I’d like to introduce Bryce Reynolds who will be joining us with a “Rookie Plus” look every other Friday. Shannon is back to work at the Cornary Intensive Care Unit part time and watching our grandson Carter grow and prosper. She is cutting back her posting schedule which opens up a spot for Bryce. Bryce has been instrumental in putting together our Deal of the Day posts in the background and now has his chance to “speak up and out” on his one plus year actively involved in the hobby. Welcome Bryce and have fun.
by Bryce Reynolds
There is a relatively new reservation site that is still in “beta,” but I thought that I would share my thoughts on it; it’s called BackBid. The basic concept of the site – what makes it unique – is that hotels bid for your business. Almost everyone is familiar with Priceline’s “Name Your Own Price” feature which lets you bid on hotels, airfare, and rental cars by specifying a few requirements – such as location, quality, etc – and entering a price. While this method can save you a ton of money, you never know whether you truly received a great deal or if you could have done better. BackBid fixes this problem by allowing you to see multiple offers from different hotels and then YOU choose the one that is best suited for you.
Somewhat uniquely, BackBid encourages you to make reservations at a specific hotel ahead of time without BackBid. Once you have a reservation at a hotel that you’re comfortable with, BackBid starts to shine. BackBid asks that you post your reservation details – Dates, Confirmation #, cancellation policy, current rate – and then asks what you’re looking for in a new hotel. If you have a TripIt account you can even link the two so that BackBid will automatically ask for bids on your upcoming stays. I think this is an incredibly useful feature as it saves me from having to enter in all of my details every time. Once your reservation is posted, BackBid will then submit the information to its network of hotels for bids. You can specify when you want the bids to stop coming in so that if you have an early cancellation date, you can make sure to get bids in by that time. Once you receive bids, you can select one of them and it becomes a prepaid reservation. The rates can sometimes include extra benefits such as free breakfast, free internet access, or free parking – it’s all up to the hotel.
Alternatively, you can also post details of a trip that you are planning in the future, which you don’t currently have reservations and let hotels bid for your business. I’m not sure if there is a disadvantage to this method, but instead of stating the rate of your current reservation, you state what you want the average rate to be. Other than that small difference, the process is very similar.
Now, most of you are probably wondering whether you will still be able to collect points for the stays. The answer is that it depends. It is completely up to each individual hotel as to whether they will allow the negotiated rate to count towards their reward program. So, when reviewing bids make sure to recognize whether you will be able to gather points as part of the deal.
Deal of the Day
For today’s Deal of the Day FlyerTalk is giving away A FlyerTalk Luggage Tag & Hoodie combo for the best overall travel deal submitted. A great mileage run, mistake fare, partner promo, new card sign-up offer, or the special twist you figured out on a deal today. Add it to the comments section of this post (with your First Name, Last Initial, and 3 letter airport code) or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post to be eligible to win.