- Hotwire has Hot Rate hotels with prices guaranteed lower than any other travel site, through unsold hotel rooms
- Hotwire claims that airline suppliers use Hotwire.com to sell their “unsold seats at wholesale airfare prices“, sometimes at savings of 40% off (this claim has not been verified)
- Hotwire Guarantees you won’t find a lower price, or they will “double the difference“
- No payments for 90 days on bookings over $250 with Hotwire ‘Bill Me Later‘
- Two airfare types: Limited and Retail. Limited (wholesale) airfares may save you up to 40% or more, but you don’t see the airline name and exact time departure times until after you book. Retail Fares show flight details before you book.
Our Editor’s Review:
The hotel prices on Hotwire are hard to beat. Okay, we admit the Hotwire travel website is different. When you search for a hotel, you do not see the actual names of the hotels. You will be provided with a “price“, a “location” (an exact neighborhood), and a “star rating“. So, you need to be a little flexible here, and not too picky about the hotel brand.
We like Hotwire for when you need to book a quick couple of hotel nights, especially if you are familiar with the area that you will be staying. You can look at a map of the neighborhood where the hotel is located, and if you know that the area is good, then this will help you make your choice. Hotwire claims that you won’t find better prices for the hotels, because they are selling unsold hotel inventory that they have exclusive dibbs on. In fact, Hotwire guarantees that you will not find a lower price for that exact hotel anywhere online within 48 hours of booking, or they will double the difference. We think that this guarantee is actually quite good. Immediately after booking, check to see if you can book the same hotel anywhere else online for less. If you do, it’s time to take Hotwire up on their “Double the Difference” Best Price Guarantee. Make sure to take screenshots, document everything, and read the terms of this guarantee before you contact Hotwire.
The Hotwire travel site is easy to navigate. Since Hotwire’s search engine doesn’t pull up 100′s of hotel names and reviews to search through, you generally only have a few choices based on star rating and neighborhood. Hotwire is by far the quickest travel website to get a hotel. We are also fans of Hotwire’s 30-day flexible airline search. You can quickly find the cheapest days for airfare to your destination, and the wholesale clearance prices are tough to beat.
Hotwire has been getting online complaints recently because their hotel star ratings are inconsistent. This makes some people worry that Hotwire is a scam. We highly suggest booking only “4 star” hotels or “5 star” hotels on Hotwire, because there have been reports that their “star rating” is not at all consistent with what you would find on other hotel rating websites.
Hotwire claims that for “Hotwire Hot Rate” hotels that their star-rating is based on the “average rating on 3 top travel sites” which are then, “adjusted” based on customer feedback. We found this to be quite vague. Hotwire does not mention what “top 3 sites” they get these ratings from, nor do they explain how they “adjust” these ratings… According to Hotwire, if you book a “3.5 star” hotel room, it could be a Hilton, Radisson, DoubleTree or even less “fancy” than those well-known hotel brands. Whereas, a “4 star” on Hotwire is supposed to be more like a Weston.
Not to sound like a broken record, but we suggest that you stick with booking 4-star and 5-star hotels on Hotwire, as the quality is rumored to be better. Do not count out the 3.5-star hotels, especially in areas where 4-star hotels do not exist, as some smashing deals can be found here (we’ve seen $26 a night advertised, before taxes/fees). Keep in mind, the quality of a Hotwire 3.5 star hotel may not be what you typically would expect of a 3.5 star hotel as rated on another travel site. Hotwire customers have been lured into booking cheap 2 star or 3 star hotels that end up not meeting their expectations and then they come onto websites (such as this one) to complain that Hotwire is a scam. In our opinion, this doesn’t make Hotwire a scam. Just remember that you get what you pay for, and unfortunately Hotwire is no different. True, you can book a super cheap 2 star hotel, but you probably will be less than happy.
Hotwire Fees & Policies:
- No booking fee for airfare.
- Variable booking fee for hotels (based on the amount and location of the reservation), which is not refundable.
- “Limited Rate” (clearance) Flights: Completely non-refundable and non-changeable.
- “Hotwire Rate” (retail) Flights: $35 fee by Hotwire.com to change a flight (when allowed by airline), plus any applicable airline charges and penalties.
- Hotels are completely non-refundable and non-changeable.
- Hotels booked with “Book with Assurance“, are cancellable within 60 minutes of booking the hotel. The refund will be in “Hot Dollars”, which are good for any future Hotwire.com purchase.
*Based solely on research done by TravelSiteCritic.com, these figures may be inaccurate and are subject to change.Verify policies with Hotwire before you book. Please be aware of airfare taxes & fees, applicable to any booking that includes airfare.
Hotwire Coupon Codes & Deals:
Hotwire Customer Reviews:
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