NORWALK, For all travelers’ efforts to avoid overpaying while traveling, many overlook the “package hack,” a simple step that can cost them hundreds of dollars. Can save first. A package hack occurs when a flight, hotel and/or rental car are bundled into a single transaction online, versus separate. On average, Priceline® customers who did this saved $240 per transaction. To help travelers capture millions of available dollars, Priceline announced today that it has formally relaunched its package product following an extensive internal re-engineering.
Priceline redesigned the product with an eye toward mobile booking, which is now the dominant way travelers book travel online. Priceline is the only online travel agency with bundle booking capability that is compatible with MobileBooker. The new site is streamlined and intuitive, allowing users to mix and match options to generate the most savings and save with fewer clicks.
A prominent feature included in the new BookingPath is its recommendation engine, built by the Priceline data science team. The recommendation engine distills millions of data points in milliseconds into recommendations that are tailored to that specific traveler. The best deals that Priceline has privately negotiated with airlines, hotels and car rental agencies are available as part of bundle bookings. Many of these prices are only available to Priceline customers.
“Priceline.com negotiates many deals that you can’t find anywhere else,” said Brett Keller, CEO of Priceline. “Our new package Path brings these deals together in one place, allowing you to maximize your savings. You can find the flight you want, the hotel you want, the car you want, and can bundle together the deals we’ve negotiated for each of them. We call this the ‘package hack’ because most people aren’t aware of it – there’s a widespread perception that prices are a are the same no matter where you shop. If you purchase a package, or simply open our mobile app, you’ll quickly see that this impression is not true.”
The Package Hack: Why It Works
Package savings are possible due to industry-leading pricing practices. When a traveler books a flight, hotel or rental car at the same time, Priceline is able to sell them all at one bundled rate, often at a steep discount. Historically, travelers who didn’t take advantage of bundle bookings left millions of dollars unclaimed. A Priceline analysis revealed that in 2017, Priceline customers who booked their flight first and their hotel later — the most common booking pattern — inadvertently left nearly $60 million on the table.
Priceline has since extended the bundling window for travelers who prefer to book their flights in advance. Today, Priceline customers can realize the benefits of bundle booking weeks after making their first decision. If they choose to add hotels later, substantial package savings remain available. Savings will automatically be applied at checkout, with no additional steps required.
Last-Minute and Plan-Ahead Options: Europe, Mexico and the US
However, the data science team at Priceline found that two types of travel yielded the most package savings: trips booked within a few days of travel, and trips booked for more than 90 days.
The most popular destinations also offer the biggest bundle savings. Europe is a particularly attractive option for an American tourist. Europe can get the biggest savings – up to $1,100 per person on Priceline – when booked between eight and 14 days before travel. This represents a savings of up to 40% off retail prices.
The most popular international destination for Americans is Mexico, which is one of the best options for booking a bundle.
In the United States, Hawaii, San Francisco and Washington, DC, are three markets that offer exceptional savings for bundle bookings:
- A typical bundled transaction involves two travelers. Bundled trips to Hawaii for two people, when booked eight to 14 days prior to travel, can offer $760 in savings.
- Last-minute trips to San Francisco are a standout option. When booked within two days of travel, trips for two to San Francisco can offer $570 in savings on Priceline.
- The same is true of Washington, DC. When booked within two days, bundled trips for two can offer $665 in savings per person. When booked 60-90 days prior to travel, those trips can deliver $475 in savings.
Guilt-Free Luxury and Weekend Getaways
Package bookings are especially popular with travelers who want to stay in more luxurious accommodations without paying high-end retail prices. A full 40% of bundle bookings on Priceline include a hotel rated four stars or higher. With savings of $240 per trip, the packages effectively allow travelers to pay 2- and 3-star rates for 4- and 5-star hotels.
Because package savings show up within a week of travel, they’re ideal for Americans planning a last-minute weekend getaway.
Priceline is part of Booking Holdings Inc. Priceline offers travelers smart, easy ways to save on hotel, airline, rental car reservations, packages and cruises. With Priceline, travelers can save at every stage, freeing them to travel further and travel better.