How to save money on hotel bookings with 'unpublished rates'
Tuesday 26 October 2010
Expedia claims it's offering travelers money by selling rooms at "unpublished rates," but what does this actually mean and how can travelers take advantage of it?
"Unpublished rates" are the minimum prices that hotels will sell a room at if they haven't been able to sell it at the standard rate - in effect, a room at a bargain basement price.
The travel giant announced October 25 that it would dramatically expand its unpublished rate inventory to include 25,000 hotels around the world, claiming that travelers could book hotels at up to 50 percent off the standard online price.
Given that in the first half of 2010 nearly half the hotel rooms on any given night were vacant, it might seem that Expedia is onto a winner for both travelers and hoteliers.
The company's Tim MacDonald said in a statement that travelers were "trading up" - booking at the same prices they normally would but getting more for their money in terms of star rating.
However, much like competing programs from Travelocity and Priceline, the program is "opaque," which means travelers don't know what they're booking until after they've confirmed.
While the site says that it uses brand-name hotel partners, some travelers have reported that this isn't necessarily all it's cracked up to be, with one poster to the TripAdvisor forums saying "The 3 star London hotel I got was far from 'brand name' and furthermore was so poorly rated on Expedia's own site that not one single guest recommended it."
While it's true that opaque deals can be thrifty and risky at the same time, there are a couple of ways to minimize the risk.
Shopping around on different sites can reveal a wealth of hotels all in the same area, so don't just stick to Expedia, Priceline or Travelocity because they're your favorite.
Finally, some travelers report success in simply ringing a hotel and asking if there are any bargain deals available - although the internet always has the most offers, it doesn't necessarily have the best.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
£20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...
£15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...
£30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...