three reasons NOT to book this online rate...

Online bookings can be a big mistake, and this article will highlight one of the pitfalls of using expedia, hotels.com, or other online wholesalers. This information is based on a mock booking at the beautiful Park Hyatt Sydney — a one-night stay on 14FEB for the lead-in room. The screenshot above is from expedia.com, and the rate is displayed in US dollars.

It would be a mistake to book this rate online. Here are three reasons why...

Reason One — expedia's rate is non-refundable

Take a careful look at the small print at the top center of the screenshot, just above "Free WiFi," you'll see the words Non-Refundable. Click on the question mark icon, you'll find this explanation.

Reason Two — expedia's explanation is deceptive

"This specially discounted rate?" Expedia seems to justify the non-refundable rate with the claim that they're somehow saving you money ... but they're NOT.

The Hyatt website shows a rate $983 with tax included. Hotel rates in Australia always include tax, but Expedia is hiding the room tax. You won't know about it unless you click the "price details" link. Or until you book the room and learn that your card has been charged a non-refundable $983. (By the way, the rate on hyatt.com is refundable.)

Reason Three — you're missing out on an even better value

For the same $983 USD, you can book the same room through your Virtuoso travel advisor, make no prepayment, have the freedom to cancel up to 48 hours before arrival, and receive additional Virtuoso amenities that will definitely save you money.

  • Daily Full Breakfast for two per bedroom, served in The Dining Room
  • One way airport transfer in BMW 7 Series (includes tolls)
  • an upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Do you enjoy being your own travel agent and booking on the web? At least book through the Virtuoso website to score these amenities! This link will take you to the Park Hyatt Sydney page on Virtuoso.com. Fill in your dates, select a Virtuoso travel advisor, and take advantage of the best luxury value out there!

copyright (c) 2020 by Ourisman Travel LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell, a Virtuoso® Member. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

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