Travel Gamification – How to Save Money Booking Hotels

Consumers wanting to save money booking hotels need to learn how to play the game. The best way to save money on hotel bookings is to use a simple process that includes searching Hotwire and Priceline before aggressively rebidding on Priceline exploiting a major rebidding loophole. It seems the hotel industry itself is an active participant in the game and somewhat unintentionally provides the reward and positive reinforcement that incent consumers to abandon hotel brands and seek the best deals in a commoditized purchase process.

Hotwire Breaks Brand Promise by Gutting Rating System

Hotwire has undermined its brand promise by removing the specific criteria from its hotel ratings used to differentiate hotel classifications. Additionally, by benchmarking hotels using competitive online travel sites with incompatible rating scales, Hotwire may inaccurately classify hotels. In the example provided, Hotwire staunchly defends its flawed rating process for a hotel that it rates higher than sister websites Expedia, and TripAdvisor. Worse yet, these policies and processes have caused them to lose their customer service focus.

Hotwire Expands Menu – Adds Bed Choice

Hotwire appears to be testing the ability for travelers to select a specific bed type from participating hotels offering opaque product with its new Bed Choice option. This move benefits travelers by offering greater choice, and hotels with the attractive capability to upsell. This further differentiates Hotwire from Priceline who has not fundamentally changed its Name Your Own Price hotel product since its inception. A greater question is how this move impacts OTA share in the opaque product space and hotel profitability if it increases opaque product sales.