This Site Will Automatically Rebook Your Hotel If the Price Drops
Several years ago I had plans to meet up with friends in another city. I had booked a hotel room two months ahead of schedule (a rare rarity for me) and overall felt pretty happy with how prepared I was. This was until I discovered that the friend who had booked after me had paid less. It turns out that hotel prices, like plane tickets , fluctuate, and sometimes better deals appear later in the game.
Earlier today, the tech company Service proposed a solution to this dilemma: It will track your hotel booking rate and, if it decreases, will automatically rebook it for you. (Thus, making you the most complacent of them all.)
How does the hotel rebooking service work?
You may have heard of the Service before; It was launched in 2015 to help travelers automatically receive compensation for canceled or delayed flights . This new hotel rebooking service is the company’s first expansion. This is how it works.
To use the Service, you must first connect your Gmail or Hotmail account. (If your company uses Gmail as their mail server, but your address is not “@ gmail.com”, that will work too.) After you do this, the Service will continually scan your mailbox for relevant metadata. If he sees something in the sender or subject line related to hotel reservations – say from Sheraton, or subject – uh, “hotel booking” – he will download that email.
After confirming the information related to the hotel booking, the Service software will check the prices for that particular room – the same dates, the same booking type, the same preferences – several times a day. If he finds it cheaper than you paid, he will “fix” your booking by rebooking you at a lower price. To do this, he only needs your name and confirmation number, which he took from your email. This process will continue until the booking is non-refundable, which is usually 24 to 48 hours prior to check-in.
There is no prepayment, but if the Service finds a better deal for you, you will pay a commission of 30 percent of what you save. So, if it saved you $ 30, the Service will charge $ 9 from your credit card. And that’s only if you actually stay at the hotel. If you cancel your booking , the Service will not charge you even if it has already completed the entire rebooking process for that room.
For frequent travelers, there is a subscription plan that costs $ 49 per year. With this route, all the savings you earn – whether it’s compensation for airline delays or hotel reservations – remain with you.
The Service currently only accepts bookings made directly through Marriott, Hyatt, Starwood, Intercontinental and Hilton. (This is probably the way to book hotels anyway .) Reservations must be refundable and flexible and must be made in cash, not points. They can be both domestic and international. The company said it plans to add online travel agencies such as Expedia , Travelocity, Hotels.com, Trivago and Priceline in the coming weeks, and will continue to add new hotel brands thereafter.
How much will you actually save?
Hotel prices are not as volatile as plane (or Amazon ) tickets. So is there so much to be gained from tracking them?
“Hotel prices are constantly changing,” said Service CEO Michael Schneider. “The likelihood of their fall often depends on the market. In New York, for example, it usually starts with a high mark, and as you get closer to settling, it drops. ” According to him, Las Vegas is similar to New York, while Miami and Los Angeles are more stable. And San Francisco is the exact opposite: it starts low and goes up.
“Overall, in the top 25 US markets, hotel rates are down 36% of the time,” Schneider said. “The average decline is 10 percent and the average rate is $ 153 per night.” In other words, you can save around $ 15 per night on a typical booking. “But remember,” he added, “it can fall several times before you ever check in.”
For example, I am probably going to give a chance to the Service hotel. Since it doesn’t cost anything to try – and since I have irrational competition when it comes to finding the best travel deals, I think why not?