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.
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Remember this and you will be a happy Priceline camper: Once you authorize Priceline to charge your credit card, your reservation becomes 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.
2. Choose 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. 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 many Priceline flights if you include a Saturday night stay, (though this may not be necessary if flying to Orlando and Las Vegas).
3. Look for more than one airport
Many 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.
4. Research regular airfares
An informed bid is your best strategy. Find out the going rates so that you can bid LESS on Priceline tickets.
On the same day you intend to bid check regular prices for your dates >
Base your research on nonstop or one-connection flights, as these are what Priceline offers in the U.S. and Canada when they are available.
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.
5. Use these guidelines to determine your bid for Priceline flights
If the lowest regular fare you found was less than $380—OR if you saw only a few flights available for your dates—bid 20% below this fare.
If the best fare you found was more than $380—OR if you saw many flights available for your dates—you can often succeed with a greater discount, such as 30% or more.
Adjust your bid higher if you HAVE to travel on certain dates.
Make a lower, riskier bid if you are bidding weeks in advance, not for a peak travel period, 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. Other than during peak periods, expect especially large discounts (40% or more) on flights to Africa (less to South Africa), Asia (except Japan), Central and South America (except Costa Rica and Mexico), and the Middle East.
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.
6. Submit a "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, do not 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 when offered for an immediate rebid.
Remember that once you authorize your credit card to be charged, your bid becomes unchangeable, non-transferable, and non-refundable.
Be sure to enter your name EXACTLY as it appears on your government issued ID – a passport for international travel.
Note: Print out your itinerary or write out all relevant information and take with you to the airport. Or, have your confirmation email handy on your cell phone. Reconfirm times prior to traveling – not just at last minute.
May your Priceline flights bids be low and accepted!