Snag deals on flights, cars, hotels and vacation packages.
Hotwire negotiates with travel companies around the globe in order to offer its customers discounted airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars and vacation packages.
What can I book with Hotwire.com?
- Hotels. Hotwire.com is known for finding some of the cheapest hotel rooms out there.
- Flights. Search for round-trip or one-way tickets to any destination.
- Car rentals. Just enter your pickup location and travel dates, and Hotwire.com will find you a rental car at a great rate.
- Vacation packages. Choose any combination of hotels, flights and car rentals to save even more on your vacay.
Book your hotel, flight, car or vacation package using:
- American Express
You can also use HotDollars toward any Hot Rate Car or Hot Rate Hotel booking on Hotwire.com. One HotDollar equals one US dollar and is available for one year from the date it’s issued. Registered Hotwire users can earn HotDollars by booking flights, hotels and more on Hotwire.com. Note that if you choose to cancel or change a hotel or car rental that you book using HotDollars, you will not get those HotDollars back.
What is Hotwire.com’s cancellation policy?
The cancellation policy for each booking changes depending on the service that you have booked, the country that you have booked in and the company that it has been booked through. Your full cancellation policy will be included on your booking and can be read before you make your purchase.
It’s important to note that any Hot Rate booking is considered final, and they cannot be cancelled, refunded, exchanged, transferred or changed in any way. If you’re unable to commit to your stay, you’ll end up paying out of pocket.
Can I change my flight or hotel room?
You may be able to change your flight or hotel, depending on the specific terms of the company with which you booked. You can find the details of your cancellation policy both in your confirmation email and by logging into your Hotwire account.
Are Hotwire.com cancellations free?
Some cancellations may be made without a penalty, but this will depend on the specific terms of the company with which you booked. If you paid using HotDollars, you will not be reimbursed should you change or cancel your booking.
When’s the next sale?
Hotwire.com occasionally holds special sales and promotions, where you could save a little extra cash when you book certain hotels or car rentals. For example, you might see a sale that offers an extra $10 off Hot Rate Hotels costing $100 or more.
It’s also worth noting that Hotwire.com does sales and savings a bit differently than many other online booking agencies. Hotwire typically offers “mystery” or “surprise” hotels, meaning that the names of the hotels are withheld until you book a room. There are a number of reasons for doing this. Sometimes, the hotel brand doesn’t want to be associated with discounted rates, or they have empty rooms that they’d like to fill up without having to advertise lower rates.
But don’t worry, you’ll be given enough information to make you feel comfortable with your stay. For example, Hotwire will usually tell you the star rating and general location of the hotel. If you’re familiar at all with the area, you may even be able to figure out which property you’re booking. For you, not knowing the exact hotel you’re staying at until after booking could add up to some serious savings.
If you create an account with Hotwire, you could save even more with its special HotDollars rewards. Basically, certain bookings will earn you HotDollars, with one HotDollar equal to one US dollar. As you rack up the HotDollars, you can use them to purchase future bookings of Hot Rate Hotels or Hot Rate Cars.
Plus, sign up for Finder’s deals newsletter to learn about special promotions and discounts from around the Internet each week.
What sets this brand apart?
Hotwire was originally created by four co-founders and five airlines: American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Continental Airlines, America West Airlines and United Airlines. Now, the brand is owned by the Expedia Group. However, unlike many other travel booking sites, Hotwire focuses on filling empty rooms, seats and cars to deliver low prices on rooms and tickets that might otherwise go unfilled. It’s a win-win for customers and travel services.
What do people really say about this brand?
Many previously loyal Hotwire users are now growing skeptical of the brand, since it is now owned by Expedia. While some people still swear by its unique “opaque” approach to booking hotels and flights, many others state issues with cancellations, poor customer service and not getting the options they chose (and paid for) at booking.
What is Hotwire.com’s history?
Hotwire was founded in 2000 by Karl Peterson, Eric Grosse, Gregg Brockway and Spencer Rascoff, as well as five major airlines. In 2003, two years before acquiring Expedia, IAC/InterActiveCorp purchased Hotwire for $663 million. For three years in a row — 2007, 2008 and 2009 — Hotwire was given the J.D. Power and Associates Independent Travel Web Site Satisfaction “Highest in Customer Satisfaction for Independent Travel Web Sites” award.
How can I contact customer support?
Hotwire only provides a phone number to get in touch with customer support. Residents of the US and Canada can call 1-866-381-3981, while all other customers can call 1-417-520-1680. Otherwise, the company encourages users to browse through the Help Center to find the answers they’re looking for.
If you’re having trouble getting in touch with customer support by phone, you may want to send the company a message through Facebook. It seems that Facebook messages are typically answered within a few hours.
What about social media?
Hotwire has pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but doesn’t provide links to them through its website. If you scroll through its Facebook page, you’ll see that quite a few customers have been unhappy with the service they’ve received from Hotwire, which may be part of the reason why the company doesn’t include links to its social media pages on its website.
While you will find some useful links to sales and special promotions on the brand’s Facebook page, its Instagram feed is pretty run-of-the-mill. You’ll find stock-looking pictures of various popular travel destinations, but not much by way of deals or discounts.
Why should I book with Hotwire.com?
- One-stop shop for flights, hotels, rental cars and tours.
- Low prices on unsold seats and rooms.
- Registered users earn HotDollars when they book certain hotels and cars.
- Unclear cancellation policy.
- Complaints of poor customer service.
If you’re looking for last-minute deals on hotel rooms, flights, rental cars or vacation packages, Hotwire.com could save you some serious dough. But make sure you look into the cancellation policy of any provider you’re looking to book with, as there isn’t one standard policy for individuals booking through Hotwire. You can save even more money by creating an account with Hotwire and earning HotDollars that you can put toward future bookings at Hot Rate Hotels or Hot Rate Cars.