Hotwire.com(TM) Introduces First-of-Its Kind Hotel Star Ratings Promise

New initiative enhances customer experience and property ratings on deeply discounted hotels

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 10 /PRNewswire/ — Discount travel site Hotwire.com is leading the way among online travel sites with an innovative approach that backs up its hotel star ratings. Hotwire’s Hotel Star Ratings Promise takes customer care to a new level. To increase customers’ confidence when purchasing hotel rooms, Hotwire pledges to rebook or compensate travelers if it lowers a property’s star rating before, or within 60 days after, their hotel stay.

Hotwire will review customer feedback and benchmark its ratings against other leading travel sites and traditional third-party sources on an ongoing basis. If after thorough evaluation Hotwire determines that a property rating should be reduced, Hotwire will work to rebook customers with upcoming reservations or provide compensation in the case that a comparable property is not available. Hotwire will also proactively compensate customers who have stayed at that property within the past 60 days by providing HotDollars to be used toward a future travel purchase on the site.

“Since Hotwire customers don’t see the hotel brand until after purchase, we want travelers to be assured that our ratings are sound and know that if there’s a problem, we’ll make it right,” said Tim MacDonald, vice president of product management at Hotwire. “Since there is no industry standard for hotel ratings, Hotwire’s new promise gives price-conscious customers greater confidence in our property ratings and their purchase decision on Hotwire.”

Hotwire saves travelers up to 60 percent off hotel rates at a broad range of properties — from 5-star luxury hotels to 1-star budget properties. To provide additional insight on its hotels, Hotwire also displays half-star ratings (for example, 3.5 or 4.5 stars) where appropriate. Hotwire determines its star ratings for hotel properties by:

— soliciting customer feedback following every stay and adjusting our
ratings accordingly;
— visiting thousands of properties each year;
— carefully benchmarking our star ratings against those of other travel
sites and ratings authorities; and
— investigating star-rating concerns and following up directly with
customers.

MacDonald added, “Even if Hotwire’s rating for a hotel property is the same or below ratings found elsewhere, should a significant portion of our customers show us that the rating should be downgraded, we will rebook or compensate them.”

Hotwire recently launched a new survey to obtain feedback from its customers after each hotel stay as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance its property ratings. Travelers are encouraged to share feedback regarding specific hotel properties in the post-stay survey, or by contacting Hotwire Customer Care at support@hotwire.com or 1-866-468-9473.

Hotwire may contact customers to obtain additional information and will evaluate and research their claims. If there is a resulting downgrade in the hotel star rating within 60 days following a traveler’s stay at that property, the customer’s Hotwire account will be compensated with HotDollars to be used toward future travel. For additional information, consult Hotwire’s star ratings guide at http://www.hotwire.com/pop-up/hotel-ratings-popup.jsp.

About Hotwire

Hotwire.com(R) is a leading discount travel site with low prices on airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. Launched in 2000, Hotwire negotiates deep discounts from its travel suppliers to help distribute their excess inventory. Hotwire is an operating company of Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE) . CST: 2053390-40. For more information, visit www.hotwire.com.

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