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Hotwire and Orbitz and Priceline layover rules


WillTravel
By WillTravel,
in

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I did a search for SEA-LON flights on Orbitz, and I saw one that had an outgoing itinerary that lasted 23 hours, 40 minutes. Clearly that's ridiculous when a nonstop flight takes about 9 hours. However, since you can see all the details, it's easy to avoid.

I looked on Hotwire to see if they had any rules about lengths of layovers, since I have to wonder if Hotwire would try to pawn off this 23-hour routing on an unsuspecting person. However, I couldn't find any rules about international flights -- all they say is that layovers on domestic routes are no more than 3 hours (and 80% are less than 1.5 hours). Or do they say something about their international layover rules elsewhere?

I've seen Priceline rules re layovers somewhere or other, but I couldn't find them when I looked. A link would be great!

Does anyone have any tricks for avoiding ridiculous itineraries when using Hotwire or Priceline?

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Unfortunately, couldn't link directly into the page, but it's in PL's help section, under flights. Here's an excerpt:

 

Destination region      Avg. connection times booked by priceline (hours)     Maximum connection times booked by priceline (hours)
Europe                   2.3           5
Canada                  1.5        2.5
South America        2.3           4
Carribbean             1.5           4
Middle East             3.4           6
Asia                        3.0           7
Africa                      3.9        4.5
Australia                 2.5           8

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Thanks for the Priceline chart. I emailed Hotwire to ask about their layovers, and I got this response:

Dear [name],

Thank you for contacting Hotwire regarding flights.

Any connection for an International flight can be up to 18 hrs. long.

If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to reply to this

email or contact us directly at 1-866-HOTWIRE (468-9473). Thank you for

visiting Hotwire.

Based on this information, I wouldn't even consider a Hotwire flight.

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Another thing regarding Hotwire's flight product....

it is unclear whether a 'direct flight' (one in which the plane lands and takes-off again, but you do not change planes) is considered a connection. About a year ago i called them and was told it was NOT considered a connection.

If this is still their policy, you could actaully agree to 1 connection but land 4 times per a one-way trip.

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

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  • 1 year later...

Priceline will stick to their word regarding this policy. I recently booked 2 tickets via Priceline from ATL - Paris (CDG) to depart 3/26/05, and return 4/3/05. The total per ticket (including taxes and fees) after several re-bids was $610.03. The "winning" airline was US Airways, and it involves a connection in Philadelphia each way.

Knowing the financial troubles that US Airways is in, I am worried that the airline will no longer be in business as of March. Or, worse, it will go out of business while I am overseas, leaving us stranded. This actually happened to someone I know when Sabena canceled flights due to a bankruptcy.

I was about to post the win on this board when something wonderful happened.... US Air changed its schedule last week (2 days after my winning bid). Due to the schedule change, all possible US Air itineraries during this timeframe for this city-pair now involve multiple connections (I agreed to 0 or 1), or a 6 hour 48 minute layover in Philly on the outbound portion of the trip.

I contacted Priceline to advise that this schedule change now causes my itinerary to include this lengthy layover, which exceeds their 6 hour maximum layover time for flights to/from Europe, and requested a refund due to the schedule change creating an unreasonable layover time. While on the phone with Priceline, the representative I spoke to insisted I could not receive a refund, but they would contact US Airways to re-book my flight.

I was put on hold while the Priceline representative contacted US Air. After a 10 minute wait, the Priceline rep returned to the line and advised that US Air would be refunding my tickets. The rep told me she was advised that there is now no available itinerary that would conform to all of the conditions of my original bid (nonstop or 1 connection, layover of less than 6 hours).

While I was lucky enough to get my money refunded in this case, Priceline would booked me on another flight if one was available.

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