Is booking.com legit and reliable? Review for 2023
Is booking.com legit and reliable? Can you trust them and book your vacation with them? We will take a look at some facts and evidence in this post to try to answer the above questions.
Booking.com is an OTA (Online Travel Agency) that was established in 1996 and has grown a lot since to become the leader of this industry. The website, simply put, is where hotels list their properties, and users book them through the website.
This company has expanded a lot throughout the years and is now available in over 220 countries and over 40 languages offering approximately 2.7 million properties, including 400,000 hotels, motels, and resorts and 2.3 million homes and apartments. Booking.com also covers flights and entertainment activities.
It is needless to say that Booking.com, Priceline.com, Agoda.com, Kayak.com, Cheapflights, Rentalcars.com, Momondo, and OpenTable are on under the Booking Holdings company.
Is Booking.com Legit?
As you can see on the screenshot below from similarweb, Booking.com had 614M visitors on June 2023, which means many people trust this website. And for sure, a booking website with this many visitors and bookings should be legit, right? Well, yes and no. We will talk more about why you shouldn't trust bookings.
First, you need to know that booking is where most of the accommodation bookings are happening nowadays, meaning that they are a monopoly in this industry, and this has many bad consequences for hotels and users. Let's review the first example.
Triptease is a platform to help hoteliers get more direct bookings and keep more of their revenue for themselves instead of paying it to booking. This way, the user will also get cheaper prices as the hotel price will be lower, and the user is not paying a commission for the booking.
Some years ago, Triptease came up with a solution, quoted from revenue-hub.com:
‘Price Check, said to be live on 8,000 brand sites, allows hotels to display the rates of three OTAs, alongside the hotel’s own rate on the brand homepage. It pops up when the guest has already found the hotel providing one last push down the booking funnel. This, says TripTease, leads to as much as a 35% increase in direct conversions.’
As revenue-hub.com writes about it, In return, Booking sent an email to the hotel owners making sure they do not use this feature as it could end their partnerships.
We have also come up with a solution to this problem. When you install our browser extension Ratepunk and go to any OTA, like booking to book a hotel, we will show you the price of that hotel on all websites! Including the official website of the hotel! (See screenshot below)
This way, you can rest assured that you are always booking the cheapest rate!
In the case of the above example, the direct hotel is 224 euros, Agoda offers 191, and booking offers the same room for 387 euros! So anyone who does not know about this tool will lose so much money!!!!!!
These money differences can have several reasons. There are many tactics played by OTAs to make the user pay more than s/he should. You can read more in-depth about these tactics at our blog Tricks OTAs are playing in 2023 to skyrocket their revenues. Also, keep in mind that we have developed many features such as Rebooking, Price Tracking, and IP change to tackle each of these tactics.
Moving on to the next example, arstechnica.com writes about how the users' personal information has been leaked from booking.com!
The story talks about how the user who booked accommodation through booking.com is receiving emails and messages from different sources asking them to pay on behalf of the hotel or booking. The information provided in these emails has been only disclosed to booking, and as this information can be seen on these emails and messages, it seems like the user information has been leaked!
There is another story on happilyevertravels.com that I recommend reading because it details how booking will trick you into paying extra and how careful you should be in order not to be scammed!
I took this screenshot from the written article.
When it comes to reviews, there are a lot of websites you can check the reviews yourself from, so I might not need to get into so much detail here. However, I will post some recent reviews for you to see. Let's start with Trustpilot.
This was the last review on the website when I opened the page. Let's take a look at the overall review score on consumeraffairs.
As you can see, many users are not happy with booking.com. It is important to consider these reviews because although booking has many issues and many users are booking their vacations without any issues, it is still not guaranteed that it does not happen to you. So when it comes to traveling, try to be on the safe side as it is possible and book your hotel either with the hotel directly or on the OTA that you trust, even if your trusted OTA is booking.
As a bonus point, learn how to use google hotels for your next booking as well.
Frequently asked questions about Booking.com's legitimacy
Is Booking.com legit for flights?
Is has not been a long time since that booking.com has been working on Flights, and there have been some negative reviews shared by users. There are more legit websites, such as Kiwi or Skyscanner, that are more legit when it comes to booking flights.
Is booking com reliable and safe?
Based on the case studies mentioned in this blog, No, the platform is not completely Reliable and Safe, as many stories and reviews indicate that people have been unsatisfied with their services.