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Priceline Ends "Name Your Own Price" Car Rentals

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/03/2018, 12:00 AM

Yet another core offering of Priceline has been carved away. The website, which made itself famous beginning in 1997 as a place where travelers could place low bids for various products without knowing in advance the brand of the seller, has ended its "Name Your Own Price" feature for rental cars.  The website now only offers set prices for its brand-blind rental car inventory. Because of the sit...

A New Hotel Booking Engine Emerges for the "Text Only" Crowd

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/29/2016, 4:00 PM

Today, more than ever, the medium is the message….as much as the message itself. If you have a friend (or child) who refuses to talk on the phone, but wants to have every interaction by text, you’ll know what I mean. We are a people who are being conditioned to strongly prefer some styles of communication over others. So it should come as no surprise that the booking process for hotels ha...

Priceline Ditches Its "Name Your Own Price" Program for Airfares. What's the Real Meaning of This Move for Consumers?

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/08/2016, 1:30 PM

When Priceline launched its “Name Your Own Price” feature for airfare some 15 years ago, the effect was electric. A major company had pulled back the curtain, letting the public in on a dirty little secret no one in the travel industry wanted them to know: that prices were always negotiable. But this week Priceline announced that it would no longer be offering bidding for airfares. Which ...

A Sharp Reduction in the Number of Important, Independently Owned Travel Websites is Threatening to Harm the Quality of Their Advice

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 09/26/2015, 6:45 PM

Based on the ground-breaking research and analysis of travel expert Reid Bramblett, I recently wrote in these blogs about the shocking consolidation of what used to be three large online travel agencies—Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz—into what is now only one immensely giant online travel agency, namely Expedia. In just as shocking a development, Expedia has now caused the airfares and hotel ...

Last-Minute Deals on Hotels Are Getting Better and Better! Here’s Why

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 01/30/2015, 6:15 PM

Speak on a mobile phone instead of text? That’s considered a rude act nowadays in many circles. But while mobile technology has, arguably, made us less social, many in the travel industry say it has sparked spontaneity like nobody’s business. In just the last two years, a number of major travel companies have spent millions to launch app-only booking tools geared towards folks who have no idea...

Frequent Changes for Frequent Flyer Programs: Another Consumer Unfriendly Switcheroo Is on the Horizon

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/10/2014, 6:00 PM

Lassie may be loyal. But flyers—at least those who aren’t business travelers—may want to ditch that strategy. That’s the only conclusion to come to after the latest announcement from United Airlines that, like Delta Airlines, it will be switching to a revenue based points system.  (Delta’s new program goes into effect on January 1 of 2015). What that means is that UA travelers, starti...

Book a Resort Room, Get a Sofabed? How Third-Party Bookings Can Go Wrong And How to Fix Them

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 06/07/2014, 10:15 PM

      Last week, I used a discount hotel app to book a room in Orlando. The property I chose, the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek, is a major resort on Walt Disney World property, a few years old, with 400 high-quality rooms to fill each and every night. Which is why it turns to the discount hotel apps, which shore up occupancy rates and reduce the load of unsold ro...

Frontier Imitating Spirit, Cuba, Airbnb, and Priceline: Four Important Developments or Opportunities

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 02/23/2014, 11:00 PM

    Although the rumor that Spirit Airlines has recently acquired Frontier Airlines is false (Frontier was actually bought by an independent, private equity firm headed by a previous executive of Spirit), there's no doubt that Frontier's new owners are planning to follow Spirit's controversial policies, which is to hit the passenger with every conceivable extra charge and fee.  At De...

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