Expedia vs. Priceline: Comparing the Top Travel Booking Platforms
Are you in the midst of planning a trip and can’t decide which travel booking site to use? How about Priceline and Expedia? These two behemoths of the travel industry provide many choices for flights, hotels, rental cars, and more. However, determining which one is the best fit for your needs is not always straightforward, as both Priceline and Expedia possess distinct strengths and weaknesses.
Previously we wrote about Favorite Hotel Price Comparison Tools Kayak, Trivago And RatePunk
Shortly About Expedia
Expedia Group, an American-based company established by Rich Barton in 1996, in Redmond, Washington, is a prominent player in the online travel shopping sector. It serves as a support system for both consumers and small travel businesses. Presently headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Expedia Group operates through a range of subsidiaries including Orbitz, Travelocity, Trivago NV, CheapTickets, HomeAway, Hotels.com, Hotwire, VRBO, Ebookers,and more.
Expedia Group primarily focuses on fares and meta-search engines, all revolving around the travel industry. When it comes to competition, Expedia faces prominent rivals such as Carnival Corporation, Priceline, Booking, Airbnb, and TripAdvisor in the travel and online booking sphere. These companies provide stiff competition to Expedia in the ever-evolving travel industry.
Pros of Expedia
- Everything in one place. Expedia offers a wide range of travel services, catering to various needs. Whether you're planning a cruise, looking for an all-inclusive package, or simply searching for a budget-friendly flight, Expedia provides a convenient one-stop booking system to meet your requirements.
- User-Friendly Interface. With the Expedia app, travel booking becomes effortless. The user-friendly search system allows you to easily find what you're looking for. Apply filters to refine your search and discover personalized deals tailored to your preferences. It's a convenient and efficient way to plan your holiday.
- Group Travel Options. Planning a trip with your friends? Expedia offers group rates, making it convenient for you to organize a memorable getaway. Simply indicate the number of people in your group, along with your preferred dates, budget, and expectations. Fill out the necessary information, and Expedia will provide you with a tailored quote. Your friends will appreciate your efforts!
- Expedia Rewards Program. With Expedia Rewards, you can enjoy a rewarding travel experience. Earn points as you book eligible items and access exclusive membership discounts. These points can be redeemed for future holidays, allowing you to save even more on your travels. Join the program and reap the benefits of being an Expedia Rewards member.
- ChatGPT Integration. This upgrade helps users to arrange the trip by AI rather than spending time doing everything on your own.
Cons of Expedia
- Cancellation Restrictions and Customer Service Experience. Please note that cancellations can only be made within 24 hours of purchase with Expedia. If you choose to cancel after this timeframe, charges may apply. Additionally, it is important to be aware that the customer service experience with Expedia has been reported as slow and not customer oriented. If you encounter any issues, resolving them with the customer service team may prove challenging.
- Limited Upgrade Options. Expedia's website offers limited opportunities for upgrades across various aspects of your travel. Unfortunately, there are few options available to enhance or upgrade your booking through the website.
Even though Expedia may sound like a grand hotel booking platform, remember to use RatePunk. This browser extension will help you a lot: it compares prices, provides cashback, rebooking, and price tracking features, word cloud highlights hotel features, works on Airbnb, and also has a VPN proxy. All these amazing things make RatePunk one of the most user-friendly travel tools!
Priceline, a renowned travel agency headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, is widely recognized for its ability to discover ongoing offers and discounted rates for various travel-related purchases. In addition to airline tickets, Priceline also provides information on hotel and accommodation prices, catering to the comprehensive needs of travelers.
Operating as a subsidiary under the Booking holdings company (Yes, the same Booking people so love) , Priceline collaborates with other entities such as Lowestfare LLC, Travelweb LLC, Getaroom, and Priceline International Ltd. Priceline was originally founded in 1997 by Scott Case and Jay S Walker, and in 2016, Brett Keller assumed the position of CEO.
Pros of Priceline
- An extensive range of services in one place. As one of the leading online travel brands, Expedia offers a full range of services to assist travelers in planning their vacations or business trips. The offerings available on Expedia encompass a wide spectrum, including hotels, vacation rentals, rental cars, flights, attractions, activities, cruises, services, and vacation packages. Everything can be conveniently found in one place, streamlining the travel planning process.
- Priceline VIP Loyalty Program. Priceline offers a loyalty program called Priceline VIP, which provides exclusive discounts and benefits to its members. Signing up for Priceline VIP is free and instantly unlocks access to these special perks.
- Priceline App. With the Priceline app, you can access exclusive discounts and offers. You can take advantage of "Tonight-Only Deals" for last-minute discounted rates and use "Road Deals" to find hotels along your route during road trips. The app provides additional opportunities to save and enhance your travel experience.
Cons of Priceline
- Different Deals on App & Website version. The Priceline website and app offer distinct deals. Certain deals are exclusive to either the website or the app. For instance, the website introduces a unique feature called "Pricebreakers." With this website-only feature, you have the opportunity to book one of three similar hotels at a deeply discounted rate. However, the specific hotel you'll stay at remains undisclosed until the booking is confirmed. On the other hand, the app showcases the notable "Tonight-Only Deals." This exclusive deal, available solely on the app, presents substantial savings on hotel bookings for the current night only.
- Priceline's Refund Policy. It's crucial to note that many Priceline bookings are strictly nonrefundable. While there may have been adjustments to policies due to COVID-19, canceling a booking or obtaining a refund can still be challenging, if not impossible, with Priceline. This applies not only to regular bookings but especially to deeply discounted rates like Priceline Express Deals. Make sure to carefully review the refund policy before making a reservation to avoid any potential complications.
- Occupancy Limitations. It is important to note that Priceline's occupancy guarantee for hotel rooms is limited to only two people. In the United States, hotels generally accommodate up to four individuals per room. However, Priceline's policy may pose a challenge if you have a larger party exceeding two people. It is advisable to consider this limitation when making your reservations through Priceline.
Is Expedia or Priceline Better?
Although we slightly favor Expedia's interface and ChatGPT integration, Priceline stands out by offering more deals for travelers. Moreover, third-party review platforms indicate that Priceline has better customer service. Regardless of the platform you ultimately choose, both travel sites make trip planning a breeze, allowing you to piece together the puzzle effortlessly. Additionally, they offer discounted pricing, resulting in a win-win situation for travelers.
However, you should always check if it's truly a great bargain. And you can do it with RatePunk.
You read about Expedia vs. Priceline, what about Agoda vs Booking?