How-To: Get A Steal On Priceline

Chief Snow Junkie February 19, 2009 0

no one deals like we do!UPDATE JANUARY 23, 2011: After using Priceline exclusively for a number of years, we’re downgrading our “love it” rating to a “only use occasionally”. Here are some of the reasons:

Priceline Customers Are Treated Like Garbage: Hotels know you booked a room through a third party and definitely do not give the same customer service.

Priceline Contains Hidden Fees: You’re stoked that that you got a room for $40, only to arrive and find that the hotel charges a mandatory $25 resort fee. Welcome to the wonderful world of Priceline hidden fees.

Priceline Sticks You With the Worst Rooms: It’s frequently a king smoking room in the loudest corner of the hotel. You can change your room. See the first point.

Keep those points in mind when you bid, and now back to our original article:

We love Priceline and not just because of our William Shatner fixation. You can pick up steeply discounted rooms at super nice hotels. Be forewarned, bidding on a hotel is as exciting as rolling dice at the craps table. Still scared? Hold out your hand. We’re going to walk you through how to bid on your own hotel room.

Make a Commitment: The reason Priceline can offer such good deals is because when you book a room, you’re stuck with it. So if your travel plans aren’t rock solid, skip Priceline.

Determine Your Rockstar Status: Pick a star level. Three stars are nicer Marriots and Hiltons. We usually go as low as two stars, which can include La Quinta and Holiday Inn Express. One star means the local Motel 6.

Start Rolling the Dice: Put in any price you like for a bid. Start low. Priceline will let you know if it’s too “no-way-in-hell” low. Here at the Snow Junkies office, we aim for hotel rooms under $45. You usually won’t get this in ski towns, but if you have to spend the night in Denver, you can get a seriously cheap room.

Try, Try, Try Again: Even if Priceline denies your request, you can make another attempt, as long as you change one thing – star status, location, or date. Try staying a little further out. Or drop your star ranking. Or up your price you cheap bastard. 

It’s Not You, It’s Me: You’ve been shut down. Don’t worry about it. Priceline resets after twenty-four hours allowing you to tweak your price to exactly what you want.

Priceline Has Accepted Your Request: Our favorite five words. You got the room at a great price. A couple things to remember. First: The person who booked the room must be on hand to check in. Second: Priceline doesn’t guarantee two beds. If you need more room, the best thing to do is call the hotel early on the day of check-in. Most front desk people will honor your request.

Hereth ends the lesson. And now once again, ladies and gentlemen — The Shatner.

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