MoneyDon't Waste Your Money


DWYM: Beware third-party hotel deals

DWYM: Beware third-party hotel deals
Posted at 2:05 PM, Jun 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-07 15:09:46-04

Remember those $59 airfares last fall?

And hotel rates that were as low as $75? were as low as 75 dollars.

But this year, hotel rates are rising quickly, if you are planning a summer trip.

With demand surging, hotels are raising rates.

And in some cases that rate hike could happen after you booked your rooms.

Latisha Walker found a great deal at a Miami Beach hotel.

It was just $411 for a three-night girl's getaway through the travel site

"It was booked, it was paid," Walker said. "I got a confirmation number."

But when her group arrived in Miami, Walker got some bad news.

The hotel had canceled their reservation.

"They said that was through a third party," Walker said. "They said we canceled with that third party back in January."

A hotel clerk said the low rate was in error, since it was spring break season.

"They said they canceled with them, because the pricing was too cheap at the time because it was spring break," Walker said.

The worst part is Walker says she didn't know the rate was going up until she arrived at the hotel and they ended up having to pay triple the price for the same hotel!

"$1,930 and 14 cents," she said.

CNBC says hotels nationwide are raising rates back up to pre-pandemic levels this year.

Travel experts say to protect yourself:

  • Avoid reservations that say "rates subject to change."
  • Save a copy of the booking receipt on your phone.
  • And if you prepay, that's a contract, so make sure they honor it.

We contacted Agoda -- a Singapore-based third-party travel site -- and asked if they could refund at least some of what Walker paid for the new room.

Walker learned a hard lesson and says with next girl's getaway, she's booking with the hotel directly.

"It was a disaster," she said.

Third-party travel sites can offer some great deals.

But remember you are not dealing directly with the hotel or airline, so keep records and don’t waste your money