Priceline Encourages Deal-Seekers To Vacation Under Tropical Storm Hanna

Priceline won’t let deal-hating weathermen keep you from the amazing savings churned up by Tropical Storm Hanna. Rooms in Hilton Head are now going for the low, low price of $64 per night, but act fast because the deal is only valid while Hanna pummels the dream destination’s shores with 70 mph winds!

Before you scream “obvious computer error!,” remember that “PriceBreakers are hand-picked by [Priceline’s] travel deal experts for their exceptional value.”

It’s like that Curb Your Enthusiasm episode where Larry thinks rain forecasts are the weatherman’s way of guaranteeing empty golf courses. Except here, you end up stranded under a tropical storm.

Hilton Head not your cup of tea? Hang in there, we expect the savings to rush up the eastern seaboard:
(Thanks to Steve!)

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  1. goodkitty says:

    I guess… I’m blown away by this deal?

  2. MyPetFly says:

    Sure it’s a good deal, it includes windsurfing.

  3. Con Seannery says:

    Oh please, Hanna wasn’t much of a storm at all…

    • timsgm1418 says:

      @Con Seannery: really, we had warnings and all, but here in Maryland, it’s just rain. I can see the branches on my trees are swaying back and forth but certainly not the 30 – 40 mph winds we were told to expect…maybe it’s still on it’s way?

    • oneliketadow says:

      @Con Seannery: Hilton Head would be a joy with 10″ of rain all weekend for sure! Let’s all go!

  4. Trai_Dep says:

    Limited time offer. Hurry while supplies last!

    Aww, c’mon, Priceline, don’t tease. We know there are plenty more hurricanes on the way.

  5. Marshfield says:

    I’d be tempted to go…. if I lived on the east coast….

  6. obfusciatrist says:

    Yeah, I could probably talk my wife into letting me go experience a tropical storm since she won’t let me get in the way of a hurricane.

  7. poilkj says:

    It could be a good deal for the storm chasers/researchers. They only need the rooms while the storm is in the area and will follow the storm to the next town…hopefully getting a good room deal at the next town.

  8. krispykrink says:

    Seems like a good deal for the moron reporters that like to stand out in the middle of these when they hit.

  9. duffm4n says:

    Now THAT’s negotiating!

    / Shatner

  10. UniComp says:

    Why don’t deadly storms ever strike during Spring Break :(

  11. TangDrinker says:

    I’m sure this would be a great deal for tornado hunter type people. Oh wait, they don’t like being flooded out with no electricity?

    Can’t wait for the fire sale from Ike.

  12. harlock_JDS says:

    of course the storm has moved on and wasn’t that big of a deal. Doesn’t sound like a bad offer to me.

  13. eelmonger says:

    Speaking as a Floridian, we don’t really care much about tropical storms, most people still have to go to work during them. Of course, if you were expecting fun in the sun, that’s out, but if you’re a surfer or just someone who wants to see what a tropical storm is like it’s probably great.

    • cmdrsass says:

      @eelmonger: Yeah, the whole thing is “blown” way out of proportion. Tropical storms are to Floridians what Nor’easters are to New Englanders – mostly an inconvenience while life goes on as normal.

  14. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    I was actually thinking a few weeks ago of taking some time off and going to Hilton Head, which I remember from vacations 20 years ago. Glad I didn’t, now, but you know, it’s only Saturday morning and I could still take a couple days off early next week. It’s not like the place did an Atlantis. Is the special still on? :)

  15. snoop-blog says:

    I only use my travel agent, who is by far cheaper than all of the onlines sites and has been every time so far.

  16. factotum says:

    This is a good deal for storm chasers. I think it would be exciting and, for a Californian, a once in a lifetime experience. I could put it on my wall of natural disasters experienced: earthquake (check), tornado (check, in Texas), flood (check), blizzard (check, `96 Tahoe).

  17. snoop-blog says:

    I won’t buy anything (that salespeople make commission on) unless it’s from a salesperson, and there’s a reason for it. Travel packages, are just like cars in the sense that salespeople traditionally make commissions on selling them. If you buy a car online (not from a person but rather a large company, or corporation) and it brakes down in the first 30 days, who do you blame? The company? Well usually companies/corp. don’t give a crap because they make huns-thou-millions of transactions a day, and losing your business is just part of their operating costs. Not to say it’s impossible to get your problem resolved with these folks, but there’s less feeling/emotion involved by them.

    A salesperson is someone who makes a commission, but yet wants to please you at the same time to keep you coming back. I sell cars, and everytime a customer has a problem with theirs, guess who they call first? Me, not the shop. So if I ever book a vacation with my agent and she screws me, she knows I’ll probably never return and she’ll lose out on future commissions from me. So if something goes wrong, I have an actual phyiscal person that I know by name that I know that person would do whatever is in their power to help me out. That persons name is Lisa, and I’ve boughten about 5 vaca packages specifically from her, so you see the more business you do with the same salesperson, the more important, and valuble you are to them Vs. the fly by night customer that will go to the first person they see everytime.

    • crashfrog says:

      @snoop-blog: A salesperson is someone who makes a commission, but yet wants to please you at the same time to keep you coming back.

      Sure, but a salesperson on commission is also someone working towards an interest diametrically opposed to mine – getting the item I want at the lowest reasonable price.

      The salesman wants me to purchase the item he wants, at the largest price he can get me to pay, because that’s how he maximizes his commission.

      Your position is not unreasonable, and I think for the most part salespeople are willing to forgo maximum short-term profits because they know that will tend to ensure additional future sales, but there’s always somebody who thinks he’s not in it for the long-term, and therefore his personal short-term interest is all he’s looking out for. Typically, those individuals are rewarded and promoted by their companies.

      • snoop-blog says:

        @crashfrog: yeah but did you read my above comment where she has been far cheaper than the online sites every time? Not to mention, I’d rather pay more on somethings just to actually deal with a real person. Not that everybody does, or should feel this way, it is just the way I am. As a salesperson myself, it would be kinda hypocritical for me to not be willing to pay another salesperson on a commission they earned. It is kinda the way we salespeople survive and put food on the table.

  18. OrphicMysteries says:

    Yeah, but good luck deliberately flying toward bad weather zone. The “deals” are scheduled for the height of the worst weather, and we all know how well the airlines deal with *clear* skies. You might end up spending your nonrefundable vacation in the Allegheny County Airport.

    It might be a better deal for locals. A weekend getaway beats sitting out the storm at home — esp. for apartment dwellers, who don’t have to worry as much about the minor storm crises that can turn into major calamities if left unattended for 2-3 days.

    Then again, if you’re local, you can negotiate some pretty great deals face to face, without waiting for a storm. Don’t just ask at the desk, talk to the promotions guy or the manager. Keep it low key — a drop-in, instead of a negotiation session, and you can become a “local regular”. Being a known face can get you the best discounts, or even (nearly) free use of the facilities. This is *especially* true of resort hotels outside of urban centers.

    I stumbled into such situations several times in the past 20 years, but hadn’t thought of it as a consumer strategy until just now. (Alas you can lose your “inside connection” if the promo guy leaves. In some resorts, “middle management” types rarely stick around more than a year or two)

  19. Overheal says:

    See I lived in Ireland for 8 years and just like the weather model up there suggests we got hit with our fair share of tropical weather systems. Do you think we got storm warnings? Evacuation notices? Hell No. We went about our business. A few downed trees isnt really enough to merit widespread panic.

  20. snoop-blog says:

    Plus good salespeople know when to hit em hard, and when to go easy and develope a relationship. One way they know is if you flat out tell them as long as they do you good, you’ll come to them everytime. If ask who you talked to before and you say you don’t remember, and it’s obvious you don’t care if you deal with them or not, I know you would probably go to the first Tom, Dick or Harry next time, reguardless whether I was there or not. I’ll nail those people over the head, but not people I feel will bring me more business, or future business.

    • crashfrog says:

      @snoop-blog: It doesn’t exactly ease my mind when you suggest that a salesperson is sizing me up to determine whether or not to snowjob me into a purchase I’m going to regret, or whether to treat me in a n honest way.

      That’s sort of why I shop online, actually. I’m aware that you provide a service that, clearly, many of your customers think is worth it. But for me, the very fact that our business relationship will be predicated on dishonesty and conflicting motives is enough to send me to the web.

  21. snoop-blog says:

    Also- I’ve reffered quite a few people to her, when I call and she answers, she knows my voice and knows my name and who I am. The internet has no way of replacing that kind of transaction. Most of all purchases I make on the internet, I cross my fingers and just pray it goes through as promised because I know if it doesn’t, I may get screwed. Very few online places provide great customer service, Which this post highlights a good example of that.

  22. Justinh6 says:

    Priceline is amazing. They are the sole reason that I can afford to travel anywhere. I’ve walked around 4 star hotels many times, wondering how the hell they let me in the door for 39 dollars per night.

    Their computer probably just offers deals based on areas with low occupancy, hence hurricane areas.

    I’m sure its already cleared up, they are an awesome company.

  23. Oh let me guess…. the obnoxious profit margins from these dog of all tour and travel packages is the reason for the sudden promotion?

    Just wait a few days. The “New Orleans is High and Dry” tour package will be available sometime on Thursday or Friday… just in time for our good friend Ike’s visit to SE Louisiana.

  24. doesn’t priceline buy the rooms/tickets/etc way in advance for very little, then sell them to us much later on at a discount?
    if that is in fact the way it works, priceline has already paid for the rooms, so wants to get anything for them they can
    if not, then i’m at a loss for an explanation

    • RedwoodFlyer says:

      @Gstein:

      That’s exactly how Priceline, Hotwire, and in some cases, Expedia work – they’re called Consolidators.

      However, for airfares (and some hotels, rental cars, etc), they don’t buy buckets in advance, they’re simply given prices sheets of what it will cost them, and they can charge you whatever they want – so if you bid $90 on a Priceline ticket, and the price sheet says $50, Priceline pockets the $40 – if you bid less than $50…Shatner kills a kitten. I had a friend on the “inside” at Priceline for a few years – knowing what I should bid (since you only get one try/24 hours) saved me thousands!