Is Booking.com Legit? A Review of the Popular Travel Site
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If you're like me, you're always looking for a good deal on travel. And when it comes to finding a great deal, Booking.com is often one of the first places I look. But is Booking.com legit? Can you really trust this online travel agent to find you a good deal on your next vacation?
It's definitely a valid question and one that's worth exploring in more detail. After all, you don't want to book a room only to find out later that you've been scammed! So, let's take a closer look at Booking.com and find out if it's safe to use.
Spoiler alert: we think it is! But read on for more details...
- About Booking.com?
- How Does Booking.com Work?
- Is Booking.com legit?
- Is Booking.com reliable?
- Why is Booking.com so cheap?
- How to use Booking.com
- What are people saying about Booking.com?
- Booking.com alternatives
- Is Booking.com legit? Final thoughts
Booking.com is a popular third-party site that offers various travel services, including hotels, flights, rental cars, and more.
The website is a travel fare aggregator and travel meta search engine available in 42 languages. They provide reservations in 91,000 locations across 224 countries and territories with a worldwide network of destinations. So it's no surprise that it's one of the internet's most popular Accommodations and Hotels websites.
Dutch founder Geert-Jan Bruinsma launched what would become Booking.com in 1996, and Priceline acquired the company in 2005. The website is owned and operated by Booking.com B.V., a Netherlands-based company, and is still headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
How Does Booking.com Work?
Now that we know more about Booking.com, let's look at how it works.
Essentially, Booking.com is a platform that connects travelers with hotels, airlines, and other travel-related businesses.
When you use Booking.com to book a hotel, the website will search through its database of over 1.5 million hotels to find the best deals. Once you've found a hotel you're interested in, you can book it directly on the Booking.com website.
The same goes for flights, rental cars, and other travel services. Simply enter your travel dates and destination, and Booking.com will search its database of providers to find the best deals.
One of the best things about Booking.com is that it offers a wide variety of travel services in one place. You could say it's a bit of a 'one-stop shop' for all your travel needs. So, whether you're looking for a city center hotel, rural self-catering accommodation, a flight, or a rental car, Booking.com is a great website to check out.
Is Booking.com legit?
Let's see whether Booking.com is a trustworthy and reliable platform now that we've learned a little more about how it works. Is Booking.com legit?
The short answer is yes, Booking.com is a legitimate website, and it's safe to use. The website is owned and operated by a real company and has been in business for over 20 years.
Is Booking.com reliable?
Booking.com is one of the world's leading online hotel reservation platforms. It offers a wide range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury suites, and provides an easy way to compare prices and find the best deals.
But is Booking.com reliable? We need to look closely at how it works to answer this question.
First, the site does not own any hotels - it simply acts as a middleman between hotels and guests. This means it's not always easy to rectify issues with Booking.com if something goes wrong with your reservation.
Secondly, the site relies heavily on user-generated content, including guest reviews and ratings. While this can help get an overall impression of a hotel, it's important to remember that not all reviews may be genuine and some may be biased or inaccurate. More on that later!
So, while Booking.com can be a useful tool for finding accommodation, it's important to do your research before making a reservation.
Why is Booking.com so cheap?
Booking.com is a popular website for finding cheap hotel rooms. But why are their prices so much lower than everyone else? Is there a catch?
Well, the answer isn't quite as simple as you might think. While it's true that Booking.com does have access to some great deals, the real secret to its success is its pricing model.
Rather than charging a fixed rate, they use a dynamic pricing system - known as RateIntelligence - which provides reliable demand and competitor pricing insights for accommodation providers.
Prices consider several factors, including demand and availability, whether the deal is free cancellation or not, and even whether you've made a booking with them previously, known as the Genius loyalty program discount.
Efficient business model
Another reason Booking.com can offer such low prices is that they have a very efficient business model. They don't actually own any hotels, so they don't have the same overhead costs as other companies. Instead, they act as a middleman between hotels and customers.
Hotels give them a commission for each booking, passing some of that commission on to the customer through lower prices (just like Trip.com).
How to use Booking.com
With over 1.5 million room nights booked daily, they're doing something right! So, how can you take advantage of all that Booking.com has to offer? Here are a few tips:
- Add your check-in date, number of nights, guests, and rooms required. Use the filters in the drop-down menu to find the perfect property for your needs. Booking.com offers a range of filters, from price and location to amenities and property type. You can choose to sort by lowest price, popularity, review score, or distance from a particular location or landmark. So whether you're looking for a luxury hotel or budget-conscious accommodation, you're sure to find what you're looking for on Booking.com.
- Read the reviews. There are over 93 million verified guest reviews (and counting!), so Booking.com is a great place to get the inside skinny on your potential accommodations. Are the beds comfortable? Is the breakfast buffet worth getting out of bed for? You'll be able to find out before you book!
- Check the cancellation policy. When you're searching for accommodation, be sure to check the cancellation policy before you book. Some properties have very strict policies that might not allow you to cancel or make changes to your reservation, so it's always best to be prepared.
- Make use of the Genius loyalty program. If you're a regular traveler, sign up for the Genius loyalty program. Frequent travelers get good discounts on hotel prices for future bookings and other perks.
- Use the Booking.com app. The user-friendly app makes it easy to search for accommodation on the go. You can also use the app to access information about all your bookings, so you're not having to rummage around in your email inbox hunting for a booking confirmation page or having to write your confirmation number on your hand to stop you losing it!
- Take advantage of the Best Price Guarantee. Booking com offers a price match guarantee, so if you find the same accommodation or the same room cheaper elsewhere for the same dates as your booking, they'll match it - and give you a little extra back!
So those are just a few tips on how to get the most out of Booking.com. Happy booking!
Booking.com free cancellation
Booking.com offers many great features, including free cancellation on most rooms. But what's the catch? Is there a time limit? Are there any fees? Let's look closely at Booking.com's free cancellation policy to see what it's all about.
Here's the gist of it: you can cancel your booking without incurring a cancellation fee up to a specified deadline - sometimes as late as 24 hours before your arrival date.
Of course, if you book a non-refundable room, you won't be able to get your money back no matter when you cancel. Not all rooms have the same cancellation policy, so be careful during the booking process.
There's nothing worse than planning a vacation only to have something come up and ruin your travel plans, so Booking.com's free cancellation policy is a great perk. Overall, it's pretty straightforward. Just be careful to double-check when making reservations that it's not a non-refundable booking, and remember to cancel any hotel bookings before the deadline to avoid any fees.
What are people saying about Booking.com?
Here's where Booking.com falls flat on its face in a rather spectacular fashion.
They have a low Trustpilot rating of just 1.3 stars from over 36,000 reviews, with 64% of the reviews giving them a one-star rating. That's BAD! And many of the one-star reviews say they would have preferred to give zero stars! Ouch!
Even worse, Booking.com has not responded to any of the negative Trustpilot reviews, so it doesn't look like they're even trying to address the issues. That's pretty poor customer service if you ask me. Come on, Booking.com - do better!
The most common complaints are about poor customer service, hidden fees, additional costs, and problems with reservations.
Some customers have also reported having their credit card charged for cancellations even when they canceled within the specified deadline.
The general consensus is that, while Booking.com can be a useful tool to find and book accommodation, it's important to do your research before making a reservation.
Is Booking.com Legit? Should you be worried about complaints?
Before you get too excited about finally finding your perfect vacation spot, it's important to be aware of some of the most common complaints about Booking.com that have affected their review score.
The most common complaint is that it is difficult to contact customer service. Many people report long wait times on hold and being transferred multiple times before finally getting someone on the line. Or being told that customer service representatives will get back to them and then... crickets!
Booking.com operates its own in-house customer service team, available 24/7 to assist guests in their native languages and ensure an exceptional customer experience.Booking.com website... although Trustpilot reviews suggest they are not quite hitting their goals here!
Another common complaint is that Booking.com often makes it difficult to cancel reservations, even when you do so well in advance. Some customers have also reported being charged for cancellations even when they cancel within the specified deadline.
Problems with the suitability of the accommodation, that it wasn't as advertised, that they'd been given a tiny room, etc. Other travelers reported arriving at the hotel reception to find a mix-up, resulting in differences between what the customer booked and what the hotel reserved.
All this points to communication issues between Booking.com and the property owner.
Another issue that pops up in the reviews is difficulty in making any changes to bookings.
So what does this all mean for you? Should you be worried about making a booking with Booking.com?
Basically, do your research before you book! Read the reviews (including the negative ones), and make sure you read the fine print.
Are there fake hotel reviews on Booking.com?
When booking a hotel room, you want to ensure you're getting the best deal possible. But with so many options, it can be tough to know where to start.
Booking.com is one of the most popular websites for finding hotel rooms, and it relies heavily on guest reviews to help travelers make their decision. But are these reviews always reliable?
Booking.com is known for its honest guest reviews, which can only be left by guests who have booked and stayed at a property through Booking.com, although that's not to say you should take it as gospel that all of them are genuine.
There's always the possibility that some may have been "manipulated" with some online forums suggesting property owners could make reservations with the "pay at property" bookings function to write reviews for their own accommodation (check out places can get paid to write reviews).
While it's not outside the realm of possibility that there may be some fake reviews, there's no way to know for sure - or which ones. My advice would be to take all hotel reviews with a grain of salt and use your best judgement.
The best bet is to read a few reviews from different people and get a sense of what they have to say. If all the reviews for an accommodation provider are positive, with no negative reviews, they may be fake. But if the guest reviews are mixed, they're more likely real.
A good way to spot a fake review is to look for reviews that don't provide much detail about the stay. If a review looks suspicious, you can also try Googling the reviewer's name to see if they've left reviews for other hotels. If they have, and those reviews are also short and vague, they're likely fake.
It's worth cross-referencing against other travel industry review sites such as TripAdvisor to see if people have made similar complaints, as well as Google and Facebook online reviews.
Ultimately, it's up to you to decide whether or not you want to make a reservation at a hotel based on the reviews you've read. But either way, make sure you do your research and read the fine print before making any final decisions about booking!
If you're not sold on Booking.com, there are other online travel agents and booking sites, where you can book accommodation. Here are a couple of alternatives you might want to check out for your next online booking.
If you're looking for an alternative to Booking.com, Airbnb is a great option. Airbnb is a service that connects travelers looking for low-cost lodging with hosts who offer their homes as short-term rentals as a side hustle or full-time business.
With over 5.6 million listings (and counting) in more than 220 countries, Airbnb has a lot to offer travelers. And with prices often lower than hotels, it's a great way to save money on booking your next trip.
Airbnb also offers a variety of unique properties, from apartments and houses to treehouses and castles. So if you're looking for something different from your next booking, Airbnb is definitely worth checking out.
Most people are familiar with booking.com, the go-to website for finding hotels and other accommodations. However, there are a number of other websites that can be just as useful when planning and booking a trip. Expedia is one such online travel agency.
In addition to hotels, Expedia also offers flights, car rentals, airport taxis, and vacation packages. This can be a great way to save time and money when booking everything at once.
If you're looking for alternatives to Booking.com, Expedia is another one-stop shop that's worth checking out.
Is Booking.com legit? Final thoughts
So, is Booking.com legit? Yes, it is! Personally, I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with the travel booking site and would recommend it to anyone looking for a great deal (but make sure to also check out Hopper).
However, their customer service is a bit of a shocker and something for future travelers to keep in mind. If you encounter any problems with your online booking, be prepared to wait a while for a response.
But overall, Booking.com has a lot to offer travelers. So if you’re looking for a place to stay on your next trip, they may be worth considering if you go into it with your eyes open.
And for another option in the online travel booking space - you may be interested in checking out our review if Snaptravel is legit.
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