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Hotel Consolidators, ETC.

Anyone here use Trivago to find your hotel? Did you get a good deal? You may have been had. Trivago has been lying to everyone and now they got caught.

https://www.traveldailymedia.com/trivago-could-pay-millions-for-duping-consumers/

Viator, Expedia, and Trip Advisor work exactly the same way. Their tours, restaurants, etc. are ranked by how much commission they are making the companies pay. They also do not offer the lowest price, though all their advertising says they do.

Posted by
23387 posts

interesting.

never used then but they advertise HEAVILY here in the UK.

Posted by
4124 posts

I use Kayak.com
That site can be used to purchase hotels, air travel, rental cars, etc.

I did do a dual search for one trip using kayak and then trivago. Both provided similar results.

Posted by
1915 posts

I am now wary of all consolidators. In 2017, we used cheapoair to get a flight from GB to France. We paid ₤69 for the flight, but came to realize that ₤20 was the cheapoair fee. If we had gone directly to Ryan, it would have been ₤49.

Posted by
2860 posts

I think hotel consolidators my be a different kettle of fish from air travel consolidators . I’ve used booking.com many, many times, with no problem. They seem to be pretty straight forward, and they have a responsive customer service department.
There was a story recently (here?) that some air travel consolidators are able to offer startlingly low prices because they are actually selling illegally acquired frequent-flyer tickets. There are also the problems of delayed and /or cancelled flights. Posters have complained of really poor customer service, and the airlines won’t deal with tickets bought from anyone else. Since the potential for flight problems is greater than with lodging problems and the potential costs ruinous, I’ll continue to avoid air ticket consolidators. However, with all my good experiences with Booking.com, I’ll happily continue to use them.

Posted by
326 posts

The topic of this discussion may be better described as marketing platforms commonly known as OTA - Online Travel Agencies - many of these third party booking sites are related, even though they have their own websites. For example, I believe Booking.com, Priceline, and Kayak are all part of the same company.

Posted by
8568 posts

Surprisingly, three companies own the majority of online booking companies:

The Expedia Group owns Expedia, Hotels.com, VRBO, Trivago, Home Away, Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotwire, ebookers, cheaptickets, and others.

Tripadvisor used to be owned by Expedia but they were spun off into their own public company. They own Viator, Smartertravel, Seat Guru, Cruise Critic, Airfarewatchdog, Holidayletting.co.uk, Gate Guru, Mytable and City Maps among others.

Bookings Holdings owns Booking.com, Priceline, Kayak, Cheapfight, Momondo and Open Table.

I usually book direct but have used Booking.com for smaller properties with poor online booking engines.

Posted by
30931 posts

I wasn't able to connect to the link due to a "bad gateway" or some goofy internet problem. In any case, I don't normally use consolidators for anything. I tend to prefer booking directly with hotels or airlines.

Posted by
1182 posts

I started getting suspicious of consolidators in 2016 while planning a France trip. They would show an Arles hotel I wanted as having no vacancies, but when I called the hotel directly they had plenty of rooms. If basic information such as room availability is not correct, I thought, then what else is wrong?

Posted by
338 posts

If basic information such as room availability is not correct, I thought, then what else is wrong?

In the case you cited, it's not at all that room availability was wrong. Rather, hotels often set aside a certain number of rooms that they'll allow to be booked on the consolidator sites, and when those are all taken, they still have rooms that they have allocated to sell themselves.

It's like the frequent flyer seats. When those are gone, an airline may still have seats. They just don't have them available for rewards purposes.

Posted by
1378 posts

One corporate group with same policies and business model since years - only served in different ways. Do I miss the news here?

Posted by
1493 posts

Agree with Ken from Vernon.

I may read here and there for curiosity, but I always book direct with airlines and hotels.

Posted by
7126 posts

Thank you Ms Jo.

Yelp works the same, the more you pay them, the better placed you are. If you pay nothing, they hide most or all of your customer reviews.

Posted by
1182 posts

In the case you cited, it's not at all that room availability was
wrong. Rather, hotels often set aside a certain number of rooms that
they'll allow to be booked on the consolidator sites...

Yes, I later learned that is usually what is happening, but the "no availability" information was still wrong as there were in fact rooms available.