Note that you cannot re-bid for hotels within 24 hours by merely choosing a higher quality category because Priceline assumes that your original bid for a 3-star hotel was for any hotel between 3 and the maximum 5 stars. In this case, you can immediately make a new bid for a 2-star hotel.
You cannot re-bid on rental cars within 24 hours without changing the airport or date. You can re-bid on the same car rental after 24 hours have passed.
When you submit your bid with a credit card number, Priceline gives you a transaction number. Write this down and save it.
You usually find out if your bid is accepted while online within minute or so. You can always go Priceline's website and use the "Check your request" link on its home page. Then just enter your transaction number there.
Print out your confirmation details and take these with you on your trip OR have your emailed confirmation handy on your cell phone, in case of computer problems while checking in.
Basics for air travel
These Priceline rules are divided into General, Basics for Domestic Flights, and Basics for International Flights.
Possible connections on domestic flights are limited to one in each direction unless you give permission for more. (You may need more in order to reach some places.)
Unlike discounted fares offered by most airlines, Priceline "Name your own price" tickets may be valid for stays of up to 11 months from the date of booking. You must return within 11 months of the date of your accepted bid.
You must show the airlines an official photo ID when you travel. For domestic travel, TSA security generally accepts only a valid driver's license or passport. Requirements for children vary by airline and destination.
You now must have a passport and sometimes a visa to fly between the U.S. and international destinations, which include Canada and Mexico.
Yes, the requirement applies to flights coming into the U.S., but airlines won't let you fly from the U.S. on a roundtrip ticket unless they know that you can return.
Moreover, airlines will not let you fly to another country unless you have a passport and documentation needed. Besides having to fly you back, they can be fined.
You may not be automatically assigned a seat when your bid is accepted. If you wish to request a certain type of seat, such as "window" or "aisle," call the airline as soon as possible. Have your airline confirmation ("record locator") or electronic ticket number handy.
Check with your airline to see how early you should arrive at the airport to go through today's tighter security.
Do not be casual about this. Add extra time. You're traveling on a nonrefundable ticket!
Note also that there are deadlines for arriving at the departure gate, which vary by airline. Even if you have a boarding pass, your seat can be given to a standby passenger if you are late.
Check-in policies also vary by airline, airport, destination, and whether or not you check bags.
Airlines are cracking down on oversized and carryon bags. Check requirements (which vary by airline and destination) to avoid steep extra charges.
Basics for domestic flights:
Priceline.com "Name your own price" flights have departures for any time between 6:00 a.m. and10:00 p.m. on the day you select. Arrivals may be up to 12:30 a.m.
You may bid on most domestic tickets on the day you wish to depart.
You need not reserve Priceline.com flights in order to bid on hotels and resorts.
Requests for hotels and resorts must reach Priceline no later than 11:00 p.m. local time at the hotel on the day of your arrival. You may have better luck getting what you want if you bid earlier. Also, some Asian and European hotels need more notice.
Call the hotel soon an hour or so after your bid is accepted to request a smoking or nonsmoking room.
Physically-challenged persons should request an appropriate room as soon as possilbe. These are limited. If a hotel cannot confirm, call 800-PRICELINE immediately.
Priceline hotel rooms are guaranteed to accommodate justtwo adults.
Call the hotel if you wish to request a specific bed type. Bedding requests are based on availability. It's best not to wait until check in to request a type of bed.
You need not reserve Priceline.com flights in order to bid on cars.
Drivers under 21 may not rent cars using Priceline.com.
Bids for car rentals must reach Priceline.com at least two hours prior to pick up. The clock starts ticking at the time you access Priceline.
"Name Your Own Price" bidding applies to vehicles returned where rented. One-ways cost more.
Drivers with poor driving records may be refused cars. If you're not sure, contact the the rental companies that Priceline uses prior to bidding. Unless you do this, I urge you not to bid or to prepay in any way.
See "Car bidding trips" link above for company names.
Basics for international trips
Be sure to have a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the return date of your trip and a visa if required by the other country.
The U.S. State Department provides foreign visa requirements for Americans, as well as safety warnings.
If you are not an American citizen and you intend to return to the U.S., be sure that your documents allow you to do so.
Consult a doctor to find out if you'll need inoculations or other health preparations in advance of your trip. Your doctor may need time to order vaccines, or to give a series of shots or oral medicines.
Note that if you wish to travel abroad soon, these medical preparations could affect the departure date you'll select in your bid.
I am always shocked by travelers who show no concern about health risks they may face at their destinations.
If you are going to a country where you could be exposed to a particular illness, your doctor can advise you about medical requirements for re-entering the U.S.
See the following website for essential travel health information: