The Hotwire Weekend Deal!

weekend_deal

You might have seen this elusive “Weekend Deal!” while looking to book a hotel on Hotwire.  Deals sound good, but does it actually mean you’re getting a good deal? The short answer is no, it means nothing, disregard it. Now I’ll keep writing about it for your entertainment.

The “Weekend Deal!” is Hotwire trying to tap into every deal-seeker’s deal hunting instincts. It makes you think some hotels might be better deals then others so you buy into them. In reality they’re all the same run of the mill deals you see on non-weekends. You will see the text pop-up every time these two conditions are true:

  1. You are booking a hotel on the weekend.

  2. The estimated percentage off is more than 45%

The estimated percentage off is what Hotwire calculates internally based on the average price of hotels in an area with the same star rating. The estimate could be an accurate level of the percentage savings by booking on Hotwire, or just as likely it could be way off. Hotwire also tends to over inflate star ratings so when it takes an average of hotels with the same star rating it could be taking different quality levels of hotel into account.

For an experiment, I took several “Weekend Deal!” Hotels and compared Hotwire’s predicted savings percentage with the actual saving percentage after identifying the mystery hotels by using this website.

savings_chart

The results show how the predicted percentage off isn’t to be trusted and the “Weekend Deal!” isn’t always the best deal.