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hotwire/priceline = second class citizen

hotwire/priceline = second class citizen

Old Apr 10, 12, 9:34 am
  #1  
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hotwire/priceline = second class citizen

I have numerous negative experiences when staying at a hotel through Hotwire or Priceline. (BTW- Are there other, maybe better such discount websites out there?).

The check in agent will often mention “Priceline “ or “Hotwire” in what I perceive as a condescending way.(OK, they make less, but it's still better than nothing) . They usually will not honor any special room requests you pose at check in. Yesterday I Hotwire matched at a 300 room beach front hotel that was about 75% empty. They gave me the absolute worst room in the place- a balcony that overlooked a concrete wall 10 feet away instead of the ocean.

I know you get what you pay for, but still???
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Old Apr 10, 12, 9:47 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by ente_09 View Post
I have numerous negative experiences when staying at a hotel through Hotwire or Priceline. (BTW- Are there other, maybe better such discount websites out there?).

The check in agent will often mention “Priceline “ or “Hotwire” in what I perceive as a condescending way.(OK, they make less, but it's still better than nothing) . They usually will not honor any special room requests you pose at check in. Yesterday I Hotwire matched at a 300 room beach front hotel that was about 75% empty. They gave me the absolute worst room in the place- a balcony that overlooked a concrete wall 10 feet away instead of the ocean.

I know you get what you pay for, but still???
Hotels use Priceline and Hotwire to get "something instead of nothing" but they don't really want you to book those rates. Usually they represent the rock-bottom rate they are willing to take and therefore want to offer as little as possible in return.

A smart revenue manager knows that as soon as people realize they can get the same rooms no matter how they book, people will flock to the cheap rates. By matching their worst rooms to their lowest rates, it encourages people who want nicer rooms to pay higher rates.
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Old Apr 10, 12, 10:01 am
  #3  
 
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As a frequent Priceline user, its a case by case situation. Sometimes I got the not so great located room but other times I was wowed by my room!! And then sometimes I got the offer to upgrade.

For me the bargains and savings via Priceline, Hotwire, Expedia unpublished hotels & Travelor Secret hotels are worth it for me. If I wanted the perfect room with all the ammenities, then I would've paid retail for it.
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Old Apr 10, 12, 11:41 am
  #4  
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Not much different than saying "I only paid $100 for my last flight but the cheap airline made me sit in Coach even though First had empty seats."
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Old Apr 10, 12, 11:41 am
  #5  
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I've generally had poor rooms when booked via priceline or hotwire. It does make sense for a hotel to keep the more ideal rooms available for a general booking though. If you're booking via priceline it can be a crapshoot if you stay there again.

Cars are a different story. Avis and Hertz will usually upgrade me upon request. I do cringe when Enterprise brands pop up as the vendor though, I'll usually get something with a ton of miles on it.
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Old Apr 10, 12, 11:51 am
  #6  
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Please follow this thread in the Online Travel Booking Forum.
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Old Apr 10, 12, 12:03 pm
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by ente_09 View Post
I have numerous negative experiences when staying at a hotel through Hotwire or Priceline. (BTW- Are there other, maybe better such discount websites out there?).

The check in agent will often mention “Priceline “ or “Hotwire” in what I perceive as a condescending way.(OK, they make less, but it's still better than nothing) . They usually will not honor any special room requests you pose at check in. Yesterday I Hotwire matched at a 300 room beach front hotel that was about 75% empty. They gave me the absolute worst room in the place- a balcony that overlooked a concrete wall 10 feet away instead of the ocean.

I know you get what you pay for, but still???
And if I owned a hotel, I would do the same. I mean, do you really expect them to give you the better rooms?

Kind of like buying marked down produce at the grocery store, and then complaining that the other fruit on display looks "nicer".
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Old Apr 10, 12, 12:08 pm
  #8  
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This has nothing to do with Hotwire or Priceline, but the hotel you are checking into.

I have been a regular once a week Priceline user at one specific hotel (There are two in that area and star level, and out of dozens of stays in all but one case I've gotten the same hotel) when the wife has an early flight.

We are welcomed back, we are almost always given an upgrade, they ask for a hotel guest number to put on the reservation, etc.

Not once have they ever treated us any differently then I would expect to be treated if I was paying regular price. They have never called it a Priceline reservation, they are always careful to call it a "fully prepaid" reservation.

Granted it's not the same experience at every Priceline Hotel I stay at, but I've never been treated like a second class citizen. I have, however, been treated like a second class citizen at a couple of the hotels I was loyal to when using points for the room.

So I think the issue is with the hotels you are staying at, not because it's a priceline or hotwire room. You should let Priceline know, if it happens enough they may stop using that hotel.
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Old Apr 10, 12, 2:06 pm
  #9  
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I have never had a bad room biding on Priceline. I am not so sure what a bad room would be. Close to the elevator, looking out at a wall, or a parking lot or perhaps street side with alot of cars? I can deal with all of those, I only use the hotel to sleep in, I am not going to live there, I do carry ear plugs with me and use them if needed. I have not stayed in less than a 3* hotel and they have all been very nice.
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Old Apr 10, 12, 2:22 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by djs View Post
Not much different than saying "I only paid $100 for my last flight but the cheap airline made me sit in Coach even though First had empty seats."
Doesn't cost the hotel any more to put me in one of the hundreds of available rooms with a view rather than one of the about ten rooms in this hotel that face a concrete wall.
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Old Apr 10, 12, 2:30 pm
  #11  
 
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I've done Priceline once. I'm gold with hyatt and they gave me free internet and treated me as well as if I'd had a normal price room (at 4 times what I paid.)

My son pricelined a hotel and they couldn't have been nicer to him.

I suppose it all depends.
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Old Apr 10, 12, 2:45 pm
  #12  
 
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I think that hotels that cheap out on Priceline rates are doing themselves a disservice. Although people can't choose a specific hotel when bidding on Priceline, if they are given a great room and have a great experience, they might just decide to return to that specific hotel (and pay more) because they know what they are getting.

Conversely, if they are given a poor room, they might not think the hotel is worth paying more for. I can't imagine why any hotel would give a guest a poor room intentionally, because that pretty much ensures they will never be a repeat customer.
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Old Apr 10, 12, 2:47 pm
  #13  
 
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Had it mentioned at check in on two occasions last week (two different hotels, different cities). Does seem a little unnecessary, especially if there are other patrons at the desk at the same time. I've rarely been assigned a terrible room, however, and in some cases I've received a fantastic room despite what I've paid. A pretty awesome corner suite in a certain Chicago hotel, and a top floor room bigger than many apartments I've lived in, at a very nice property in DC spring to mind.
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Old Apr 10, 12, 2:54 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by ente_09 View Post
Doesn't cost the hotel any more to put me in one of the hundreds of available rooms with a view rather than one of the about ten rooms in this hotel that face a concrete wall.
It does if the "nicer" rooms can be bought at a higher rate than what you [email protected]:-)

Edit to add: I've used PL and HW for numerous hotel stays, and only once did I get what I thought was an awful room, and it was at a 1* property. To each his own whether the risk of a potentially sub-par room is worth it to you or not...
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Old Apr 10, 12, 3:09 pm
  #15  
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My experience has varied but yes most of the time you are going to get the room near the elevator or the room with a view of a brick wall. However, in DC Saturday night I was given a suite as there were no standard rooms left (too bad I was there for only about nine hours.) Same thing for rental cars. I've been given a convertible when having a compact car reservation because that was all that was left in the rental car lot.

Priceline or Hotwire are great for one night or even two night stays where you just want a cheap room. But if you want the room to be part of your "travel experience" this is probably not the route to go.
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