March 05, 2013

New technologies help travelers lower hotel prices


A host of new apps are offering steep discounts on hotel stays, particularly last-minute bookings. Tingo, which is owned by TripAdvisor, says that travelers have a 20 percent chance of getting at least some money back. The typical rebate is $50, according to the company.

When Amy Eisen originally booked a weeklong vacation to celebrate her 30th anniversary, she was looking at a $3,749 hotel bill.

But Eisen reserved her room at the all-inclusive Sanctuary Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic through a new travel site, Tingo.com. Each day, the booking site automatically checked to see if the hotel lowered its price for the nights Eisen was staying there. Eventually, the price fell. Tingo canceled Eisen's original reservation and rebooked her at the new, lower rate. Her savings: $1,874.

"I would not have considered that you could continue to ask: Are there any discounts? Are there any discounts? Are there any discounts?" said the Wynnewood, Pa., psychologist. "I don't think most people would. You book it and think this is the best price I can get."

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