Traveling is expensive! High flight and accommodation prices are why most people are discouraged from traveling. This is why most of us search for travel deals to save costs when planning for the trip.
Where do we go to find the best travel deals? With the significant rise of travel deal sites online, it's hard to know which sites are legit and have the best deals.
We've talked about travel deal sites likeFareportalandScott's Cheap Flights. Today, we'll cover and review a familiar name amongst the travel booking sites: Priceline.
What is Priceline?
Priceline, or Priceline.com, is a travel booking site that offers a wide range of deals and discount travel programs to help you save while traveling. The site is primarily used to book discounted hotel rooms and offers deals for airline tickets and car rentals.
The programs currently available are Priceline Express Deals, Pricebreakers, and the Priceline VIP Program. Each program on Priceline offers unique ways to save on travel while also securing transportation and accommodation for your stay.
Is Priceline legit?
In short, yes!
Priceline has been around since 1997 and is a credible site for sourcing travel deals. They've offered various travel deal programs, such as "Name Your Own Price," which allowed travelers to bid for their own flight and hotel prices.
Although "Name Your Own Price" no longer exists, Priceline continued offering a variety of new travel deal programs. The different options they offer can be a little challenging and tedious to navigate, so let's break down what programs Priceline currently offers on their site.
Does Priceline Still Exist?
Priceline still exists, but its "Name Your Own Price" program has been discontinued. It has instead been replaced by Priceline Express Deals, Pricebreakers, and the Priceline VIP Program.
The Priceline Group (PCLN), which to date owns multiple travel deals and comparison sites like KAYAK, Agoda, booking.com, and Opentable, has made a switch in its name to Booking Holdings (BKNG) in 2018. This change was to recognize Booking.com as their most essential and profitable brand.
Priceline.com today is entirely operational and continues to provide the latest travel discounts and deals to travelers worldwide.
How to Use Priceline
Priceline is easy to use with an interface similar to most travel booking sites. Put in your destination and travel dates for deals on airline tickets and hotels by Priceline. Use Priceline's Bundle and Save option to book flights, hotels, and rental cars simultaneously for a better deal.
Here are some of the major services that Priceline offers deals in:
Like Priceline flights, the hotel search function will also look up all of the latest hotels and resort deals in your destination area. You can also apply different filters or use one of the many Priceline deal programs for a better-discounted price on your accommodation.
Priceline flights work similarly to other travel booking and deals sites. Simply put your departure and arrival date and location, and Priceline Flights will offer you lots of flight deals from different airlines you can pick from.
Priceline Car Rentals
If you're looking for rental services at the destination you're traveling to, use Priceline car rentals to look for all car rental providers in the area! You'll also find car rental deals and exclusive Priceline deals offered here.
What are Priceline Express Deals?
Priceline Express Deals are for those planning to depart within 15 days of booking. It is essentially a last-minute booking tool for travelers looking for spontaneous travel. Hotels often have empty rooms available due to last-minute cancellations or during off-seasons. They offer these empty rooms to Priceline users to book at a discounted rate. This is perfect for any spontaneous travelers or last-minute joiners.
How do you find Priceline Express Deals?
To find these deals, simply use the Priceline site as usual and select the Express Deals filter on the top bar after results appear. Look for the "Express Deal" marker on the listing and note that the marker will not appear unless your start date is within 15 days of the booking date. Click on that listing for more information on the deal.
The listing will provide you with the hotel star rating and other information about the hotel except for its name. Only the general location of the hotel will be provided, and the name will be revealed to you after you make your payment. All bookings are non-refundable with Express Deals so make sure you're okay with what is offered before booking.
Some people have figured out their Express Deal hotel offer with some detective work. Search for hotels within the listed area, and narrow down the options according to the amenities and other information on the Priceline site.
What are Pricebreakers?
Like the Express Deals, the Pricebreakers filter can be added to your search results. The Pricebreakers listing will provide you with the names of 3 hotel options of similar or varying star ratings. You will not know which hotel you are booking until you complete your payment, similar to Express Deals.
Generally, the cheapest option is chosen, so you can find the name of the actual hotel listing with some research. These bookings are also non-refundable but do not have to be booked within 15 days of your departure.
What is Priceline VIP?
Finally, we have Priceline VIP, Priceline's very own loyalty program. Joining the VIP program means you will be offered the best rates on Priceline. There are 2 ways to sign up.
Either apply for a Priceline Rewards Visa Card or sign up for a Priceline account on their website. Both options are free, although the first option will bump you to gold status immediately while the latter slowly collect points. So the more you book, the more you save.
Clickhereto learn about the benefits of becoming a VIP member of Priceline.
Priceline Cancellation Policy
The ability to cancel your hotel booking or flight is dependent on the hotel or airlane with which you booked. Priceline is an aggregator, meaning they only sell unsold inventory and do not own any hotels or airlines of their own.
Cancellations policies are usually set by the hotels and airlines themselves and vary with each company. The one exception is with Priceline Express Deals, which are non-refundable, modifiable, or exchangeable. Think of them as final sales due to their low price.
Priceline Customer Service
Priceline offers 24/7 customer service through text, chatbot, and phone. They can be reached at +1 (877) 477-5807 or through their website for text and chatbot options.
Is Priceline Worth it?
Depending on your booking habits and how the random aspect affects your booking experience, Priceline could be your new go-to site for travel deals. Generally, you're likely not going to benefit much from Priceline deals if you're not a spontaneous traveler and would like to have options available for accommodations. Nevertheless, you might find alternatives on Booking.com or Agoda, which are subsidiaries of Priceline.
However, if you don't mind the last-minute risk and would choose a good deal over the peace of mind of knowing, then Priceline should be your new favorite travel booking site.
Our Review: 3.5/5
- Great deals up to 80% off
- Easy to use website
- 24/7 customer service
- Free-to-apply travel deal programs
- Free Priceline VIP membership
- Deals contain mystery hotels.
- Last-minute booking for the best deals
- No refunds for many deal programs.
- Gold VIP status is not instantly attainable.
Plan your trip with Pilot!
With searching for travel deals, it's best to plan ahead to get the most out of your options. Like searching for deals, you should start planning your next trip using Pilot!
Pilotis your brand new travel planner that helps you discover and build travel itineraries connecting you to resources everywhere. Make the planning experience more fun by collaborating with your travel buddies! Pilot makes it fun and easy to share and relive your favorite travel memories with many useful features!
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