Priceline Flights

priceline.com

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How do Priceline Flights work?

When it comes time to book a flight, what are the first travel sites that come to mind? Expedia? Sky Scanner? Kayak? Kiwi? For me, the first thing that I think of when I think of cheap flights is Priceline.

Maybe this is just because of the extensive (and clearly effective) marketing campaigns that they have run throughout the majority of my adult life. I will be the first to admit that I am especially susceptible to good marketing. But I could also associate booking a flight with Priceline due to the fact that they have one of the longest running reputations for finding the cheapest flights and the best deals on other travel accommodations like lodging and car rentals. Regardless of why I tend to directly link cheap flights with Priceline in my mind, I am far from alone. Millions of travelers rely on Priceline Flights every year.

And, truth be told, you really can’t argue with results. Thinking back on it, a great deal of the trips that I have taken in my lifetime have been planned and booked via Priceline, especially when my wanderlust first took hold of me years ago. Every flight that I have booked with Priceline has happened so smoothly, without a hitch. With other cheap flight sites that I have used, I feel like there has often been some sort of hurdle or moment of turbulence. With Priceline Flights, it is always as simple as searching for flights, finding the one that fits my timeline, needs, and budget, and clicking “book.”

Not only has my experience with Priceline Flights always been a smooth and reliable one, but it has always been speedy as well. I can think of certain trips that I have taken for which I have been able to book the cheapest flights available in only a matter of 5 or 10 minutes. Perhaps this is a result of the level of trust that a company like Priceline has managed to earn in its customers over the last 25 years or so. Or maybe this can be attributed to the site’s extremely user-friendly, intuitive, and naturalistic interface. In reality, it is probably a bit of both.

Nevertheless, Priceline always has been (and likely always will be) one of the first travel sites that I visit when it comes time to book cheap flights quickly. It is a no-nonsense site that gets right down to business as soon as you arrive on its homepage. And Priceline’s business, among many other things, is in reliably ensuring that you can find cheap flights.

This is why Priceline regularly tops all the lists of the best travel sites – they have become nothing short of an institution in the world of online travel agencies. But how did this company grow to become synonymous with dependable, cheap travel deals? Well, let’s take a look at where Priceline came from before we evaluate whether it is, in fact, the best travel site for cheap flights in 2021 or not.

Who owns Priceline Flights?

Priceline was founded by American entrepreneur, Jay Scott Walker in 1997. For Walker, though, it seems as if the endeavor was more of a side project than a lifelong commitment. With the help of Michael Loeb who assisted with the company’s “creation and early funding,” Walker built the company in 1997 and left in 2000. The other notable figure in Priceline’s early days is Citicorp’s #2-man, Richard S. Braddock, who also only stayed onboard for a short period of time, helping Priceline go public in 1999 and then stepping down in 2004.

Central to Priceline’s quick ascent was its “name your own price” system, which allowed travelers to pick their desired price on airfare, hotel rooms, vacation packages, and car rentals. Although the customer could dictate the general location, level of service, and price range, these deals were only on “opaque travel inventory,” or unsold travel accommodations that are available at a deeply discounted price. Therefore, official details of the stay, flight, trip, etc. were not disclosed until the transactions were completed and cancellation was not possible. It was a bit of a gamble, but, hey, these travel deals were also unheard of.

Name your own price was not Priceline’s only inventive approach to travel booking. The company also made a name for itself with its famous Express Deals (which became the basis of apps like Hotel Tonight and Hotwire) and Price Breakers, which claimed that hotels were available for up to 50% off retail prices.

For Price Breakers, instead of showing only geographic location, Priceline gives the name of 3 potential hotels – once the transaction is completed, one of those hotels is where you will stay. In some ways it could be said that Priceline found new and innovative ways to game-ify the travel booking process, making it something of a gamble that travelers make in exchange for cheap flights and hotels.

Priceline customers can still choose to name their own price on cheap flights, hotels, and car rentals. In fact, participation has only increased with travel companies seeing as it is an excellent way to cut what would otherwise be losses on opaque travel inventory. With this model, everybody wins.

In November of 2007, Priceline outdid themselves once more. They officially eliminated all booking fees on officially published airfare. This is just one more line in the long list of reasons why Priceline Flights is, arguably, the best travel site for cheap flights on the web today.

How good is Priceline for flights?

Although some people might be fond of Priceline’s approach to site design, it really is not for me. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it is top of the line in terms of responsiveness, functionality, high-resolution images, and deal searching. With a site like Priceline Flights, you aren’t going to get any sort of half-baked or underdone sophomoric coding job; they are paying top dollar for the top web designers, and it shows. No, my beef with the Priceline Flights site (and it may be one of few minor complaints as a whole) is the fact that the site is very cluttered.

This is probably just a matter of personal aesthetics. I like it when a site has a little more room to breathe. I get that Priceline Flights is trying to cram a ton of content, deals, and travel categories onto one site, but I believe that this could have been accomplished in a way that isn’t so busy or chaotic. It’s as if the people who designed Priceline.com were told that they had to make use of every centimeter of page space with separate tiles, boxes, posts, and features.

Aside from that, though, the site works like a charm. There are some design features that I do appreciate, too. For instance, when you scroll down the homepage, away from the site’s main search bar, the search bar does not disappear. Instead, it becomes embedded at the top of the page, no matter how far down you scroll. This allows you to browse the site’s featured deals or search your own custom parameters without having to do any of the work. Now, that is practical site design.

What is Priceline express deals flights?

One of my favorite features, which I already touched upon a little earlier, is their Express Deals feature. So long as you don’t mind not knowing what airline you will be flying with ahead of time, Priceline’s Express Deals are a great way to easily save up to 40% on your flights. This might not be the best cheap flight deal for more uneasy or first-time flyers, but it is definitely a great way to save on what is often the most expensive aspect of planning a trip.

Another great feature for saving money on cheap flights is Priceline’s Price Match guarantee. This can be especially lucrative for the more vigilant travelers out there. With Priceline Flights Match, Priceline offers a refund of the difference between what Priceline charges and a lower priced flight found on another site. This refund can be issued even after your flight has been booked. It’s unrivaled deals and offers like this that make people say Priceline is the best travel site, period, but especially for booking cheap flights.

You probably already know, too, that Priceline isn’t just a great site for finding the cheapest flights on the web. It is also great for booking hotels, renting cars, booking cruises, finding awesome vacation packages, and saving with travel bundles as well. If convenience is your thing, Priceline is a one-stop shop for all your travel needs. Book everything in one go, then all you have to do is sit back and wait for departure.

Do Priceline Flights have an APP?

Would it be that shocking at this point in the review for me to say that Priceline also has one of the best travel apps on the market today? Available on both iOS and Android devices, Priceline’s mobile app offers an intuitive and smooth flight booking experience, no matter where in the world you happen to be. With an average user rating of 4.8 (out of 5) on the Apple App Store, this is easily one of the best travel apps you’ll find for cheap flights (and everything else related to your trip).

What I Like about Priceline Flights

-Price Match guarantee (even after you book)

-Express deals can save you up to 40% on airfare

-Trusted and reputable brand

-No additional booking fees

What I Dislike about Priceline Flights

-Baggage fees not included in listed prices

-Express Deals cannot be paired with airline rewards/benefits

Pros
  • Simplistic and user-friendly layout
  • Price match guarantee offers a refund of difference after making a booking
  • Express Deals can save up to 40% on airfare tickets
  • Trusted and reputable brand
  • No additional booking fees
Cons
  • Baggage fees not included in listed prices
  • Express Deals cannot be paired with airline rewards/benefits