Priceline FlightsPriCline Flights
If you are not familiar, non-transparent fares are completely non-refundable and non-modifiable (there is a difference), i.e. "you buy it, you travel it", even if you are willing to settle for $200 (the average charge to modify a national fare). Are you stuck on the Van Wyck or the 405 and miss your plane?
No. You will not be placed on the next available ticket unless you are willing to buy a very costly "walk up" rate. Usual ground rules don't work. The U.S. Department of Transportation's "free 24-hour cancellation" does not even count for these air fares. If these D.O.T. cancelation regulations were applicable to non-transparent fares, a user could make a reservation without having knowledge of all the detail and then cancels it free of charge if the timetable, the carrier or other unfavourable circumstances were to affect them as soon as everything became known.
A solicitor specialising in travelling rights, Daniel Zim finds a little fischig some other regulations that the D.O.T. Priceline has passed on free of charge. Although Priceline's express fares are indeed almost always lower than the "published" fares, they are not always so much lower that it is always profitable to take a risk.
Looking for a New York to LA for a September 9-11 journey, I found an obscure price of $306 on Priceline, but Expedia had the same Frontier itinerary data for $340 round trips (albeit with tedious departures and layovers). Apropos Frontier, if you purchase a Priceline Express ticket and determine that it is on Frontier Airlines, Spirit or Allegiant, you will be met with a charge for a carry-on luggage pocket (about $50 these same days, round trip) that could eliminate some of the benefits.
Even non-transparent fares may not be suitable for earning frequency points or mileage, which could reduce the value for some people. There is a good chance that anyone who books a very cheap non-transparent trade on Priceline, in combination with a long stay with a horrible carrier, will be at the end of the line if something goes awry on a plane.
Years ago I rented a NYOP room for a sojourn in LA on Priceline and ended up at the Standard West Hollywood City. "Find the right traveller's credential for your application and make up to 40,000 points or $400.