"Unpublished rates" are a feature that you can use to get even better deals on hotel bookings with Expedia. Basically, they're a way for hotels that are underbooked to book some rooms at discounted prices in order to avoid taking a total loss.
Here's the catch, though: because hotels don't want to be seen offering such discounted rates when other people have paid up to full price, they hide some of their information from you and impose some restrictions.
You won't see the hotel's name or exact location until after you book. (However, you can still select the general area of where you’d like to stay, be that near a city, an airport, or a famous landmark.).
Other than the guest capacity, very little else about the type of room(s) you get is guaranteed.
Once you book, you can't change, cancel, or refund your booking in any way.
There are some ways to get around these drawbacks, but we'll save those for the end of the article.
Type in "expedia unpublished rate hotels" into your search engine of choice. Then click on the result highlighted in the screenshot below.
You'll use the window on the left side of the screen to set things up. Click the buttons in the screenshot below for an explanation of what you need to do at each spot.
Click this drop-down menu to select the city in which you want your hotel.
Click the button beside a star rating to make sure that all of the hotels you find have a star rating at least that high. Or you can just leave the setting at “Show All Hotels”.
Click in this box to select the date from a calendar pop-up that you want to check into the hotel.
Click in this box to select the date from a calendar pop-up that you want to check out of the hotel.
Click this drop-down menu to select the number of rooms that you want to book in the hotel.
For each room, click the drop-down menus here to select the number of adults and children who will be staying in the room.
When you’ve entered all of your relevant information, click here to continue.
You will now see a list of hotels that meet your criteria, each of them with a list of features and an "Area Map" button that, when you click it, lets you see the general area it's in. Click the tabs in the menu across the top to sort your results by:
- The deal's approximate value (i.e. star rating / features vs. price)
- The hotel's average nightly rate
- The hotel's star rating
On the left-hand side, in addition to changing your general search criteria or minimum star rating, you can click the buttons in the menu highlighted in the bottom-left (you can scroll down for more options) to filter your results by area. This allows you to find hotels that are in certain regions or are close to things like airports or famous landmarks.
When you see a deal that you like, click Select beside it.
The next screen lets you review the general details of your booking. If you're sure that everything here matches up with what you want, click Book Now.
There are three major things that you'll need to do to complete your booking. The first is entering your traveler information. Click in the box labelled "Contact Name" and type in the name of the primary adult who will be checking in for all rooms. Next, in the box labelled "Phone Number", click the flag to select your country from a drop-down menu. This lets Expedia and the hotel know what country code to use if they need to phone you. Then click the box beside the flag and type in your phone number. You can also make special requests by clicking on that option and typing them in. Be sure to double-check these with the hotel before you leave!
The next thing you'll have to do is enter your billing information. Click the buttons in the screenshot below for an explanation of what information goes where.
Credit Card Number
Click in this box and type in your credit card number as it appears on the front of your credit card, with no spaces.
Credit Card Type
Click this drop-down menu to select your brand of credit card.
Click each of these drop-down menus to select, respectively, the month and year that your credit card expires.
Click in this box and type in your credit card’s security code (usually 3 or 4 digits). Click the help button () beside this box if you need help finding where the security code is on your credit card.
Click in this box and type in your name exactly as it appears on your credit card.
Billing ZIP Code
Click in this box and type in your mailing (i.e. postal or ZIP) code.
The last thing you'll have to do is tell Expedia where to send the booking confirmation. Click in the box labelled "Email Address" and type in your email address.
When you're done, it might not be a bad idea to read some of the legal stuff that applies to your booking by clicking on the words in blue (as they appear in the screenshot below). When you're all set, click Complete Booking.
Use a mapping service (such as Google Maps) or other directory to look for information on hotels in the area that you specify. That way, you can make an educated guess on what hotel is offering a deal before you book it.
As soon as you find out the name of the hotel where you're staying, call them and talk to them about things like the availability of rooms or their ability to deliver on your special requests. It might not be a bad idea to call Expedia and talk to them about these things, too. See our Expedia Customer Service tutorial for more information.
Save and print out information like confirmations or any special requests that you make and take them with you on your trip. That way, you have evidence on your side in the event that there is a problem.
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