Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday's Freebie: Priceline's New Freebie Finder

A hot breakfast, a pass to a local gym or parking lot, activity kits for the kids--these types of giveaways  not only make a hotel stay more pleasant, they can also be serious money savers. Which is why I was happy to see Priceline's new freebie searcher debut three weeks ago. 
A full English Breakfast can keep you full through lunch! Photo by Paul Sapiano

I decided, at that time, not to write it up right away as it was a bit glitchy. A lot of the "freebies" listed were, in reality, just purported discounts off the daily rate (ie not a freebie, and in a number of cases I checked, not that great a deal, either). I'm hoping that these issues will be solved by the time you read this blog.

As with regular bookings on Priceline, users input a city to see a list of options. Here, however, the customer doesn't input dates into the freebie finder which is a bit of a hassle. Once he finds a freebie he likes, he must then hit the calendar to see if its being offered on the dates he's traveling. 

William Shatner, if you're listening: lets reverse the search order. Have users put in dates alongside the names of the city they're searching, then you guys let them know if freebies will be available. That's sort of what does for car rentals (it applies discount codes not freebies, but its the same concept), so the technology must be there. 

Another good source for hotel freebies: It'll be interesting to see whether this little start-up competes with the better known Priceline on this front. They pioneered the freebie search for hotels, but it looks like their thunder's been stolen.

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