Priceline Airfare Bidding?

By Bazal,

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First of all sorry if I posted this in the wrong section. I figured I would ask about this since this site resolves around priceline and hotwire.

I've never used priceline before and it looks like you can bid on airfare... in May we plan on going to San Juan, PR and sometime in the summer to Europe (OMG the airfare to Europe is INSANE!!!) my questions are

1- What are the chances of success?

2- What type of companies (flights) does priceline deal with?

3- Is there anyway to customize how many stops or what time you want your flight to leave (example in morning, afternoon, evening) or how long the flight is?

I can understand how priceline would work with hotels... but with flights there are more things to consider... however, if this does work then you'd be saving a TON of money... anyone with experience bidding on airfare?


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Welcome to BetterBidding!

If you haven't yet, please start by reading your messages.

1- What are the chances of success?
Depends of how much of a 'deal' you're looking for and how much of a discount vs. traditional airfare you need to make an 'opaque' airfare purchase worthwhile, but the 'great deals' are far and few between compared to hotels, although they do happen from time to time.
2- What type of companies (flights) does priceline deal with?
See this link: Priceline Airfare Partners
3- Is there anyway to customize how many stops or what time you want your flight to leave (example in morning, afternoon, evening) or how long the flight is?
You agree to accept at least one layover/connection, and are given the option to agree to more. Currently there is no way to limit your flight times to a given timeframe window.

What are the dates of your travel to San Juan? What is the best rate you're currently able to find for a ticket thru conventional booking channels (try our Airfare Checker) How much would you need to save to make an opaque purchase worthwhile?

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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Occasionally people do have success with airfare bidding, but it simply is not like hotel bidding. My son has bid MSP-AMS several times with good luck, but it is more the exception than the rule. He tends to get US Air, but I've seen lots of reports where people got other airlines.

For general information there is sort of a pattern to airfare rates. Early on the rates are very high, as only people who absolutely need certain dates will purchase. Then, for international flights, maybe somewhere between 12 and 6 weeks out, there can be sales. After this dip, the rates tend to go back up. At the last minute they are usually very high. Lots of exceptions to this pattern, but it seems to generally hold.

It is possible to set watches or alerts via some of the air ticket sites. With these, when the fare drops, one gets an email. There are some on the Support Page - Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz.

Meanwhile, bidding is absolutely free except for your time. It wouldn't hurt to try up to a reasonable level, if you are OK with the conditions.


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  • 2 weeks later...

I have bid only once on airfare about 3 years ago. See Link below. It did work out great! Since then I have not been that flexible on the times connections for flights. Now that economic times are better I don't see the "PriceLine" Name your price deals. However I find Cars and Hotels in HotWire more often then PriceLine.

Someone needs to post the best way to monitor airfair prices. They can dip very low for a short period but I don't see an easy "free" way to watch for that on specific dates.

Here is the link from my great deal three years ago. Its was Virgin American direct flight just wonderful! I don't see deals out of IAD all that often for the WDC area BAL is the often the lost cost departure point.

Good luck.

Priceline Airfare Deal

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On several sites, it is possible to set "alerts". If the airfare changes, you get an email. They have different features, with some more general, and some for only specific dates. Some are more annoying than others. The list of ones I know is below. If you don't like one for any reason, just move on to another one. I'd suggest maybe having three set for a planned trip.









I'm sure there are others, but this is a good start.

Several of the sites have links from the Support Page here. Setting alerts won't give this site any support. But if you eventually purchase, and link from here for the purchase, Betterbidding will get a little support.


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