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Priceline.com - Evil tricks or pretty fair?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Eagleboy, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. Eagleboy

    Eagleboy Guest

    Got an away game coming up for the coming weekend and editor suggests it wouldn't be a bad idea to go to. I wasn't planning on going, but it is fairly important in the long scheme of things, and it could be quite entertaining.

    One catch - most tickets, at this time, from my tiny neck of the woods to that tiny neck of the woods are around $700.

    I've been thinking about putting a bid in for Priceline at, say, $250 and giving it a go. But obviously, I don't know the system's tricks, and the idea that it comes up with a bunch of insurance purchase options is not necessarily comforting.

    Say I do just that and enter $250. What can I expect? Do they give me the closest-priced flight that comes up - the cheapest is $440, but it's with two stops both ways and a pair of three-hour connections - or do they take that $250 as a valid offer?

    Would this work? I know people have to have used it before on here, so what can I expect?
  2. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Priceline for hotels and rental cars is fabulous.

    But Priceline for flights is kinda risky -- I've only done it once -- unless you plan the entire day to travel and nothing else. You just don't know what times they're going to give you, even if they accept. So even if you get a flight for a decent price, it could be at 7 a.m. Friday or it could be at 10 p.m. Friday.

    That said, if the market rate for the flight is $440, I'd start your bidding at about $300 and you might get lucky. I doubt a bid of $250 will be successful.
  3. Monday Morning Sportswriter

    Monday Morning Sportswriter Well-Known Member

    First, try Hotwire to see what the discount prices will be.

    Then go to Priceline and bid lower than that.

    Check on the fees first, though. They could add quite a bit to the price.
  4. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    Never used it for flights, for the logistical reasons buckdubs cited. But it's great for hotels, especially in cities you regularly visit because you can learn exactly what bid will get you a given hotel (i.e. $55 will get you a 4-star in downtown Atlanta almost every time).
  5. bydesign77

    bydesign77 Active Member

    ah yes the omni for 55. done that many times.
  6. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    I use priceline.com for rental cars quite often. My MO is to check the usual sites, Travelocity, Expedia, etc., and get the best price for the kind of car I want, then go to Priceline and offer 30 percent less. My offer is accepted, I'm guessing, two-thirds of the time. I've never tried it for flights, as others have noted, because I want to dictate my schedule.

    If you've never used Priceline, when you submit your offer, you generally get a response within 30 seconds.
  7. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    I got a rental car for $11 a day not too long ago. It was a Ford Focus, but it did the job.
  8. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Their added charges make it not so sweet, but if you're aware of their regular offerings and where you're likely to wind up, it's more than all right.

    If you use it for flights, you should absolutely lowball. You are virtually assured an enervating routing, so assure yourself in advance that the inconvenience will be worth the savings. And if you're AT ALL time-sensitive in terms of the date you choose for travel,
    think again.
  9. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that's another reason I'd never use it for air travel. If I'm going from Cincinnati to LA, you never know when you might go Cincinnati-Cleveland-Memphis-LA or some similarly illogical route.
  10. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    I used Priceline once for a flight, and it worked.

    But buckdub is right about the times. I wanted to fly out Friday and return Sunday. Well, I flew out at 7 a.m. Friday and got back into town about midnight Sunday or early Monday morning. Make sure those days are entirely free if you're gonna go that route.
  11. I used Priceline for a trip to New York City during New Year's, and I got a killer deal.

    Granted, I booked it in March. But I got roundtrip airfare for two and four nights at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan for $750/person. I think the flights themselves were about $280/person. It's with one stop (for about 30 minutes) in Washington, D.C.
  12. If you're bidding for hotels, check this site first to get an idea of what's being accepted.


    Regarding air fare, I've only purchased tickets on Priceline, not bid on them. If you decide to bid, like the others have said, just remember that the flights might be on odd hours with odd stops.
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