within 24 hours if the flight is departing within 7 days. But Expedia does not have that latter rule. One time I made an urgent flight reservation in Expedia that departed within 36 hours. And after that booking, I found another good deal which is $150 cheaper in Travelocity. Right away I canceled the booking with Expedia and they gave me full refund.

But if I made the reservation directly at the airline website, I would not be able to save that $150.
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