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Old 05-26-2009, 09:05 PM
 
193 posts, read 471,587 times
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It seems that these online hotel discount websites, like Priceline, Expedia and Hotwire are competing with AAA for discount fares to hotels. Even if some of the hotels are cheaper on those websites than the AAA membership discount, is there still any advantage to booking with the AAA rate vs. if I book through Expedia, Obritz, Hotwire, Priceline, etc?
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:55 AM
 
Location: virginia beach, virginia
128 posts, read 577,273 times
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It has been my experience that going directly to the hotel gets you a better price. I've even been told that I would have saved money if I had called the hotel direct as the hotels have to pay a commission to whichever discount organization books for them.
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:58 AM
 
Location: AZ
124 posts, read 442,522 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob swanson View Post
It has been my experience that going directly to the hotel gets you a better price. I've even been told that I would have saved money if I had called the hotel direct as the hotels have to pay a commission to whichever discount organization books for them.
I think it depends on what hotel you are dealing with. I worked in a hotel and if you call us directly at the hotel then the room would cost you $84.99. AAA rate was no better than our best available rate and only became advantageous when our best available rate was increased due to demand of rooms (normally at 85% occupancy).

I know that guests were able to get a rate of around $50 when booking through expedia and travelocity. If guests choose to blind book using hotwire or priceline they could get a room for as low as $30 per night.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:30 AM
 
2,190 posts, read 6,937,986 times
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Every situation is different...More and more chain hotels are doing the best rate gaurantee meaning it will beat most travel sites. Hotwire/priceline is different and gets around the rules as they don't tell you which hotel you're purchasing.
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:50 PM
 
14,256 posts, read 23,974,521 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob swanson View Post
It has been my experience that going directly to the hotel gets you a better price. I've even been told that I would have saved money if I had called the hotel direct as the hotels have to pay a commission to whichever discount organization books for them.
I was at the front desk of a Courtyard by Marriott in San Antonio, TX a few weeks back at $42/night +fees through Priceline. The rate that the front desk clerk was quoting to guests was $129. The next month I was at the Embassy Suites in DT Philadelphia for $80 and their best rate was $179 going through the Hilton website. It was another win through Priceline.

Any hotel that I have worked with has quoted rack rate for anyone who calls. If the guest identifies themselves as a AAA/AARP member, they could get a $10 discount. If they worked for certain corporations with contracts, they would get the negotiated rate with proper ID. A front desk clerk is there to satisfy the customer, not play "let's make a deal", especially if the individual is acting like a jerk.

The one exception is when you are going to offer the hotel property a significant amount of business. I have a colleague who will be in Chicago for 45 days. He'll get a better deal than a single night stay.
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Old 06-04-2009, 06:42 AM
 
Location: virginia beach, virginia
128 posts, read 577,273 times
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I can only speak from personal experience and try to figure it out. One time using Priceline (aren't they all the same?) I believe I booked a hotel/motel room in St. Thomas. When I got there they had me sign a document that I knowingly accepted this rate. I found out later that their walk in rate was much lower and this was in a international resort area. I have also traveled extensively in the US and found about the same thing. I don't mean to call the 800 number of which is probably a national answering service but to call the hotel/motel itself. Call them both and compare. My thought is that corporate doesn't have to fill those rooms but the inhouse management does. And they probably would honor whatever discount organizations you have. One only!.
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:22 PM
 
14,256 posts, read 23,974,521 times
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Originally Posted by bob swanson View Post
I can only speak from personal experience and try to figure it out. One time using Priceline (aren't they all the same?) I believe I booked a hotel/motel room in St. Thomas.
First, not all booking services are the same. Some are bookings sites where there is a fixed price; others, like Priceline are bidding sites where you tell the dervice what you are willing to pay and they find the place for you.

Second, most of the national chains (Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt) have centalized reservation systems and websites advertising the lowest rates WITH A GUARANTEE. The front desk manager and staff have little leeway in setting rates. In most cases, unless you are booking a block of rooms through the sales department, when you call the local property, you are transferred to the national reservation system
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Old 06-04-2009, 07:41 PM
 
2,190 posts, read 6,937,986 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
First, not all booking services are the same. Some are bookings sites where there is a fixed price; others, like Priceline are bidding sites where you tell the dervice what you are willing to pay and they find the place for you.

Second, most of the national chains (Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt) have centalized reservation systems and websites advertising the lowest rates WITH A GUARANTEE. The front desk manager and staff have little leeway in setting rates. In most cases, unless you are booking a block of rooms through the sales department, when you call the local property, you are transferred to the national reservation system
To add to priceline, you could technically shoot yourself in the foot and bid higher than the room is really worth...
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:12 PM
 
Location: AZ
124 posts, read 442,522 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJagMan View Post
To add to priceline, you could technically shoot yourself in the foot and bid higher than the room is really worth...
Priceline does have a guarantee. It does have "fine print" but is better than nothing.

Priceline.com - hotel, hotel reservation, cheap hotel, las vegas hotel, boston hotel, hotel deal, new york city hotel, hotel rooms, motel, lodging, accommodations, casino hotel, priceline
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:18 AM
 
14,256 posts, read 23,974,521 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJagMan View Post
To add to priceline, you could technically shoot yourself in the foot and bid higher than the room is really worth...

You certainly can overbid when using opaque sites like Hotwire and Priceline if you do not do your homework prior to bidding. I recommend the following:

1) Look at all of the various websites - Travelocity, Expedia, Hotels.com, and the hotel websites. That will give you a rough idea of what hotels are going at the retail price.

2) Go to a website like Travelaxe.com,a site that find the best available deals over many of the websites.

3) Go to websites like Biddingfortravel.com where they show the winning bids that other people are getting.

4) Look at the prices available on Hotwire, on Hotwire at each price level.

5) Then bid on Priceline. Since Priceline purchases are not refundable or changeable, you do not want to bid if there is a reasonable chance that your trip will be cancelled.
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