What to do if you cannot make it to your non-refundable Priceline stay

Priceline is a great tool when booking hotels, particularly at the last minute, because you can book hotels at a fraction of the cost that you would otherwise have to pay through normal channels. The three main drawbacks about Priceline are:

– You don’t know which hotel you will be staying at until your bid is accepted (although there are ways around this)

– 95% of the time you will not earn any miles and points for your stay

– The reservations are usually non-refundable and prepaid upfront

In any case, there is something you can try if your plans change. While Priceline will be happy to take your money since their rules say no refunds, you can simply call the hotel directly and try to change your reservation to another day that works for you. You have a much better chance of being accommodated, and while there are no guarantees, I have tried this only once before and it worked. We had a non-refundable reservation at the Radisson International Drive in Orlando, FL a year ago, and at the last minute we had to postpone our trip. I called the hotel and made up some family emergency excuse, and I asked them if we could change our stay to the following weekend, and they accommodated us. It really doesn’t cost the hotel any money and they might even get more revenue out of you if you actually show up and spend money on incidentals.

So when your non-refundable reservation hits a roadblock, don’t assume there is nothing else you can do about it. You can try the above and chances are you could get a break.

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