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Priceline: Worst Known Awesome Secret, Ever.  
User currently offlineJCS17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 38
Posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 4093 times:

I don't know who does marketing for Priceline, but whoever it is, should be terminated on the spot. It always amazes me to read threads to see people trying to get a cheap hotel room in the US for $50 a night. I've nabbed 2-star hotels for $19 per night, 3-star hotels for $40 per night, and 4-star hotels for $50 per night (I actually nabbed the 4* Sheraton Winnipeg for $32 USD while it was in existence). Of course, NYC won't have great deals (I paid $194 for the Marriott Marquis), and you'll pay bit more on average in places like Boston and DC. Of course, you won't earn miles for your stay (although there are nuances around that), but if cheap is your goal, I don't think that matters much.

For those of you who don't know, you can specify what part of the city you want to bid on and what star rating you want. In addition, if you do a search for "Bidding For Travel," there is a forum for "research" about what bids work and what bids don't in your specific region.

I'm not trying to shill for Priceline, but I think the word needs to get out about this invaluable resource.


America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFlyingClrs727 From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 733 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 4062 times:

You can also use priceline to find find hotels listed with prices rather than bidding on a room from multiple hotels. It's a little more expensive that way, but you get more control over where you stay. The region function is pretty primitive. It only has predisignated region. In a city like Houston, the various choices for one region can be tens of miles apart. It would be better if one could designate a point on a map and bid on rooms within a user definable distance from that point.

User currently offlineCanuckpaxguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3900 times:

I've always been extremely lucky with Hotwire.com.
I stayed at a 4.5 star in Montreal for C$70/night, 4.5 star in Chicago for about US$102/night and a few times in Ottawa for even cheaper.

As long as you know the general area of where you want to stay, you won't be disappointed.

I'll give priceline a try though.
G


User currently offlineSafeFlyer From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 627 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3783 times:



Quoting Canuckpaxguy (Reply 2):
I've always been extremely lucky with Hotwire.com.
I stayed at a 4.5 star in Montreal for C$70/night, 4.5 star in Chicago for about US$102/night and a few times in Ottawa for even cheaper.

... but generally speaking, you probably could have had the same hotel on PL for 5-10$ cheaper. Hotwire takes nearly always a higher profit margin. It pains me when I see people say they've scored The Sheraton Centre in Toronto say for 100$ and thought it was an awesome deal! You just put 40$ in Priceline's pockets. I agree that it's a good site if you know how to use it well. However, I've had some hotels treat me like crap because of it, and I've been getting relunctant at using it lately, given the exchange rate with the CDN $ and the awesome deals directly booked with hotels through TravelZoo. That's another good site btw, usually has some deals with specific properties and it still qualifies for FF miles and hotel reward points. Of course, they might not have the city you're going to but it's worth a try. Biddingfortravel is a very good site to learn how to use Priceline and how never to get screwed over by PL's "counter-offers" which usually ends up in you overpaying. Finally, Hotwire can also be good, because if you add a flight to your stay, you can pick a specific hotel. Since Hotwire puts the icons giving the services offered at that property even in the opaque booking system, add a flight, match the icons and often, if there is a TripAdvisor averag rating, you can figure out exactly where you'll be staying!

Quoting JCS17 (Thread starter):
I don't know who does marketing for Priceline, but whoever it is, should be terminated on the spot. It always amazes me to read threads to see people trying to get a cheap hotel room in the US for $50 a night.

I think ultimately, they don't want it to be THAT known, simply because hotels just won't start giving away a bunch of their rooms at Priceline's prices. And the more people know about it, the more the rates will raise. It's pretty much what's been happening in the last 2-3 years. That makes it nearly more advantageous to book directly with the property. Even mor true if you're not using the "name your own price" option, the advertised rates are usually the ones you'll find directly on the hotel's website.


User currently offlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 4022 posts, RR: 28
Reply 4, posted (5 years 5 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3466 times:



Quoting JCS17 (Thread starter):
I don't know who does marketing for Priceline, but whoever it is, should be terminated on the spot.

Why? I love their commercials, William Shatner is awesome.



Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
User currently offlineTylerDurden From United States of America, joined May 2008, 852 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 5 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3399 times:



Quoting JCS17 (Thread starter):
I'm not trying to shill for Priceline, but I think the word needs to get out about this invaluable resource.

Never had the need. I just pick out the property I want to stay---and pick up the phone and call the General Manager of the property---and make an offer.
Simple. Direct. And less what you'd pay on Priceline or Hotwire since the hotel keeps the entire proceeds.

Works as well at resorts as with business hotels.


User currently offlineSmcmac32msn From United States of America, joined May 2004, 2211 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (5 years 5 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3390 times:



Quoting Canuckpaxguy (Reply 2):
I've always been extremely lucky with Hotwire.com.
I stayed at a 4.5 star in Montreal for C$70/night, 4.5 star in Chicago for about US$102/night and a few times in Ottawa for even cheaper.

Hotwire is amazing. I've gotten a multiple 4* and 5*'s for less than $100 in St. Louis and Pittsburgh. Here are some of my deals.... some may not look like it for what they are, but the customer service at some of them are far above and beyond what I got at 5*'s and I've returned to them paying higher rates and getting just as good customer service:

5* Omni William Penn - Pittsburgh ($99/night)
4* Hilton at the Ballpark - St. Louis ($83/night)
4* Millenium St. Louis ($75/night)
3* Holiday Inn Express - Lincolnshire, IL ($55/night)

The Holiday Inn in Lincolnshire treated us like their most valuable customers the first time we were there and we returned again without price shopping for Valentines Day '09 for $89/night for a whirlpool suite.



Hey Obama, keep the change! I want my dollar back.
User currently offlineMCOflyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 8675 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (5 years 5 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3291 times:

I know a trainer for Crete Carrier that got his trainee a 4* hotel room for $40 a night for 4 nights off priceline.

KH

[Edited 2009-04-21 18:23:16]


Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
User currently offlineRGElectra80 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 361 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 5 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3260 times:



Quoting TylerDurden (Reply 5):
I just pick out the property I want to stay---and pick up the phone and call the General Manager of the property---and make an offer.

Are you sure you're not watching an episode of "Let's Make a Deal?" Big grin



Feel free to check out my Flight Diary: flightdiary.net/alenart
User currently offlineTylerDurden From United States of America, joined May 2008, 852 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 5 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3250 times:



Quoting RGElectra80 (Reply 8):
Are you sure you're not watching an episode of "Let's Make a Deal?"

Well, that's pretty much the same approach as these discount hotel bucket shops.
But you can get a better rate---and other perks thrown in---by dealing direct with the property. Plus, if the manager makes your reservation, you pretty much assured of being treated very well...

So far the only issue I've had is that they are hesitant to commit to any serious discounts for more than about four nights--but it's rare I stay for even that length...


User currently offlineAeroflot777 From Russia, joined Mar 2004, 3008 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (5 years 5 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3246 times:

Priceline is great. Back in 2003, when Priceline was ALL about bidding, I was able to get r/t flights from San Francisco to Cabo San Lucas on CO via Houston AND 7 night stay at the Sheraton Hacienda Del Mar for 300$ TOTAL per person. I couldn't believe my eyes when my offer came through. A vacation in Mexico at a 5-star resort for only 300$. Brilliant vacation. Great week spent in Cabo.

Aeroflot777


User currently offlineMax550 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 1150 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 5 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3180 times:

I've been using Priceline for years, it's usually much cheaper than booking a hotel on any other site. Just last weekend I stayed at the Courtyard by Mariott in Philly for $50 (booked the day before) and this weekend I'll be staying at the Sheraton Times Square in New York for $100 (booked about 4 weeks ago).
Usually you get better deals if you book closer to the time you're going, although you always run the risk there will be some event going on and you won't be able to get a room.


User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4289 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (5 years 5 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3113 times:

Do managers really bargain? I always thought that was a thing of the past, and they wouldn't change rates unless you were an important customer getting many rooms..

-a



What now?
User currently offlineTylerDurden From United States of America, joined May 2008, 852 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 5 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3058 times:



Quoting UN_B732 (Reply 12):
Do managers really bargain? I always thought that was a thing of the past, and they wouldn't change rates unless you were an important customer getting many rooms..

Of course I'm an important customer---so are you---you're trying to increase their revenue. Why wouldn't they speak to you? There is nothing so disposable as a hotel room that stays empty for the night.
And if you can't get in touch with them---contact the reservations manager and have him contact the GM.

Works best with five star hotels---less so with very popular tourist hotels. I've had great luck with Westins, Intercontinentals, and Ritz-Carltons (also Doubletrees and Hiltons).

Once they commit to a rate--ask that they stay on the line while they transfer you to the reservation office and confirm for you. I always make a point to meet the GM during my stay to thank him/her.

Sounds like a long process---but takes about five minutes total if you are direct, confident, and polite.


User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3299 posts, RR: 44
Reply 14, posted (5 years 5 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3056 times:



Quoting TylerDurden (Reply 13):

That sounds like a great idea. What exactly do you say to them? I'd love to try this at some point.

Cheers,
Cameron


User currently offlineSignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3006 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (5 years 5 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2996 times:

This website has some tips on how to further reduce costs by using Priceline:

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-priceline-hotel-deals

It's a UK-centric website, but explains that Priceline is mostly for US locations / hotels.

signol



Flights booked: none :(
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