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Don't Believe Internet Hotel Prices!
Old 05-15-2011   #1
CameraQuest
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Don't Believe Internet Hotel Prices!

OK, so I do my search on line, and all the major travel searches have the same price at a hotel I like.

Then I call the hotel.

Not only was the direct price much less expensive, I also got a larger room!

So double check directly with the hotel and compare when you are making reservations - you might be happily surprised!

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Old 05-15-2011   #2
Brian Puccio
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Plus the hotel isn't losing 20+% to some middleman website.
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Old 05-15-2011   #3
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Well, you first establish the benchmark to compare with, otherwise you have no idea what price is "less expensive", but generally I stay in hostels, bunker-bed for a night is fairly cheap-
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Old 05-15-2011   #4
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I just did the same, but I think it has a lot to do with availability, timing and luck. The online services had a 30% off rate for some of the rooms but not the one I wanted. I called directly and in fact was able to get the rate for the room I wanted. I had to confirm with my brother the cost, and by time he called to book the next morning they would only offer the full rate (online deals were gone too). I called back the following day and got a third rate, between the two. After a little discussion I was able to book his room for the same price as mine.

The only fixed cost for a hotel room is whatever they pay the maid service, so there is a lot of negotiating room in the rates. You just have to get the right person at the right time and you can get a deal.
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Old 05-15-2011   #5
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Almost always true with flights too - check the airline website because it will almost always be the cheapest.
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Old 05-15-2011   #6
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Travel-tip for Japan: Always first check the web-site of the hotel for a special "plan". These are always cheaper than calling the hotel and making a reservation or showing up at the front-desk and asking for a room.
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Old 05-15-2011   #7
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Most of the time I book through Kayak, Hotwire etc.
At 2 instances, I got cheaper rates by directly calling the hotel when I wanted to book at the last minute.
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Old 05-16-2011   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablito View Post
Almost always true with flights too - check the airline website because it will almost always be the cheapest.
Depends. If you have special requirements, such as flying in through one airport and flying out through another, a good travel agent might be more flexible than any online direct booking system, including the airline's own.

I had that situation two times since January. I saved more than 50% each time by going through a brick-and-mortar travel agent that I know for their good tariffs.
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Old 05-16-2011   #9
Ronald M
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Kim Komando described this on her radio show this weekend regarding airlines.

When you first visit a website, you get a cheap rate, book then, because the next time you return they see a cookie from the first time, and raise the price. Hotels do the same or similar.

I am quite surprised she did not say erase cookies or use a different computer. She is computer savvy as that is her business.
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Old 05-16-2011   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald M View Post
Kim Komando described this on her radio show this weekend regarding airlines.

When you first visit a website, you get a cheap rate, book then, because the next time you return they see a cookie from the first time, and raise the price. Hotels do the same or similar.

I am quite surprised she did not say erase cookies or use a different computer. She is computer savvy as that is her business.
Maybe she'll tell you when you listen to it the second time?
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Old 05-16-2011   #11
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Hawaii it is usually cheaper to book online through the usual sites ... or move here first ... as the hotels give a discount to locals ....
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Old 09-24-2012   #12
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Maybe it's because there have been numerous tour operator failures down the years. maybe it's because the UK is an island and, therefore, expensive to get away from and to which to return. However, I have always been reluctant to book flights direct - unless the company provides ATOL protection in the event that the airline fails.

Accommodation is a trickier one. If it's an internationally recognised chain, I'll consider booking direct. However, one of my greatest fears is that my wife and I travel 12 hours+ on a plane only to find that our hotel either doesn't exist, is full or is a flea-infested building site.

"Caveat emptor" is the rule I always have in mind; "Let the buyer beware".
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Big Report On Issues On This Using Apple/mac
Old 09-24-2012   #13
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Big Report On Issues On This Using Apple/mac

There was talk, starting with Orbitz offering higher priced packages to users of MAC due to the "discerning nature" of MAC users...Oh Yeah!!!

Boil it down to, "Well since MAC users pay 40% more for the same computers in PC, we should be able to screw them to the wall on their travel arrangements and accomodations."

I'm surprised this news did not come up in this thread. It was a big deal on the internet news. Sounds like everybody is doing it.

I suspect the "glory days" of good deals on the internet are getting shaky.... and shady.

How many of you filing complaints on this thread are inquiring on Mac's. It's even been noted on some people with PC's who are using Safari. As if there aren't enough good browsers on the Windows platform. Part of the trigger into the higher rate data base is the actual browser inquiring.

If you want to get into the "cheap" data base, you would use the BEST and FASTEST browser.... OPERA. No, I'm not getting perks for this. I am serious. I discovered OPERA about 15 years ago, and have always found it to be faster, cleaner programming than any other browser. Designed to be effective on lower performance computers.
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Old 10-08-2014   #14
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working previously as a front desk manager at hilton i can see that this is the case. we get reservations from expedia set by our sales manager for a certain price of the year. they get steady rates that dont go up or down. but the normal season, weather, politics and other things are taken into account when walk-in/phone/internet(our website) prices are considered.

prices can be set by our sales and reservations team when the demand and market allows it. it is in my personal observation that booking by yourself rather than through expedia will generally yield better results and more quality because expedia buys into a package type deal in which they get certain rooms (for example doubles rather than queen or king)

if you have a extra membership with hilton such as the hilton honours then thats another story, but even then we wont give you the hhonor points if you book through expedia because its set in the price already, and it discourages people abusing the system for best rates and accumulation of points.

the strength of something like expedia or agoda is to help you find the location and expose you to the existence of such and such a hotel. this helped me when i was traveling in indonesia for example. then i book directly with the hotel by searching for their website.
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Old 10-08-2014   #15
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"OK, so I do my search on line, and all the major travel searches have the same price at a hotel I like.
Then I call the hotel."


I always do this kind of thing as a matter of course. You never know if the hotel or someone else can offer a better deal than the web sites. The last couple of times I traveled to Asia looking to stay for a few luxurious days in a 5 star hotel I contacted a travel agent I had a good relationship with and had used before. The lady I deal with was particularly helpful in that she was willing to chase deals for me. Best deals were made when I would give her the approximate time of travel and the name of a few hotels I was interested in (or price range) and she would do the rest. This gave maximum flexibility which always enables a better price. Where I had specific prices from the web, I put it to her that if she could match or better the web deal I would go with her company as its worth my while as they could handle everything - flights, hotel reservations and transfers and that was worth it to me to save me having to run about and make arrangements myself. She were not only able to better the web deal slightly but get limo transfers from the hotel to airport and visa-versa plus breakfast for that price. It was a better deal than I could get direct with the hotels - Shangri la in Kowloon and a year later the Ritz Carlton in Singapore.

So it is worth checking around with several sources to see who can do best. The web offers might OK - but in my experience they are usually only the very best if they have a really special deal on for that specific time of travel / hotel. Mostly they are OK but not great.
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