How many trips do you take each year that you really didn’t want to take in the first place? It could be anything from your brother’s destination wedding on a tropical island to your friend’s kid’s graduation party a few suburbs over. What these trips have in common is that you didn’t pick the date or venue and are going because you feel you have to. Hotwire.com has coined a word for these trips: obli-cations. [More]
When you book an airline ticket through a service like Hotwire, you’d expect that either the airline or the booking site will notify you when something important — like a flight being changed or cancelled — happens, especially when that change is made months before takeoff. But a couple in Virginia had their travel plans twisted around when Hotwire failed to let them know that their flight no longer exists. [More]
It’s nice to have your hotel provide a wakeup call, but not when you didn’t ask for it. And not with jackhammering. James had used Hotwire before for short hotel stays of a night or two, and never had any problems. So he used the site to book the hotel for his four-night vacation with his girlfriend in a warm-weather vacation spot in the United States. They were delighted that the site placed them in a nice four-star hotel, but it turned out to be a four-star hotel then under renovations. [More]
Isn’t it just so cute when big companies get back together after a breakup? Four months after Expedia expunged American Airlines fare and schedule information from its online listings, the two foes have announced the listings will be restored to Expedia and its affiliate Hotwire. [More]
One thing that always has mildly irked me about searching for airfare is all the ads. Do you want to look complete the same search through one of our partner sites? Do you want to add on a hotel? Yadda yadda, just gimmie da plane! Da plane! Well now you can strip away all that gimcrack and tomfoolery and go directly to Matrix, the software that powers sites like Orbitz, Kayak, FareCompare, and Hotwire. [More]
In a move to compete with Hotwire and Priceline, Travelocity has gotten into the deep-discount, semi-blind hotel booking business with the introduction of their new Top Secret Hotels service that promises savings of up to 45% on three and four-star hotels. [More]
Yesterday we mentioned that you might not want to take the “S” icon—it stands for “suite”—too seriously on a Hotwire hotel room listing, because Jeff did and ended up in a room that was definitely not a suite. When he called Hotwire, they told him that the icons only show what’s offered at the hotel, not what he’s actually getting.
Update: Hotwire has partially refunded the cost of the room and clarified that if it said it was a suite, it should have been a suite. They’ve removed the “S” icon from the listing.
One of the problems with travel bidding sites such as Priceline and Hotwire is that you’re betting blind. The house has all the stats, has already determined what they’re going to pay and it’s up to you to guess what might work.