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Priceline Pros and Cons
When to use Priceline and when not to
Priceline.com gives you a terrific way to save on travel, but there are times when it may not be your wisest choice. Reading these Priceline pros and cons will help you decide when to bid on Priceline and when not to.
Since you are probably familiar with many advantages of using Priceline, we'll start with the Cons, and then discuss the Pros.
Cons: When it's best not to use Priceline
- If you must fly at specific times.
- If there's a strong chance you might need to change dates or cancel. This applies to car and hotel reservations as well as to airline tickets. You cannot change your dates even by paying a penalty, nor can you be reimbursed if you cancel. Almost never are there any exceptions.
However, if an airline very significantly changes the times of your flights, you may qualify for a refund under Department of Transportation rules. Check.
No changes and no refunds also apply to Priceline's new Express Hotel Deals, where you do not bid. That's the tradeoff for these low prices.
Express Deals, Hotels up to 60% off with NO bidding!
- If you are planning to fly for a very short trip, such as two or three days.
Since Priceline's airline partners choose the flight times, you could end up arriving in the evening and departing the next morning.
- If you are not willing to pay higher fees at deluxe hotels.
You can get incredible 4-star for 2-star hotel price deals using Priceline, but room service charges, 800-number calls, parking, and other costs frequently not included in your room rate at these top-rated places may be more expensive than you are used to paying.
However, most of these are optional expenses, especially if you bring a cell phone.
Priceline.com - no one deals like we do!
- If you plan to leave a car at an airport hotel while traveling. Increasingly, hotels near airports charge higher rates to guests who park while on trips. You may be told that your Priceline rate does not cover parking when you are not there.
- If you do not research the best rates on other websites.
Research is your best strategy to avoid making a bid that is either too low (not accepted), or too high (not the discount you could have gotten).
Remember that the main goal is to save money, not just to get your bid accepted.
Pros: When it makes sense to use Priceline and why
- If you are willing to research up-to-date fares on other discount travel websites, you'll know what prices to bid below on Priceline.
- Booking at the last minute on Priceline can make the difference between going where you want to go and not going at all.
If you've missed low-fare ticketing deadlines, and air fares are now high on other discount websites, you may still get very reasonable tickets by following our bidding steps in the last-minute airfares section.
You may even get close to the advance-purchase price, a huge savings in many cases.
- Priceline guarantees you the lowest price on its flight+hotel vacation packages (no bidding) and "Name your own price" airfares, hotels, and rental cars. See
- Although Priceline's air travel is not recommended for short trips of 2 or 3 days, you can get great savings on Priceline's cars and hotels for short trips.
- Your Priceline fare may be valid for stays of up to 11 months from the date your bid is accepted. And you can book this longer stay close to your departure.
Priceline.com - no one deals like we do!
- Priceline works extremely well for trips that have set dates, such as vacations, family reunions, weddings, conventions, and seminars.
- Although it does not allow you to change dates, times, or destinations once your bid has been accepted, Priceline.com does offer cancellation insurance during the bidding process.
This is especially recommended for higher-cost international tickets and for longer hotel stays.
Although Priceline does not charge cancellation fees for its vacation packages, you can expect these from the airline, hotel, and car rental company used.
I hope that these Priceline pros and cons guide you to a perfect trip!