Priceline Launches New Last-Minute Travel Service

Priceline, the Name Your Own Price travel service, has enhanced its hotel product to introduce 48-hour advance reservations for more than 8,000 international-brand properties around the world, the company announced today.

This replaces the previous 72-hour booking requirement for travellers making offers for hotel rooms through and

, and allows last-minute travellers to take advantage of Priceline`s 20%-30% savings off typical market rates.
“Travellers have been conditioned to expect higher prices for last-minute bookings,” said Hutchison-Priceline CEO Alfredo Gangotena. “However, travel products are highly perishable and no hotel manager wants to leave rooms unoccupied. If you can be flexible, everything`s negotiable, which is why Priceline works so well for impulse travellers.”

Mr Gangotena said the enhanced service will allow travellers from all over Asia to get significant savings on trips planned at the last moment. While air travellers must have a Hong Kong or Singapore address to enable Priceline to deliver their tickets, travellers seeking hotel rooms can make an offer from any country. They receive a reservation confirmation number via e-mail within an hour after they make an offer.

Hong Kong travellers making impulse visits to Macau will benefit hugely from the new advance-booking times, Mr Gangotena said. “If you decide late in the week that you`d like a weekend getaway near Hong Kong, Priceline can deliver great savings on your hotel rooms. You can even make your getaway city Hong Kong itself. A lot of our Hong Kong customers check into local four- or five-star hotels for a weekend just to take a break from their everyday hassles.”


The enhancement is in addition to other Priceline service features, including:
* Faster response times. Priceline is constantly upgrading its technology. Most travellers now wait only 15 minutes before receiving an e-mail response to their hotel rooms offer.

* Enhanced city maps. Priceline has included more details in its city-map pages to help travellers select a hotel close to public transport or shopping areas.

* Automatic upgrades. Priceline plays the matchmaker between traveller and hotel supplier. If Priceline finds an even more luxurious hotel than that requested by the traveller, and the hotel is willing to release a room at the traveller`s price, the traveller is automatically upgraded free of charge.

* Reference pricing. Priceline provides hotel reference pricing that reflects seasonality for all star ratings in different countries. Travellers can then easily name a price 20%-30% off current market rates.

* Advance bookings. As well as last-moment bookings, Priceline travellers can book their hotel rooms up to 329 days in advance.

Priceline`s special travel promotions currently include:
* Free Hotel Getaway. Buy two air tickets to any destination before October 31 and we`ll give you a cash rebate of up to HK$1,000 when you book hotel rooms around the world. Buy one air ticket to Europe, USA or Canada and you`ll receive a cash rebate of up to HK$500 when you book hotel rooms. Visit for details.

* Best Price Guarantee. If you can beat our prices for accommodation at our top 13 cities - within 48 hours of making your Priceline request - we`ll refund 100% of the difference. Visit for details.

* Hot deals. Save even more by taking advantage of Priceline`s hot hotel deals. Our best prices this month are in Bangkok, London, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney and Vancouver.


travellers always choose their hotel quality ratings, the specific area of the city in which they want to stay and, of course, their price. Priceline`s international-brand hotel partners offer rooms in all star categories, from one-star budget properties to the most luxurious five-star resorts.

Related stories on ITN:

(18/10/2002) Priceline Launch New Asia Region Travel Service

(30/09/2002) Priceline and MSN Launch Partnership in Singapore

(12/08/2002) Introduces Enhanced Hotel Service