By nfahey,

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Hi Everyone,

I just recently found this forum and I think it is a wonderful place to share information. I have won priceline bids in the past, but don't remember all the details but I will post under the appropriate areas of the forum what hotels and airlines and bid prices were won. Unfortunately some of them are a bit old and are no longer available on my history on priceline.

I am here today to request some help on bidding for Aruba hotels/resorts for Nov 20-23, 2004. I'm starting early with the hope that I can get the best deal b/c I have a lot of time to bid.

Last night I bid resort area at $50/night (I knew this wouldn't be accepted, but figured I'd start low since I had time) and of course it was rejected. I added 3* and increased my bid to $57. Again rejected.

I'd really like to get into someplace like the Radisoon, Wyndham, Marriott or Hyatt but would like to avoid the Aruba Grand. I know there is no guarantee to this but most people that received rooms at the resorts I'm intersted in have bid $100 and over. Any suggestions?

Thanks to everyone for any help you can offer.


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Welcome to BetterBidding!

Although i don't think it made much of a difference with this bid because you were lowballing, but it's generally a bad idea to lower your star rating and simultaneously raise your bid as it can often result in an over-bid for the lower star level. Using the prices you mentioned above a better strategy would have been to bid $57 for resort and then if rejected bid 3* at $50. You can read more about this here:

If you lower your star rating, lower your price.

Since you think that it will take a $100 bid to be successful, and you're trying to avoid a specific hotel in the zone, maybe Hotwire is a better option? What i believe to be the Wyndham is offered on your dates at ~$105. That extra $5/nite extra is probably money well spend if it keeps you out of a property you are trying to avoid.

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

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Hi Everyone,

I got a fantastic deal on the Wyndham with a breakfast and drink package through MCM Tours that I have on hold for 10 days and now I need fantastic airfare to go with it. I was hoping for some assistance bidding for it on Priceline.

Flying out of AVP (Scranton, PA)

Destination AUA (Aruba)

Dates November 17-26, 2004

2 Adults

Delta Airline (website) $618.27 pp

US Air (website) $659.36 pp

These are the only major two airlines that fly out of AVP. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



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Before moving forward on this a few observations....

Many don't like Priceline's airfare product as you have no control over times of arrival, departure, and lenghth layover. If you get 'lucky' you could have a late depature to start your vacation and an early depature on the return trip home... essentially losing 2 days of your vaction.

The question you have to ask first is how much is the risk of losing those 2 days worth to you? If i were in this situation i would need to save about $200+ per ticket to make it worthwhile. I'm not saying that's the right number, as for some here it would be more and for others less.

Also, generally speaking the savings offered with Priceline on airfare aren't that great. From what i have seen the best airfare savings are on the most popular routes with lots of competition (don't know the area, but i don't think this qualifies). The one time i used Hotwire for airfare it was from NYC to Chicago and i got a good fare with good times (published fare was $210 and i bought for $120... so the savings of almost 50% were worth the risk to me as my plans were very flexible). It doesn't hurt for you to try bidding this route, but i just don't think you're going to see the savings on this that you might expect.

Don't know if your area ever sees/participates in airfare sales when they come along, but my guess is that it's probably too early to get a great price on this route.

Feel free to add your own thoughts given the above information and i encourage other board members that are familiar with Priceline's airfare product to add their own comments.

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

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I don't have any experience bidding on Priceline airfare, but I have looked up Hotwire fares leaving from small airports sometimes. The fares tend to be exorbitant! Would you consider driving for a few hours to get to a big airport? Like thereuare said, the more competition on the route, the better your chances.

Of course bidding from a larger airport adds more variables and uncertainty since you don't know what the timing of the routes that you will get from the big airport is, so you might have to stay overnight the night before at an airport hotel.

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Against your advice I went through priceline and I got a pretty good deal. I started my bidding at $301/ticket out of AVP (plus taxes and fees) and they countered w/ $401 (plus taxes and fees). I took the deal (after trying a counter offer of $349 which failed) and this is what the totals and flight times were.

Your Offer Price: $401.00 (per ticket)

Applicable Taxes: $94.67 (per ticket)

Ticket Cost: $495.67 (per ticket)

Processing Fee: $6.95 (per ticket)

Travel Insurance: $25.00 (per ticket)

Subtotal: $527.62 (per ticket)

Number of Tickets: 2

Total Charges: $1055.24

Departing AVP at 6:00AM arriving in AUA 2:44PM with a connection in PHL.

Returning AUA at 5:00PM arriving AVP 11:09PM with a connection in PHL.

I saved $261.47 off the us air's published rates on their website. :)

Thanks for your responses. Hopefully this will help someone...at least from the PHL standpoint.

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I wouldn't really say that you went against my advice (but even if you did it would be ok with me). Buying the tickets 'blind' was worth the $130/tix savings... absolutely nothing wrong with that. Some would never buy air tix without knowing times, others would do it if they could save any amount.

If you're happy then we're happy... and that's what really counts :)

Thanks for reporting the results and enjoy your upcoming trip!

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

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I think you got a pretty good deal, nfahey. Especially leaving from Scranton, your odds of a getting a much lower fare to Aruba (especially around Thanksgiving time) were relatively small.

That said, it's a VERY long time in advance to book a completely non-refundable, non-changable airline ticket, much less a pair that will cost you a thousand bucks. Odds are you'll make the trip just fine, but there's really no need to book such a ticket 9 months in advance.

Moreover, while the Caribbean is a strange (and usually very high priced) destination, there's almost always a crazy airfare sale to anywhere in that time. For instance, in the early fall (hurricane season!), I usually receive a coupon or email offering $299 or $349 promotional roundtrips from the Northeast to various Caribbean islands. Not many folks are eager to fork over $500 or $600 in the offseason when they can get some sun in Florida for a small fraction of that cost.

Bottomline is that unless the deal is unbelievable, patience is usually a virtue -- especially if you're going to lock yourself into nonchangable reservations many, many months in advance.

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Travel cancellation/interruptiion insurance is almost a necessity in a case like this - if you don't have it, I would suggest you get it right away. (Some insurers require you get it within 48-72 hours of the ticket purchase.) But even so, such insurance won't help if some situation not covered by the insurance arises and you would rather not go. But for some people, having a trip all booked up is very reassuring and gives something definite to look forward to. So you have to balance it out, but still I would get the insurance if you don't have it.

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