Travel

Hotwire - Is it safe to use?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 13th, 2021 10:16 pm
Tags:
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jan 13, 2016
567 posts
298 upvotes
Vancouver, BC

Hotwire - Is it safe to use?

Interested in use of hotwire for hotel bookings. I did book once with no problems but i still feel leery of it. Have you encountered problems? (I'm hoping travel restrictions will lift soon in vancouver :-)
Last edited by Latebuyer on May 22nd, 2021 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Title edit
15 replies
Deal Addict
Dec 28, 2011
1037 posts
576 upvotes
Midland
No issues. I only use it if I certainly know what hotel is and the amount of savings.

My last one was $200 savings a night.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2010
6067 posts
2933 upvotes
Toronto
I've never had problems with Hotwire. The only thing you might encounter is some hotels giving you the worst room if you booked through somewhere like Hotwire - but it's kind of assumed that in terms of customer service, you are far down the priority list anyway (below people with status at the chain, people who booked directly with the chain, people who paid full rates at travel agents, etc.).
Deal Fanatic
Jan 21, 2008
6490 posts
2497 upvotes
Never had an issue, some hot deals can be had
Deal Addict
Dec 6, 2006
2465 posts
855 upvotes
I have used Hotwire and Priceline several times but only if it offers savings by narrowing down the exact hotel on betterbidding rather than booking directly with hotel.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 6, 2002
9111 posts
2075 upvotes
Vancouver
You mentioned Vancouver I’d say I had good luck with Hotwire in USA and Canada

In Europe it’s a bit of a sketch situation what is 3* or 3.5* or 4* at least when I got my mom a 4* it gothic quarter of Barcelona. The hotel didn’t strike me as 4* but the moms isn’t picky and liked the location.
Autocorrect sucks
Sr. Member
Dec 26, 2008
691 posts
427 upvotes
Manatus wrote: I've never had problems with Hotwire. The only thing you might encounter is some hotels giving you the worst room if you booked through somewhere like Hotwire - but it's kind of assumed that in terms of customer service, you are far down the priority list anyway (below people with status at the chain, people who booked directly with the chain, people who paid full rates at travel agents, etc.).
Why would that be? Hotels need their online boking services.

I have always enjoyed hotwire and never had any bad experiences with them. If i had one complaint, i wonder just how much of a savings you get from them with their “guess the hotel” service vs their more standard way of booking.
Deal Addict
Jan 12, 2005
4911 posts
1506 upvotes
Mississauga
All the online websites are pretty much own by the same company now (Expedia group), so the experience would be the same as book from other 3rd party sites.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2010
6067 posts
2933 upvotes
Toronto
Shoppersbeermart wrote: Why would that be? Hotels need their online boking services.
I don't mean they do it out of spite - some hotels (I only know this for sure for one international chain) have a clear priority of guests. Those with status first, since often loyalty programs require those with gold, elite etc. status to be upgraded or given the best room available. Then there might be some corporate contracts (e.g., airlines, groups, conferences) that require certain types or blocks of rooms. Maybe some extra rooms are kept aside in case higher tiers make bookings. Then the rest are essentially ranked in terms of how much the hotel gets for them (usually those who book direct first). So if you're going through Hotwire in order to pay less, the hotel is probably earning less for you than any other guest, so you're last in line and get whatever is left over.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 2, 2002
1895 posts
645 upvotes
Toronto
I used it a few times before but be sure to know the area of the hotel. Some expend to less preferred zones, especially for airports. I used to use specialty sites like “bidding for travel”, but find they don’t work as well these days. Also, always compare with regular booking sites or the hotel site direct as the price difference may not be that far off once you consider additional taxes and fees TA changes.

Also, when booking through third party sites, you are not going to get any points or upgrades if you have status with that hotel chain.
Celebrating 18+ years on RFD!
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
17014 posts
7350 upvotes
I have used Hotwire's "Hot Rate" many times and had positive experiences. I used betterbidding.com at the time to try and gauge what hotel(s) I was able to get and if I was not satisfied would not continue (location within the zone was not what I wanted was the main reason).

Highly recommend if you are flexible and can fit within the exact parameters they specify. You just need to make sure you are OK with exactly what they say - if you wanted a kitchenette and it did not say it came with one, the hotel you get is unlikely to come with it. Same with other things like bed configurations (3 queens versus 2 doubles and 1 sofabed).
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jan 13, 2016
567 posts
298 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
Thanks everyone, i'm single and it always seems expensive to book a hotel so hotwire can help.
Deal Addict
Jun 4, 2003
1522 posts
92 upvotes
Toronto
I have used Hotwire since 2003 and not once I encountered any problem. The only one time I felt it was a problem when I travelled with my mom down to Cleveland for a long weekend I specifically requested two beds in one room but when I got to the hotel the front desk said they only had one king bed room. I showed the hotel my confirmation from hotwire on my phone for two beds and in about half an hour the hotel gave us a two double beds room.
United We stand Victory in our Hand!
Deal Addict
Jan 11, 2004
4948 posts
541 upvotes
Victoria
You can use sites like biddinghelper and betterbidding to help guess which hotels are what. I'm sure they're out of date because of covid though.
Not a political sig
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jan 13, 2016
567 posts
298 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
Right now if I use hotwire I'll only use it close to the date of my trip due to covid. However are prices usually cheaper far from your travel date?
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jan 13, 2016
567 posts
298 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
Does anyone think Canadian hotels are a better deal due to the exchange rate on hotwire? I say that as hotwire appears to convert from US dollars. A hot deal i saw that was 89US came out to 110 canadian while with the exchange rate itself it would be 108 so a-slight mark up. Anyways, just curious.

Top