Priceline.com Unveils New Hotel Reservations Service Options
By James Shillinglaw
June 26, 2012 11:33 PM
Priceline.com earlier this week launched an expanded hotel service that gives travelers three different options for booking and saving money on hotels around the world. Priceline said each booking option is tailored to meet travelers' itinerary and savings requirements and deliver the best price.
The first option, dubbed Retail Hotels, allows Priceline users to choose from over 165,000 retail-price hotels around the globe backed by the service’s Best Price Guarantee. Priceline said this option best suits travelers who are joining up with business associates at a specific hotel, or have a favorite place to stay. Any customer who finds a better online price within 24 hours can contact priceline.com to receive a refund for 100 percent of the difference.
The second option, Express Deals, is the newest option offered by Priceline for travelers who need specific amenities, like a pool or business center, and want a discount of up to 45 percent, but prefer not to bid to get their rooms. Express Deals offers thousands of hotels around the globe. Customers view a page that includes amenities (pool, gym, on-site restaurant, etc.), star level, neighborhood, guest satisfaction scores on a 1-10 scale, and a price that's already been discounted up to 45 percent. After users say yes to the discounted price, the reservation is made and the name of the specific hotel is revealed. If a customer books an Express Deals® hotel room and finds a better price any time up until the day before check-in, priceline.com will match that price and give the customer $25.
The third option, Name Your Own Price, is the system that Priceline has offered since its inception. Priceline said this is for savvy negotiators who like to trade a little hotel flexibility for the best hotel deals available online at up to 60 percent off published prices. Tens of thousands of hotels around the world participate in the Name Your Own Price service. Travelers pick their city, dates, star level and neighborhood. A new feature added to Name Your Own Price guarantees the amenities guests will receive with their hotel. After a guest makes a bid, Priceline tries to find a hotel willing to sell a room for that price. If a room is available, it's booked immediately at the guest's desired price. Customers who use the Name Your Own Price service are also covered by Priceline’s Big Deal Guarantee.
“Priceline.com recognizes that every trip is unique and a traveler's hotel and savings requirements may be different depending on the itinerary," said Tim Gordon, the company’s senior vice president of hotels. "A traveler going to a reunion probably needs a particular hotel, making our Retail option the right choice. A family traveling with children might want a pool, but there's still the budget to consider, so they'll most likely want Express Deals. A vacationing couple with hotel flexibility can save big and still stay in a luxurious four-star hotel by going Name Your Own Price.”