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Booking sites (Expedia, etc.)
Old 01-20-2020, 02:47 AM
  #1

We had a bad experience years ago with a hotel reservation and it put a damper on my feelings of using any of the deals offered by the popular sites . I just feel more comfortable booking directly from hotels and or airlines for flights.
Do you use and recommend them for travel?


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Old 01-20-2020, 03:09 AM
  #2

I find booking sites to be annoying and frustrating to use. I don't think they always offer the best deals. Sometimes I use them to get general information, but then go directly to the hotel for a reservation.

For airlines, I have found the AAA travel service does a great job. They have access to more information than you get from either a booking site or an individual airline (unless you know for a fact that that airline is "better" than the other options). It's old fashioned to go to a travel agent, but often it is a good choice. There is a fee, but if they get you the best deal and with member discounts, often I do as well as if I were booking through a booking site or directly, overall, and it is much more convenient.
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Old 01-20-2020, 04:02 AM
  #3

I book all my lodging on the hotel's website. You can get the same deals that you get on Expedia and other booking sites. I, too, had a bad experience in the past. I booked a hotel with Expedia, needed to shorten my trip, and was given a lot of grief from the hotel because I had used a booking site.

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Old 01-20-2020, 04:56 AM
  #4

I have used booking.com without any problems. I usually do book directly with the hotel or airline after checking prices on some of the sites you mentioned.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:26 AM
  #5

I have used Priceline many times for flights and hotels with no issues for at least 10 years. That being said, it is cheaper sometimes to just book directly with hotel or the airline sometimes has better times. I always checked this first.


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Old 01-20-2020, 05:31 AM
  #6

I’ve used Expedia, Orbitz, and travelocity without any issues.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:39 AM
  #7

I always book directly with hotel or airlines. Usually, price is the same! I just feel more comfortable doing it this way. I just booked train tickets to NYC on wanderlu and it took over five hours for my tickets to be delivered to my I pad. I ended up going to my local train station and they printed them out for me. Frustrating experience!
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:40 AM
  #8

I use the hotel websites. If the booking sites are cheaper, I called the hotel and they matched the price of the booking sites.
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It depends.
Old 01-20-2020, 06:56 AM
  #9

Hotwire can save huge amounts of money if I am on the road traveling through a major city. Like $55 (for 2 adults and 2 children) bucks for an Embassy Suites that offers snacks/drinks in the evening, a pool, and a free breakfast in the morning huge! Sometimes I pull it up and there is little to no savings and then I book direct to earn Hilton Honor points.
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:47 AM
  #10

I usually check direct, also but typically use Travelocity for reservations. Last year I had to cancel a nonrefundable hotel reservation and Travelocity did it with no problem and my money was refunded in full.

The only time I have had trouble with a reservation was when I used an "off brand" one that was through benefits at work. That one was not shown when I showed up at the desk, and then I had trouble getting it refunded when I had to pay at a different hotel.



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Old 01-20-2020, 08:04 AM
  #11

Some are better than others.....Booking.com is awful.

I have found that calling hotel directly achieves best results....you can ask for price comparison, sometimes they'll upgrade you for free and they do t lose your reservation.

Best part? We’re going back to New Orleans next week. Called hotel we stayed at last year and they gave us a “thanks for coming back” discount.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:32 AM
  #12

I've been using Expedia for several years and have had no problems. I like that I can book everything (flight, hotel, car, transportation to airport) all in one place. When I've checked flights directly with the airline, the prices have been higher. Haven't tried calling hotels directly, except hotels that we visit each year.
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:00 AM
  #13

I've actually used booking.com several times with no problems. I usually reserve a room that can be cancelled with no financial penalties. I've had no issues when I cancelled by the cancel date.
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:04 AM
  #14

I had posted this on the other travel thread, but the last time I used Expedia I found out that Delta doesn't actually assign you a seat unless you book directly on their website. I almost always fly Southwest (where unless things have changed, you can only book through their website), but this time the Expedia/Delta flight happened to be much cheaper.

When I checked in online, my ticket said "see gate agent." When I got to the gate, the agent explained that I needed to wait for my name to pop up on a little screen with my seat number right before the plane took off. She also asked if my travel plans were flexible. Essentially, I'd been given a standby ticket . Thankfully the flight wasn't full and I did get on, but I will never do that again! Southwest has great customer service and the reliability is worth it to me to sometimes pay a bit more for something so important.
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Old 01-20-2020, 01:17 PM
  #15

I book directly with the hotel or through Hotels.com, depending on the situation. If it is a small hotel, it is usually better to book directly, as they work on a small profit margin and actually lose money when it goes through a booking site. With major hotels it does not matter as much in my experience. Hotels.com has an incentive to use them (one free night after booking 10 nights), and I have had only good experiences with them.

For flights I mostly book directly with the airlines after finding out through Kayak or Expedia flight search engines how much the flights for the different airlines are.

Tip: when doing preliminary searches, I go on a private browsing mode (for ex., Firefox has a private search mode setting), because I have found that prices increase almost immediately if I search on a regular setting and go back to the one I liked. It has something to do with cookies.
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Old 01-20-2020, 06:37 PM
  #16

dh uses Expedia almost exclusively. He just likes them, I guess? We've had a few minor issues over the years, but it's worked out ok.
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Old 01-20-2020, 06:55 PM
  #17

The few times I've searched for something vague (i.e. don't already know exactly when/where I want to go), I've found deals on a booking site and then gone directly to the hotel and found the exact same or better deal. As a result, I've never actually booked through one, but I do like them for doing comparisons and finding new locations.

I also like oyster.com for accurate photos of hotels.

I almost exclusively fly Southwest within the US, and their customer service makes it worth it even if very occasionally I might find a cheaper flights elsewher (which doesn't end up being that much cheaper because of bag fees).
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I have used
Old 01-20-2020, 07:17 PM
  #18

hotel or chain websites - as in the Choice Hotels, or Marriott, etc. - or Hotels.com. I have never had a problem with Hotels.com. I used booking.com once, but we were checking into a hotel one time and there was another person trying to check in and she had used booking.com and was having a difficult time because they could not find her reservation. That sort of steered me back to Hotels.com.
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:41 PM
  #19

I usually use the booking sites to see what flights are available and the book directly with the airline. The one and only time I booked a flight with a booking website I used CheapOair. They gave me the booking reference and I could go on the Copa airlines site and see my reservation. In the end it wasn't any cheaper than booking directly with Copa. If I wanted the assigned seats together CheapO charged a booking fee.

One thing I noticed when booking my last set of flights, some of the booking sites give the super economy (no frills) prices. So if you are not careful you could end up with a seat assigned at airport ticket. You have to make sure you are comparing the price of the same class of ticket.

Hotels I usually book on the AAA site. I've always gotten really good prices and never had a problem.
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