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Thoughts on buying a flight/hotel pkg vs. separate purchase?


kjjackson
By kjjackson,
in

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Hi Everyone!

I'm new to this site and so far I'm loving it! Anyway, I am planning a trip to Vegas for my dad's birthday in Nov. Would you recommend doing a package deal with flight and hotel or do you think I can score better deals doing them separately? If I do them separately, I will book the flight thru the airline when they have a sale and book the hotel thru either HW or PL. Thoughts? Comments?

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  • 1 month later...

My experience -- you will rarely find a package that names a hotel for less than you can find a similar quality hotel from priceline or hotwire, plus air from the airlines. However, if you do find the package cheaper -- it gives you a level of certainty (i.e., you know exactly where you're staying). Also, my experience with packages is that the really low prices have inconvenient flight times, so make sure to reprice the package with air that is acceptable to you.

Bottom line, unless I got very lucky and found a super price, the only reason I would consider a package is if I had a strong (positive or negative) preference for a specific property and wanted a guaranty.

One hint if you're not ready to book a package now -- In my experience, the 'range of air fares' varies less than the 'range of hotel room rates', (for example, air from ny is rarely less than $250 rt and rarely more than $450 rt). However, hotel reservations can be made, which are generally cancellable. So, if you find a cheap rate, grab it and cancel when you find something better.

Example -- for my summer trip, I'm currently holding a $45/night reservation at Rio. I'd be very surprised if I don't wind up in one of the following hotels through hotwire -- Wynn(Encore), Venetian(Palazzo), Signature, THEhotel (though at a higherr rate). With my Rio reservation, I have the luxury to wait and hope I find what I want at the price I want it.

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  • 4 months later...

My experience is that packages do nothing more than allow the vendors to hide the real cost. Recently, I found the cheapest airfare by looking up packages on priceline, checking to see what flights they were using, then going to the airline site and searching for that same flight. It was amazing. Cheaper than any of the flights I was locating through the big search engines. But be careful, airline prices can change in hours. The first flight I found, I lost because I didn't want to book it until I was sure my leave slip from work would be approved. It only took 24 hours to get it approved, but by that time, the flight had gone up almost $100.

I'm searching Hotwire for hotels, though I'm going with kids so I kind of care which hotel I end up in, and HOTWIRE seems to have limited selection in Las Vegas at the moment. I haven't actually made a reservation yet. I'm still looking and reading reviews.

The best rental car rate was when I called the airline (Delta) to make sure that our seats were together and they asked if they could interest me in discount hotel or car rental. I said sure, I was interested in a rental car. They connected me to Avis. Getting transferred in from Delta, I got 3 days of a standard car (similar to Malibu) from Avis for about $85 (including tax and fees). The best I was seeing on Orbitz--where I have always booked in the past--from the better brands was $116.

The only down side of researching and making your own reservations is the time it takes to assure that you're getting the best deal. I get all obsessed and I waste a lot of time, but I never overpay.

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  • 7 months later...

I've never been a fan of packages...

but...

Vegas is a different can of worms.. Just booked 2 for $891 includes 3 nights Vdara/airfare plus 2 tickets to Elvis- from austin area-

now- Southwest was $270 for similar timed flights

Vdara is $129 + fees per day

Elvis is $190 per ticket....

so more or less-- I figure it saves maybe a couple of hundred buckeroos up to $600 if you want to base it eggxactly on what i quoted above.....

and this package allows 1 or 2 more family members to show up at the Vdara for the 270 airfare (no show tix though..)

IMHO

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I've never been a fan of packages...

but...

Vegas is a different can of worms.. Just booked 2 for $891 includes 3 nights Vdara/airfare plus 2 tickets to Elvis- from austin area-

now- Southwest was $270 for similar timed flights

Vdara is $129 + fees per day

Elvis is $190 per ticket....

so more or less-- I figure it saves maybe a couple of hundred buckeroos up to $600 if you want to base it eggxactly on what i quoted above.....

and this package allows 1 or 2 more family members to show up at the Vdara for the 270 airfare (no show tix though..)

IMHO

:D OH THE SHAME--- OHHHH THE SHAME OF IT ALL.......

I stand before y'all an emaciated, barely functioning PL traveling veteran.......

I fell for it--- A SCAM---

Bait and Switch Scam! MGM Vdara Hotel & Spa- ARIA, Travelocity, Expedia, Delta Vacations and Continental Vacations are all in on this one....

Probably just incompetence on Travelocity and Expedia, Delta and Continental-- outright FRAUD on Vdara, Aria and the rest of MGM...

A 2 free tickets to Cirque du Soleil shows (LOVE, KA, ZUMANITY, ELVIS, BELIEVE-) or some other lesser shows if you prefer-

B package pricing to obfsucate who's making the money (okay- so Travelocity and MGM in this case)

C MUST ACT NOW! must be purchased and show tickets reserved by ... whenever (this past Monday in my case)

D Big - trustworthy Names-- none of that fly-by-night vacation operator crap (MGM Vdara, ARIA, Travelocity, Expedia, Delta, Continental-- how more secure can you feel!>?)

E Reservation # goes to phone pros--- "sorry there are no seats for ANY Cirque Show-- but I'd be more than happy to sell you tickets to those shows at FULL RETAIL"....

F Shift blame from MGM to Travelocity to Vdara back to MGM-- wear out the consumer complainer (NOT-- picked the wrong pigeon on this one...) so that he eventually takes crap tickets or just gives up.....

ALL the hallmarks of the typical vacation Bait and Switch SCAM!

... and i looked right at it.... and got sucked in by the perportedly stable names (and 5* service expected from Vdara to boot....)

ohhhh... woe is me...

woe is me.....

:) :) :o :)

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