Priceline is a very popular online travel agency (OTA) which not only lets you find low-priced and discounted flights, you can also book reservations, accommodation and rental cars. The travel website called Priceline.com has been in service since the 90s, and now it is a subsidiary of the Booking Holdings company.
If you are looking for cheap and discounted airfares for your travel, Priceline has the best airfares it can offer to consumers.
In this travel guide, we will show you in detail how to book cheap flights on Priceline’s website.
How to Search and Book Low-Priced Flights on Priceline
The following steps will help you find cheap flights and also, book your reservation online via their website.
Searching Flights on Priceline
Visit Priceline’s website Priceline.com on your desktop/laptop computer, tablet. Once on the site’s homepage, click the Flights tab.
Clicking the tab will bring up the search box. Here, you can choose your travel dates and locations. Click the “Departing – Returning” field on the right hand side and look for your desired dates on the calendar. In case your departure city has more than one major airport, you can either choose one to see results flying out of all area airports or you can restrict your search to one airport by selecting its specific code called IATA code. This also applies to choosing the destination airport in the city you are travelling to.
Underneath the Flights tab, you will see options for flight itineraries – round-trip, one-way and multi-city.
Choose to search for round-trip, one-way, or multi-destination tickets that include multiple departure and arrival cities. If you select a multi-city route, you will see the “+ Add another flight” button right below the location fields. You can build your itinerary from up to five one-way flights, in contrast to searching for a round-trip flight from a single origin to a single destination.
You will need to select the number of travellers and fare class from the corresponding drop-down boxes. After making your desired selections, click the “Find your flight” button to proceed with your search.
In case you are flexible with your choice of destinations and you want to compare the cheapest round-trip airfares on the same dates, you will be required to carry out two separate searches. For example, if you are flying the New York City to Paris, but you are flexible to fly to London instead, you can compare the round-trip airfares for these destinations.
Understanding the Search Results
Once your search is processed and completed, it will display several results on the site. Also, along with the results, you will see a couple of other things as well, like alerts, deals, and more.
Among many things on the results page, you will see a box at the top that shows alerts, particularly if there are other days close to your selection of dates that might be cheaper. Here, you will see date options, the lowest airfare, and how much you can save. Also, right below that, you will see Express Deals offered to you if these are available for your travel dates. You will see your flight options for your selected dates, with the lowest prices option displayed first. Priceline also has the ability to show which flights you can cancel for free within 24 hours. These are indicated via icons that further help identify whether advance seat assignment or carry-on luggage are included.
Filtering Your Search Results
You can use filters on Priceline to narrow down your search results in order to better determine which flight itinerary is best for you. For instance, there is a sidebar to the left of the flight results page that allows you to filter flights by departure and arrival times for each leg of your journey, the duration of travel, the airlines, and the number of stops. Also, it shows you the lowest airfare associated with each number of stops. If one of your destinations spans multiple airports, you can also include or exclude specific airports by checking or unchecking the boxes listed under “Airports”.
You can further modify the selection of desired cabin classes and flexible dates by clicking the “More Options” link located in the main search box. The drop-down box displays the economy class option by default, however, you can change that by choosing the premium economy, business, and first options from the drop-down menu list.
Getting More from Express Deals
When purchasing flights, Priceline offers “Express Deals” which can help you with savings on your travel budget. Express Deals are basically those bookings that offer pre-negotiated prices. Also, such deals only let you in on sparse details before you complete the transaction, like departure and arrival airports, general time-frames (morning, afternoon, or evening), a handful of potential “trusted airlines” illustrated by their logos, and whether or not carry-on luggage and advanced seat assignments.
Priceline sometimes may show you exactly how much you are saving, but at other times, it will just give you a close percentage. However, you will not know your exact flight time, airline carrier, or layover information until you book your flight.
Express Deals can offer discounts that range from 5% up to 40%. Bear in mind that there is no way to search specifically for these deals. These deals are usually displayed when you are making last-minute flight searches, especially on long-haul flights, where the flight prices are generally more expensive, pretty much.
You can compare flight times, major and low-cost airline carriers, and airfares and get a sense of the value of the discount the deal offers. However, Priceline keeps these deals hidden, so you most likely will not find flights from any of the Express Deal’s “trusted airlines” that are listed in the general search results. If you want to find the Express Deal before booking your flight, you may search on Google Flights or Kayak and compare the results against the Express Deal.
Express Deals are non-refundable. This means when you book a flight, it locks you into the deal even if it turns out to be less than desirable. Regardless, it is always a good idea to shop around, including running searches on sites like Google Flights and Momondo along with airline booking sites and other OTAs, before going for an Express Deal, even if you are a flexible traveler.
Booking Flights on Priceline
Once you have selected your desired flight itinerary, you will then need to provide passenger information and payment details. After that, you will need to wait for a little for flight confirmation, and soon after receiving your flight confirmation via e-mail, you are ready to prepare for your travel.
Be sure to read Priceline’s cancellation policy. In a gist, Priceline allows 24 hours to cancel or change your flight without penalty. However, in certain situations, you can extend the cancellation period to 72 hours. Priceline allows you to cancel many tickets free of charge until 23:29 hours ET (Eastern Time) the next business day. So, for instance, if you book your flight on a Friday, you can cancel your flight ticket until 23:59 hours ET on the following Monday, and without penalty.
Priceline is a very useful travel website that lets you search and book flights easily, and offers cheap prices, too. Although it may have certain limitations, but the prices offered and its flexible cancellation policies allows more customers to use its services and also make significant savings.