Are People Really Still Bidding on Airfare???

By fy123,

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I haven't used Priceline in many years to bid on airfare. I now use it routinely for bidding on hotels.

Given the the majority of Betterbidding.com's website is devoted towards hotel bidding and the lack of successful airfare bid responses, it got me thinking... Is priceline bidding for airfare just a dinosaur or are there still people successfully scoring cheap airfare deals by bidding on priceline? I recall that Priceline's popularity originated in bidding for airfare. What happened and where is it at now?

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Welcome to BetterBidding!

Airfare was PRICELINE's first travel product, but as it evolved (and the airfare environment changed) i think it has become one of their less popular products. Airfare deals can still be had, but you need to be very flexible in your plans (not able to choose departure times, layover city, length of layover, non-stop flights, etc) and the discounts are not typically as deep as what we see for hotels and/or car rentals (part of this is due to the change in the airfare environment referenced above... capacity is down and there are fewer empty seats in airplanes these days then there were 10 years ago)

We hope that you share your future PRICELINE hotel (and car rental and airfare) wins with the board.

Please use the PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links on the board to begin your travel purchases.

Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases

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  • 2 months later...

I was hoping to see something on this topic of bidding for airfare. I've noticed some "different" things happening with Priceline's Name your Own Price airfare site. I've used them in the past, and always had great (or decent) results. But on my last few trip requests, results have been lackluster, or non-existent. For example, I have recently been trying for LEX to LHR (Lexington, KY to London, Heathrow). I have been flexible on dates and the airports as we have at least two others (Cincinnati and Louisville) that would be acceptable. However, I've been getting all responses that say they cannot accept my bid, but if I want to raise by bid by $X, they will offer me a savings of $6 off a published fare. Six dollars? When we're talking published fares of around $1,000, they want to offer $995 or $997? I hardly think that's worth not choosing flights. In addition, I've noticed on several attempts that they don't even give me the option to choose a different date or airport (even when options not exhausted). They simply say they can't accept it. Or, on one occasion, they brought me to the regular site where I could select from listed flights. But again, no savings over what they show on their regular (non-bidding) site.

Since this has been happening quite often, I'm starting to wonder if there really is a potential to save anything substantial (10%, 20% 30%) off published rates. Priceline likes to say "up to 40%," but I'm beginning to think that these are very few and far between, if they exist at all. If they are so far between, then I think saying otherwise is starting to fall within a gray area of false advertising.

Anyone have any thoughts, or better results than I've had?

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Bidding on airfare is "hit or miss", but for the least few years it has been much more difficult to get a great airfare deal than a hotel deal... airlines have cut back capacity and as a result there are fewer and fewer empty seats on planes, which makes it less attractive for airlines to offer deep discounts. The deals are out there... but you need to have the right combination city pair for a route which may traditionally have more empty seats than most.

As long as somebody periodically is able to obtain a discount of 40% or more, i think PRICELINE has the right to make the "up to 40% off" claim. As the OP of this Priceline Airfare Bidding Tips thread states, he is receiving good deals when bidding on PRICELINE for airfare.

Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases

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  • 3 weeks later...

While most of the posts here seem to refer to priceline, I have been helping a friend with a sick relative looks at options for transcon flights.

Since compassion fares have become useless (5% off published current fare, which last minute is sky high).

HOTWIRE offers transcons for ~$420 when the lowest published fare is ~$700. I see at least 40% off the best published fares.

This is available most days I have tried and even for next day or day after next travel. With savings like these, who cares about earning miles :)

I came to see if anyone knew what airline this may be and am surprised I have not seen much (or any) success posted.

I should also point out this is particularly effective because of the last minute nature of the trip: with one or two weeks advance,

I doubt nowadays one can get this kind of savings. For the sake of trying, the same trip one month out prices regularly in the $280-310 range

and Hotwire does not even offer unpublished fares.

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I was pleasantly surprised at booking a round trip AUS - BOS flight 1 day in advance for $284 on PL;(on American Airlines)

Hotwire was approx- $580- American $550 ish and all others $660- $770--

So there are indeed still advantages using PL for airfare-- in certain circumstances (read- flexibility required - in time and such- although mine were perfect- switching in DFW)-

btw-- the flight to DFW was full; DFW to BOS had 2 unsold (or just empty) seats.....

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Maybe I am a dinosaur but I still use Priceline for airfare. It consistently gets me 30-40% off published airline prices. Now mind you I cannot choose the flight time or airline but if you are on a budget and have the time to coordinate your schedule to the flights they give you it is still a winner. I haven't found any other discount site for flights where the discount is as good as price line.

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Hi, Thanks for all your replies.

I am a first time user to bid an air ticket too.

I was benefited from Priceline of my previous US Hotel bookings and this will be my first time trying to bid an international flight.

I am trying to book for a 2 month return flight from LAX (or surrounding) to TPE airport.

Since this is an international flight and normal cost for a return flight is between 1000 and 1300. (It used to be only 600s or 700s 3 years ago :( )

It is way too high that I cannot afford since I am just a student and I have no job at the moment,

therefore I am trying to find a way of getting cheaper airfare.

My schedule is quite flexible, therefore I can fly at any time.

Anybody has any suggestion of what I should do or how I should start the bid?

Despite Priceline say that the maximum transit will be 1 each way, also it will be on aitlines listed.

There are small writings stating that you may travel at ANYTIME, day or night, and the airlines may NOT be listed on the above list.

Anyone ever tried to bid an international flight and get a good price while having a smooth schedule?

I really need your help please.

Thank you.

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