Mar 012012

Was needing a hotel room near the Spokane airport here in a couple of weeks, so once again I turned to the trusty website. I read through other people’s ‘success stories’ on the BiddingForTravel Washington Hotel forum and saw that $50 had won a room on before but not often. So I figured I would start my bidding low and use BiddingForTravel’s rebid strategy to rebid twice more today and again tomorrow if needed.

What is BiddingForTravel’s ‘free rebid’ strategy? Priceline will not allow you to just increase your bid without waiting the obligatory 24 hours to try again. But, if you ‘significantly’ change your bid then you can rebid again right away. One of the acceptable changes is to add another ‘area’ to your bid. The trick is to add an area that you cannot win. In this case, Spokane Airport has hotels available from 1 to 3 stars. Liberty Lake and North Spokane only have hotels available up to 2.5 stars. So, if I am bidding $50 for a 3-star hotel in the Spokane Airport area and lose, I can add the Liberty Lake area and up my bid to say, $55. If I loose that bid, then I can add North Spokane and try $60. Failing that, I start over tomorrow at $60. If you have the time and inclination, you could use $1 or $2 increments instead, which I have done when spending a week at a hotel.

Based on previous successful bids by others on the forum and the BiddingForTravel list of Spokane Airport hotels used by Priceline, the 3-star hotel that seemed to come up most often was the Ramada Spokane Airport and Waterpark. The hotel’s website showed that I could book a room direct with them for $124/night. Priceline’s normal rate to book the hotel without bidding was also $124/night. So, I started my bid at $50 for a 3-star Spokane Airport hotel, figuring it would be rejected but I could try 2 more times today and start over tomorrow if all failed. My $50 bid was accepted! Now I am feeling foolish. Did I start too high? How much lower could I have bid?

Luckily, I still had to book the return hotel room, so this time I started at $40. It was declined. Added Liberty Lake and bumped up my bid to $45. Priceline countered, telling me they could get me a room for $58. I declined. I then added North Spokane and bumped up my bid to $50. Accepted. Now don’t feel so silly about my first $50 bid being accepted.

There are a number of other strategies to use for getting free rebids on Priceline. I think my record is having 6 different ‘areas’ I was using. I was willing to stay in 3 of the areas and used the other 3 as free rebids. Even with just the 3 areas you are willing to stay in you have a number of ways to get free rebids by combining them into multiple permutations but that should be another post at another time.

Sep 102011

WTF FTW, LOL. While in Spokane this weekend to watch 3 of my kids run the Tracy Walters Cross Country Meet I stopped into the local Albertson’s to see if they had any interesting craft beers to try out. I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of beers I could bring home to sample. Tonight’s beer is Wilco Tango Foxtrot (WTF) by Lagunitas. One of Lagunitas Brewing’s five seasonal releases scheduled to be released this year, WTF described itself as a “A Malty, Robust, Jobless Recovery Ale.” Last year Lagunitas had released the 2009 Correction Ale and were planning to label this years version the ‘2010 Recovery Ale’ but since there was no recovery they decided, WFT, and named it the Wilco Tango Foxtrot.

This is one of the new style ‘Black’ IPAs. As soon as the cap comes off you can smell the hops and know that this is not your dad’s nut brown ale. It pours a translucent brown that shows hints of red when held up to the light with a nice tan head that holds well. With eyes closed you would definitely put this in the IPA camp, but open your eyes and the dark color makes you second guess.

It has a great ‘mouth feel’ while drinking. So many beers have about as much ‘body’ as a Coke or Pepsi, but beer is supposed to be liquid nutrition, and should have some body to it. This beer does. I may not be much of an IPA fan, and there are many dark beers that I would prefer, but this is one beer I would buy and enjoy again.