I know that Hotwire and Priceline are great ways to save on
airfare, particularly at the last minute. But what happens if my
flight is cancelled or I need to change my plans? Will my Hotwire-
or Priceline-issued tickets still be valid on another flight or
Thanks for answering.
Jamaica Plain, MA
I have good and bad news for you. The
good news is, when you buy a ticket on Hotwire or Priceline and your
flight is cancelled, you will be offered the same re-accommodations or
compensation as any other passenger. The same holds true when there is a
strike or job action. To make things a little easier, according to both
Hotwire and Priceline, customers will always be able to access a customer
services representative when they need assistance with flight issues.
The bad news is that you cannot change your ticket on your own. All
purchases made through Hotwire
are final and cannot be cancelled, refunded, changed, or exchanged. Once
you agree to make a purchase, your credit card will be charged for the
total price shown, regardless of whether the airline ticket is used. You
will not receive any credit for unused airline tickets. The only exception
is if you purchase travel insurance through Priceline. But this insurance
only applies in the event that you or your traveling companion suffers
injury, sickness, or death.
One last thing: be sure to take the exact flight you booked. A friend of
mine, a gate agent who works for a major airline, stated that numerous
Priceline and Hotwire customers have missed their scheduled flights by
assuming they would be put on the next flight. If you miss your scheduled
flight by your own fault, do not expect to be put on the next flight. Most
airlines will charge you for a new full-fare ticket.
As strict as Hotwire and Priceline may seem, keep in mind that these
restrictions are what allow airlines to better manage their unsold seats,
which in turn, allows you to purchase cheaper fares
I hope I've been helpful. Happy travels!
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