September 29, 2011, 11:43 AM

New priceline.com mobile feature adds cheaper same-day hotel booking

Most  mobile customers make same-day hotel reservations.

Lead Photo

Clicking on the Tonights-Only Deal tab displays discounted rates for up to three hotels for same-day booking.

Need a hotel room tonight and want to save some money? Priceline.com today updated its iPhone app with a Tonight-Only Deals feature that shows travelers up to three available hotel room reservations valid for that night. Most of priceline.com’s mobile customers—70%—book hotel rooms for a same-day check-in, priceline.com says.

Built into the travel company’s Hotel & Rental Car Negotiator app, Tonight-Only Deals are available at 11 a.m. local time and can be booked until 11 p.m., or until sold out. The deadline gives hotel revenue managers time to look at their projected occupancy for the coming evening and decide whether they want to release any discounted rooms through the Tonight-Only Deals channel, a priceline spokesman says.

When a traveler searches for the app’s published-price hotel listings for a same-day stay, the app also looks for Tonight-Only Deals and displays a notice on the screen if any are available. Travelers can then choose either to see the Tonight-Only Deals or continue with their hotel search. In either case, reservations can be booked within the app. Hotels in 20 cities are eligible for Tonight-Only Deals, with more cities to be added, priceline.com says.

Currently, Tonight-Only Deals only are available through the iPhone app. Users need to download the latest version of the app to get the Tonight-Only Deals feature. Tonight-Only Deals is not yet available for priceline.com’s Android app. The spokesman would not say when it would be available.

Priceline.com also recently launched an iPad app, which uses the iPad’s GPS technology to pinpoint the user on a map and highlights hotels and their room rates in the general area.

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