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So I was looking at PRICELINE "Flights + Hotels" just for laughs, but

there were some big deals online. I was just riffing through "SFO to PARIS" just for kicks, also "SFO to FRANKFURT" and saw some non-stop flights and 4-star hotels for like $1200 for 1 week for 1 person. I was looking at some September and October dates, but still...

I usually book my flights directly with the airline, but also always use Expedia and Booking and Hotels.com. I seem to remember a time when Priceline was about not knowing which flight, not knowing which Hotel, etc, but now they show all the information. Anyone here ever get any good deals using this "Flight + Hotel" combo feature?

Posted by
3441 posts

It's still possible to do the blind-bid auction on Priceline but it takes some shuffling around the site to find that function. I've only used it for hotels, and then only in a city I know well.

Posted by
6183 posts

Yup, just think of this as a travel agent selling a package deal...except online. I haven't used it because I don't like packaged deals in general but if the details worked out, I'd have no issue with it. Travelzoo has tons of deals that land in your inbox weekly if you sign up.

Posted by
313 posts

I normally book my own things separately, but this summer I found a deal on Travelocity for a RT JFK-VIE, including five shared-bath single room hotel nights, for $1100. The same flight cost $1300 on its own and the hotel would have been $400. The hotel turned out to be shabby but very clean. I bid on an upgrade to first class on the way over for $400, and upgraded my hotel room to a tiny single with a private bath for $150 extra for the whole five nights. In the end, I paid $1650 for first class/coach return, plus five nights in a tiny private room with private bath. If I'd booked separately, it would have been $1700 for coach both ways, and a shared-bath room.

BTW, I wholeheartedly recommend bidding (or splurging) on first class on the way over whenever it's possible. Being able to sleep for about 4 hours makes the first day in Europe a totally different experience! Usually I tough it out with a coffee IV and crash at 7 pm. This time I had a slightly tired, but totally normal first day and got way more out of it. Coming back, coach isn't a problem--it's just a slightly long day and I somehow can always nap coming home, even in a coach seat.

So, long story short, while I'm very independent and generally distrust package deals of all types, I was proven wrong this time and got a much better deal. I'll keep this option open in future.

Posted by
293 posts

@astorienne - wow, upgrading to 1st class for $400 - - yes I would totally do that, if I could - will have to look that up. I don't recall seeing that feature, although on Lufthansa, I have seen that feature starting at much higher prices.

Posted by
313 posts

Shelley, this was Austrian Airlines, which is part of Lufthansa. After you book and receive your confirmation number, you can go to the airline's site and log in. You'll see it among your options, below choosing a seat (which in the fare class I booked wasn't even possible until 24 hours before takeoff.) They call it "Smart Upgrade." You can choose the amount you bid, they run the bids 72 hours before the flight, and you get an email if your bid was accepted. You're only charged if they take your bid. I did it once before on Aer Lingus and was happy with it then as well (but that was on a return trip, and I got it for much cheaper that time.)

If there are more first class seats left over, they may offer again for a flat fee upon check in. I think that's more likely to be $600, that's a number I've seen tossed around.