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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Web Weekend: Thoughts on Travelocity's new 'name your price' service

I was intrigued by the news this past week that Travelocity is now offering a “name your price” concept for hotels like the service found on Priceline.

In case you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s pretty simple. Staying in Atlanta for two nights and want to book a 3 Star hotel, but don’t want to pay the full price of $150 a night? On you pick your neighborhood, star rating and then name your own price. If they don’t accept it you can change one or more of your criteria or wait 24 hours and try again with a higher bid.

I use Atlanta as an example because I’ve had success using Priceline in Atlanta multiple times. I’ve had success finding 3 and 4 star properties, usually for around $50 or $60 a night.

The difference, it appears, between Priceline and Travelocity’s new service is that Travelocity eliminates bidding. You simply plug in the city, date and how many people are staying in the room and it returns a list of hotels by star rating, price and general location, such as downtown. The catch is that you don’t know the name or exact location of the hotel until you book – and make a nonrefundable reservation.

One drawback I’m finding so far with Travelocity is its location listing is not as complete as Priceline. You can find all the major cities on Travelocity, but the second- and third-tier locales are not there. I’ve used Priceline for smaller cities such as Springfield, Ill., and Birmingham, Ala. But those cities are nowhere to be found on Travelocity.

I will consider Travelocity in the future, maybe for one of our many trips to Atlanta. I'll report back then. In the meantime, has a good review of the service. Read it here.

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