New Travel App Only Lets You Book Last-Minute Hotel Rooms

Every once in a while, customers get stranded in an unfamiliar town for any number of reasons: flight cancelled, last-minute business meeting, the list goes on. If you’ve ever found yourself in one of those situations then you know it can be difficult to score a last-minute hotel room without forking over the big bucks. Priceline-owned travel company (you know the company with annoying booking.yeah commercials?) claims to have the answer in the form of its Tinder-for-hotel-rooms mobile app, Booking Now.

Gigaom reports that Booking Now is a companion piece to the already-in-service app, but with a huge caveat: you can only book rooms if you’re checking in tonight or tomorrow, though you can stay at the hotel for up to 30 days.

The app is based on the same idea of normal travel sites while also sprinkling in a Tinder-esque function.

To use the app, customers provide their email address and a list of preferences preferences, including whether you’ll need WiFi and how much you’re willing to pay.

Now comes the Tinder-lover’s favorite part: swiping yes or no. When the app provides a list of available rooms, customers simply swipe right or left to view their matches.

While Gigaom reports that the new app creates a less anxiety-filled experience for last-minute travel bookers, it does have some fairly glaring deficiencies.

For one thing, it’s not very good at pinpointing the closest hotels to you. When looking for a hotel in New York, Gigaom found the app suggested rooms that were over 30 blocks away while closer hotels were buried further down in the search results list.

Although the app does store your credit card information, the company says it’s only used to confirm the reservation. When you arrive at the hotel you pay for your lodging directly.

Because most hotels no longer accept cancellations within 24 hours of the reservation, consumers who use the app will likely be out the cost of the room if their travel plans change unexpectedly.

Priceline gets into last-minute booking with new iPhone app [Gigaom]

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