Before you get started using Priceline.com for booking travel accommodations, you may have some questions about your security on the website. Is it safe to use my credit card on the website? How trustworthy are the companies that Priceline books me with? Does Priceline offer legitimate deals? How can I lower the uncertainty of using the "Name Your Own Price" system? This article will attempt to put your mind at ease by addressing each of these concerns, and offer you some tips on how to keep yourself safe while using Priceline.
Priceline is fairly reliable when it comes to online travel booking. They've partnered with the most well-known accommodation providers around, so it's not like you'll be stuck with an unproven company when you book. The main reliability concern is the “Name Your Own Price” feature, which hides booking details.
When using the "Express Deals" or "Name Your Own Price" systems on Priceline, some of your booking details are hidden from you until your booking is complete, and/or selected by Priceline or the accommodations provider that you end up with. We'll explain this more below, but if you are really worried about the reliability of Priceline or any other travel accommodation booking website, then we suggest booking directly with the respective accommodations companies.
Priceline is very safe to use. As we mentioned above, they are a reputable company that works with only the most well-established accommodation providers in the travel industry. It is safe to book accommodations through them, and it is also safe to pay for your bookings with a credit card or a PayPal account.
Note, however, that using their "Express Deals" or "Name Your Own Price" systems can be a bit of a gamble. Some of your itinerary details are left to be filled in by Priceline or the company that accepts your booking, and these types of bookings cannot be changed or cancelled. The purpose of this is to get you the best deal possible, if you aren’t too concerned about what brands you book with. There are, however, ways to mitigate these risks, which we will outline below in our safety tips!
Priceline is a legitimate website for booking travel, and was established in 1997, so it is one of the oldest booking websites around! It is also a part of what is now known as The Priceline Group – a collection of some of the world’s best travel and booking websites, including Booking.com and Kayak.
Priceline is a great website, and here at TechBoomers, we’d definitely recommend it as a site where you can get reliable travel deals at prices better than you can find elsewhere. There are some things you need to consider, and in our safety tips below, we’ll outline them, and give you ways you can counter possible safety or reliability issues on Priceline.com.
Since you can't change or cancel "Name Your Own Price" bookings, try to book them fairly close to the date that you're going to start your trip on (say, within two weeks at most). This helps to lessen the risk of getting stuck with a booking that you have to miss because you had a change of plans.
Do your homework. Research the retail rates of airplane tickets, hotel bookings, or car rentals on either Priceline or its competitors (Expedia.com, Orbitz.com, Flipkey.com, Hotwire.com, and so on). This will help you make a bid that will save you money off retail price, but be reasonable enough to get you the type of accommodations that you want.
If you're booking a hotel, you may want to use a mapping service like Google Maps to get information on hotels in the general area in which you wish to book. This may give you an idea of what you can expect when Priceline picks your particular hotel for you.
Why stop at negotiating your booking price? When you find out the exact details of your booking, call the company that you end up getting booked with and talk to them about their ability to honour seat selections (for airlines), room availability (for hotels), and any other special requests that you make. You may also want to contact Priceline itself about these things (and if you need to learn how to do so, see our article on how to contact Priceline customer service here).
Print out your itinerary, and take it with you when you go to check in for your accommodation. Your itinerary serves as proof that your booking has been confirmed, as well as of any special requests that you make. It can be a valuable piece of evidence in the unfortunate event that something goes wrong and a dispute arises.
Though you may have to book on Priceline without knowledge of who you’re booking with, you can find information online that tells you the other websites and services Priceline often uses to book your travel with. Read reviews beforehand and make sure you are okay with the quality of service available from any of these sites before agreeing to book with them. That way you know you won’t be disappointed with the results of who you end up booking with.
And that's our advice on how to maximize the safety and reliability of booking travel accommodations when using Priceline.com! If you think you can stay safe while using Priceline, and you’re thinking about using it to book, be sure to read our next article where we review the pros and cons of Priceline to help you decide if it’s the right booking site for you. If you’re ready to jump in, check out our step-by-step tutorials on how to book Priceline flights, book car rentals, or book Priceline hotels.
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