Priceline broadens its appeal
Hutchison-Priceline has moved to widen its appeal by introducing a second, more transparent model of buying travel on its Web site.
Chief executive Alfredo Gangotena acknowledged that the company's name-your-price model has limited appeal as not all travellers have the same flexibility.
Once your bid is accepted - and your credit card charged and the ticket issued - you cannot change the travel dates or get a refund.
Secondly, there is no transparency. You do not know who you are flying with, the number of stopovers and where you will sit until your bid is accepted.
In comparison, travel site Zuji.com, which is backed by 17 airlines and Travelocity, has a transparent model which lets users choose from a list of fares after keying in dates and destination.
One disadvantage with the Zuji site is it displays all fares including those which are sold out. This can be particularly frustrating when trying to book travel during peak travel times such as during Lunar New Year.
Unlike Priceline which guarantees a lower fare, Zuji's fares will be similar to the ones offered by traditional travel agencies.