Priceline's New Path

Physician's Money Digest, June2005, Volume 12, Issue 9

The days of naming your own pricefor hotels and airfare are coming to aclose. Priceline.com has relaunched itsWeb site to transform it into a productthat is more in the Expedia vein. On theoriginal Priceline site, a doctor lookingfor a vacation deal would submit a reasonablebid on a hotel or airfare for aspecific date and wait for a company toaccept their offer. If the bid was accepted,the user's credit card would automaticallybe billed the nonrefundable price. Thedownside was that the user wouldn'tknow exactly in what hotel they would bestaying, what airline they were flying, orwhat time their flight left until the transactionwas complete. Although the priceswere low, being kept in the dark was a littleoff-putting. With the relaunch of thesite, users will be able to purchase roomsor tickets fully informed. The bidding featurewill still be available, but will take abackseat to the more mainstream product.