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  #501  
Old 09 July 2017, 09:15 PM
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I pretty much only check Expedia, and rarely even make it to page 2 of their results. Guess I'm lazy.
  #502  
Old 09 July 2017, 11:38 PM
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I have looked on many sites to find a place that's cheap and not so hotel-like but usually the choices are limited by various other factors and one site is enough.
  #503  
Old 10 July 2017, 01:40 AM
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Also, there seems to have been a lot of consolidation among those comparison sites. When booking our upcoming Orlando trip, we noticed that the search results (including ranked order), prices, and (most tellingly) graphic design elements on the results pages were identical among several of the supposedly competing sites.

Yep, looks like they're almost all under the Expedia umbrella these days:

Quote:
Expedia, Inc. is an American travel company that owns and operates several international global online travel brands, primarily travel fare aggregator websites and travel metasearch engines including Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Hotwire.com, trivago, Venere.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, and HomeAway.

The company operates more than 200 travel booking websites in more than 75 countries, and has listings for more than 350,000 hotels and 500 airlines.[4]
(From Wikipedia)
  #504  
Old 10 July 2017, 02:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
I check 2 websites.

I check a site like Expedia, Trivago, Hotels.com etc. I have found them to all have the same prices between them.

Then I check the websites of the hotel themselves. Some times the hotel has a better deal (and more perks).
I discovered this when my expedia-based reservation fell through (which I found out on attempting to check-in) and the place had no vacancies. Looking on expedia's page, there were no other hotels with a vacancy in the area. But then I found a hotel just down the interstate that was closer to where I wanted to be anyways and not only had vacancies, but was one that I had looked at previously and 1) was more expensive and 2) had (as noted) been fully booked by then according to expedia.

When I called to tell expedia they sucked, the original location had told me they didn't have a room for me, and they needed to refund my payment I also asked about the discrepancy in vacancy/cost with the new hotel. Apparently the travel sites negotiate rates and are (or were at the time) allotted a certain number of rooms to fill at those rates, and those rates may be way off from what the actual hotel is charging and may run out before the hotel is actually full. Or something like that.
  #505  
Old 10 July 2017, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASL View Post
Apparently the travel sites negotiate rates and are (or were at the time) allotted a certain number of rooms to fill at those rates, and those rates may be way off from what the actual hotel is charging and may run out before the hotel is actually full. Or something like that.
Well yes, generally the travel sites aren't tying into real-time access to a hotel's available inventory and acting as reservations agents for them. They're more like retailers who buy up hotel room inventory at wholesale prices and resell it at discounted retail prices.
  #506  
Old 10 July 2017, 10:43 AM
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I hadn't realised that, but it does explain how it manages to work reliably... I always worry when booking through TripAdvisor or Booking.com that something will go wrong in communicating back to the hotel, and I'll end up without a room when I get there. Which has never happened, but doesn't stop me worrying. I wondered how small hotels all seemed to manage to have a reliable API to their own booking systems...
  #507  
Old 10 July 2017, 12:51 PM
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I have had mostly good experiences when booking any hotel online (one of the few transactions where I've found everyone wants it to go through seamlessly).

However, there have been hiccoughs that I have run into too. Biggest one: if your flight gets delayed by a day, you can't call the hotel to let them know, they don't hold your booking. You have to call the customer service for the website where you booked it. And they may not be very forgiving.

I've not been bit by this yet, but in both instances where this has happened, I had to do the "running" between hotel and website to negotiate my new dates and fees. One time it was easy, and it took all of about five minutes to resolve. The other time, it appeared that I was off the hook because the hotel could sell their room anyways and that they would reconcile that with the booking site.
  #508  
Old 10 July 2017, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
if your flight gets delayed by a day, you can't call the hotel to let them know, they don't hold your booking. You have to call the customer service for the website where you booked it. And they may not be very forgiving.
Really? I've booked through Expedia and then called the hotel directly more than once without issue (because when you're driving, and you leave Seattle at 5:30 pm, there's no way you'll get to Spokane before nine).

Seaboe
  #509  
Old 10 July 2017, 03:20 PM
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I did not want to mention the booking website (free advertising and all) but it was not Expedia. But the current advertising agency has a bearded man in a red uniform making very obvious statements.

I don't have enough experience to say whether it was a web company thing, a hotel thing, an international booking thing (booked from Canada for hotels in Europe and Asia) or a personality thing. And in the end, I did not end up on the hook for either one. So, I may be making much ado about very little.

As I said, one was quite quick and easy, and the other depended upon whether the hotel thought they could sell that room that night. It may be entirely up to the circumstances.
  #510  
Old 10 July 2017, 08:13 PM
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UEL-
I've had experiences similar to what you've described. Another oddity is that in a couple cases the hotels I've stayed at have been unable to provide a receipt for my stay (needed for my expense report). I have to go to the online booking agency to get a receipt.
  #511  
Old 10 July 2017, 11:00 PM
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Why does the Edmund Fitzgerald appear to be flying a Canadian flag in this picture? It was an American ship, was it not?
  #512  
Old 10 July 2017, 11:12 PM
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Re: the Edmund Fitz. I don't know if it was ever Canadian flagged, but I know some countries require foreign merchants transiting their waters, specifically their internal waters (inshore of the baseline) to fly their flag. Not sure if Canada has such a policy, but as a great lakes merchant it is possible the Edmund Fitzgerald could have entered Canadian internal waters. Actually I think the lakes themselves are considered internal waters of the US and Canada, even beyond the 12nm limit (though I'm not 100% on that).

ETA: Hopefully you can see this. It's supposed to be a picture I took of a US Coast Guard Cutter flying the flag of Iraq from its mast (it was on an Iraqi river, about to pull into Umm Qasr):

Last edited by ASL; 10 July 2017 at 11:22 PM. Reason: Illustrations
  #513  
Old 11 July 2017, 12:41 AM
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I don't think that is the Canadian flag, but I can't tell what it is. I can't place the other flags flying either. The yellow flag flying lower, appears to be the signal flag for the letter I.

Incidentally, when I have seen the American flag flying in pictures of the Edmund Fitzgerald, its on the angled mast on the stern which is empty in that picture.
  #514  
Old 11 July 2017, 12:54 AM
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I'm pretty sure I'm right on this. Apparently it's called a courtesy flag. Granted it's an uncited claim in a wiki article, but you do have my picture above of a USCG vessel doing the same (commissioned US Navy warships do not employ courtesy flags):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
A courtesy flag (or courtesy ensign) is flown by a visiting ship in foreign waters as a token of respect. It is often a small (that is, smaller than the ship's own national ensign) national maritime flag of the host country, although there are countries (such as Malta) where the national, rather than the maritime flag is correct. The flag is customarily worn at the foremasthead of multi-masted vessels, the dockside yardarm or crosstree of the mast of single-masted vessels, while the house flag would be outboard. It may be flown from the jackstaff of vessels without masts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
Incidentally, when I have seen the American flag flying in pictures of the Edmund Fitzgerald, its on the angled mast on the stern which is empty in that picture.
I don't know about merchant ships, but on US Navy ships, the flag flies from the stern when in port or at anchor, but from the masthead when underway. The announcement to make the switch would be "underway, shift colors" or "moored, shift colors."
  #515  
Old 11 July 2017, 05:40 AM
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Here is more information on the rules and traditions of courtesy flags. I see most ships entering the port of Hamburg flying a German flag as a courtesy flag.
  #516  
Old 11 July 2017, 08:58 AM
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Well now this is all very fascinating. From the above, it would appear it's mostly an unwritten custom/courtesy and practices vary widely but it's definitely a thing.
  #517  
Old 11 July 2017, 12:47 PM
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Does your choice of icon suggest that all posts should fly a courtesy flag when entering German internet space?
  #518  
Old 11 July 2017, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Enrico View Post
Does your choice of icon suggest that all posts should fly a courtesy flag when entering German internet space?
Courtesy flags are for conformists!!!!
  #519  
Old 11 July 2017, 04:37 PM
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I thought we were having the piracy discussion in Amusement Bark?
  #520  
Old 12 July 2017, 01:57 PM
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No discussion stays in its original forum for long, ASL. You should know that by now.

Seaboe
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