Priceline Airfare Savings Strategies

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Priceline Flights - Bidding Tips + Strategies

Quick overview

Here you'll learn BidOnTravel's bidding tips for getting the cheapest Priceline flights. These easy, step-by-step instructions show you how to make the most informed bid, and also give you bidding strategies that Priceline doesn't teach you.

And you get all these tips for getting the best prices on Priceline.com flights for free.

Priceline.com flights - Bidding tips & strategies space bar

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Priceline flights - Bidding tips & strategies space bar

Complete bidding tips for Priceline Air:

  1. Remember Priceline rules.
  2. Choose the best dates for your travel.
  3. Look for more than one airport.
  4. Research airfares on other discount websites.
  5. Check Hotwire.com's price.
  6. Use these guidelines to determine your bid for Priceline flights.
  7. Submit your "smart" bid—and one that increases your chances for making immediate rebids.
  8. What to do if your bid is accepted, or if it isn't.

How to bid on airline tickets with Priceline space bar

1. Remember Priceline rules.

  • Remember this and you will be a happy Priceline camper: Once you authorize Priceline to charge your credit card, your reservation is non-refundable and cannot be changed or transferred, even by paying a fee.

  • You can rebid on the exact same flights only once every 24 hours.

    However, several of our bidding tips for Priceline.com flights are geared specifically to helping you rebid immediately, rather than waiting 24 hours. Rebidding right away allows you to make a lower, riskier first bid, and gives you more chances to get a bid accepted.
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2. Choose the best dates for your travel.

(Skip to bidding tip #4 if you cannot be flexible on your dates or airports.)
  • For lowest prices, travel off-peak days. For example, you may pay more to fly on Fridays or Sundays, particularly to or from popular vacation spots, such as Orlando and Las Vegas. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and sometimes Saturdays are generally cheaper.

  • You'll also get lower fares on most Priceline flights if you include a Saturday night stay, (though this may not be necessary if flying to Orlando and Las Vegas).

  • If possible, have alternative travel dates ready.
Priceline Flights - Select your Exact Flight & time or Name Your Own Price!

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3. Look for more than one airport.

  • Most travelers have more than one airport they can fly from or to. This could save you hundreds of dollars.

  • Even if your alternative airports do not offer budget flights, they definitely give you the advantage of an immediate rebid. Be sure to read Bidding Tip #7 to learn exactly how to enter your initial bid so that you do not lose a rebidding opportunity.
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4. Research airfares on other discount websites.

An informed bid is your best strategy. Find out the going rates so that you can bid LESS on Priceline tickets. Include any alternative dates and airports in your research.

  • On the same day you intend to bid on Priceline.com, check a well-known online discount travel site that gives specific airlines, times, and fares, such as:

    Travelocity Saves You on Hotels, Vacation Packages, Flights, Car Rentals, Cruises and More.

    Base your research on nonstop or one-connection flights, as these are what Priceline offers when they're available in North America.

  • Make a note if many flights are listed for your dates and destination, or just a few. You'll use this information when determining your bid.
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5. Check Hotwire.com's price.

Because Hotwire's prices and services are roughly equivalent to Priceline's, checking Hotwire helps you avoid overpaying when bidding on Priceline flights:

Save up to 40% off last minute fares with low Hotwire Hot-Rates!

Like Priceline, Hotwire does not tell you the airline or departure times until after you have paid, uses well-known airlines, and issues non-refundable and unchangeable tickets. Unlike Priceline.com, Hotwire displays your price, including taxes and fees, before you commit.

At times, you may find lower fares on Hotwire because it has different relationships with airlines.

  • Go to Hotwire.com and punch in your ideal dates and destination.

  • If asked to approve options like alternate airports to lower your airfare, choose NO. (You can go back for alternative airports if your Priceline bids are rejected.)

  • Note Hotwire's price, because when you are ready to bid on Priceline, you will want your total price on Priceline to be LOWER than Hotwire's.
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6. Use these guidelines to determine your bid for Priceline flights.

  • If the lowest fare you found on a discount travel site (other than Hotwire) was less than $380OR you saw only a few flights available for your dates—bid 20% below this fare, or 15% below Hotwire.com's fare, whichever is less.

  • If the best fare you found on sites like Travelocity was more than $380OR you saw many flights available for your dates—you can generally succeed with a greater discount, such as 30% or more off Travelocity's price.

  • Adjust your bid higher if you HAVE to travel on certain dates. Or, if you really MUST go.

  • Make a lower, riskier bid if you are bidding weeks in advance, with plenty of time for rebids. You may get lucky and score an especially great Priceline airfare deal.

  • For international travel, our recommended bidding discounts vary by country. Open this pop-up for details.

  • NOTE: When placing your bid, you may be told that your low bid will likely fail. BidOnTravel believes that Priceline's recommendations are conservative, and that you can sometimes succeed with a well-thought-out, low bid.
Priceline Flights - Select your Exact Flight & time or Name Your Own Price!

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7. Submit your "smart" bid—and one that increases your chances for making immediate rebids.

Here are BidOnTravel's best strategies for bidding on Priceline.com flights, as well as rebidding if necessary. Priceline does not teach these tips, so follow them carefully to maximize your savings.

  • When you enter your departure and destination airports, Priceline usually suggests alternative airports you can include in your bid. However, don't include these. Enter just ONE departure airport and ONE destination airport at this time.

    This is a smart bid because it lets you immediately make one or more additional bids if your first bid is rejected. If you wish, you can increase the amount of your follow-up bids.

    When you rebid, Priceline automatically includes both your first choice airport and your second choice, so you may depart from your first choice.

  • You can also use alternative dates for making immediate rebids.

  • In some cases, you can accept non-jet or "red eye" (night) flights for an immediate rebid. "Red eyes" also help you get cheaper Vegas or trans-continental flights.

  • NOTE: Be sure to write down and save your transaction number.

Priceline Flights - Select your Exact Flight & time or Name Your Own Price!

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8. What to do if your bid is accepted, or if it isn't.

You usually find out if your bid is accepted within one minute. If your bid is accepted, congratulations!
  • Print out your itinerary and receipt and take them with you to the airport.

  • Be sure to reconfirm flight times prior to traveling.

  • For other tips on making your flight go smoothly, visit our Air Travel Check List. If you'd like to fly at a different time of day, check our Flying Standby tips.
If your bid is not accepted, click here for options on your next step.

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May your Priceline flights bids be low and accepted!

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