How to get a great Priceline rate on the wrong room type

She got a great Priceline rate for the wrong room type

Kimberly Ball recently found a great Priceline rate for two rooms at an Extended Stay America. But when she arrived at the hotel, she found that the hotel had assigned her the wrong room type. The bedding in those rooms could not accommodate her group of friends and now she wants a refund.

Ball’s story underscores the risks of booking through “opaque” travel websites. You get what you pay for — literally — when you use these sites. It’s important to pay careful attention to the terms of your great Priceline rate. If you don’t read all the fine print, you might be in for a surprise at check-in — the wrong type of room that can’t accommodate your group.

The wrong room type — just one queen bed

Ball reserved two hotel rooms for a group of adults at the Extended Stay America in Kenner, La., through Priceline. According to Ball, Priceline’s website did not provide her with a choice of room types during the booking process. She was under the impression that she could select her rooms at check-in.

But when Ball and her group arrived at the hotel, they discovered that the hotel had preassigned their rooms. Each room contained one queen bed. Ball requested a rollaway bed to accommodate one of her traveling companions. The hotel refused, explaining that this would be a fire code violation. Ball and her companions decided to stay elsewhere.

Ball then contacted the Elliott Advocacy team to ask for help.

“I’m seeking reimbursement for the room cost of $864,” Ball explained. “I also want professional customer service training for the staff and supervisor at this location.” (Executive contact information for Priceline and Extended Stay America are available on our website.)

Double occupancy at the Extended Stay America

When the Elliott Advocacy team took a look at Ball’s case, the news wasn’t good. Advocate Dwayne Coward explained to Ball why he could not successfully mediate her case.

“While websites like Priceline can sell these rooms at a discounted price, those with the higher discounts normally will have stricter conditions and limited choices,” Dwayne explained.

Priceline’s terms and conditions indicate that with regard to hotel rooms sold on its website:

All hotel reservations are guaranteed for double occupancy (i.e., 2 adults). Unless specifically noted, accommodations for more than two adults are not guaranteed. … If your hotel does allow extra guests, there may be additional charges. These charges vary and will be payable directly to the hotel.

Dwayne also noted that Ball’s confirmation indicated that the rooms she reserved were for two persons only. It also contained the following Extended Stay America policy:

Bedding policy. All rooms will accommodate two people. Bed type requests (King, Queen, 2 Doubles, etc.) or other special requests such as a non-smoking or smoking room should be requested through your confirmed hotel, cannot be guaranteed and are based on availability.

The Extended Stay America’s website contains the following frequently asked questions:

How many people can a room accommodate?
Our special suites can accommodate a maximum of two or four people per room, depending on the room type. When you select the number of people in your party when you book your room, we display only those rooms that can accommodate you.

How to avoid ending up with the wrong room type

“In the future, if you have specific needs, it is best to ensure they are met before confirming your booking,” Dwayne explained. “If you don’t you might end up with the wrong room type.”

Priceline does have options to select rooms with a specific number of beds. But it’s important to note that those are not offered at the lowest possible Priceline rate.  Alternatively, Elliott Advocacy recommends booking directly with a travel provider. Higher rates may be worth paying to guarantee that you don’t confirm the wrong room type.

Consumers should always attempt to resolve their cases before coming to the Elliott Advocacy for assistance. Observe the three P’s of consumer advocacy — patience, politeness and persistence — when filing a customer service complaint.

Otherwise, like Ball, you may find yourself stuck with a nonrefundable hotel rate for the wrong room type that you can’t use.

Share this story
Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook

Underwritten by

This site is underwritten by Cavalry Travel Insurance

Cavalry takes the worry of out travel by providing 24/7 access to medical and security professionals combined with the best medical evacuation and security extraction services. Cavalry gets you home safely when you need it most. Learn more at Cavalrytravelinsurance.com.

This site is underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at Sodexoinsights.com.

This site is underwritten by Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at Travelexinsurance.com.

This site is underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

This site is underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

This site is underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

This site is underwritten by Enterprise Holdings

A family-owned, world-class portfolio of brands. A global network that spans across more than 85 countries. Some 97,000 dedicated team members sharing common values. And more than 1.9 million vehicles taking our customers wherever they need to go.

This site is underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

This site is underwritten by Insuremyrentalcar.com

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

This site is underwritten by InsureMyTrip

It’s simple. InsureMyTrip finds you the right travel insurance plan, every time. InsureMyTrip is the authority on travel insurance. Rated A+ for travel insurance by the Better Business Bureau. All travelers that purchase a policy through  InsureMyTrip have access to Anytime Advocates® for claims assistance.

This site is underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at  Mediacomcable.com.

This site is underwritten by SCOTTeVEST

An innovative apparel brand for people who want easy access to everything they need. For those who live for every second, SCOTTeVEST lets you maximize your life. Ditch the carry-on bag and pick up a  SCOTTeVEST.

This site is underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit  Virtuoso.com.

This site is underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

This site is underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. Elliott.org readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

This site is underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

This site is underwritten by Sungard Availability Services

Leveraging more than 35 years of experience, Sungard AS designs, builds and runs critical IT services that help businesses manage complex IT, adapt quickly and build resiliency and availability. A leading provider of critical production and recovery services, Sungard AS partners with customers across the globe, delivering resilient IT systems, infrastructure and recovery services tailored to achieving desired business outcomes.

This site is underwritten by TravelInsurance.com

TravelInsurance.com makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at  TravelInsurance.com.

This site is underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on  Squaremouth.com to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

This site is underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, SinglesCruise.com, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

This site is underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.