It’s happened to you before — you go online to book a hotel room for your trip, pay what you think is a great discount, and notice that the price drops the next day. Well there is a new way to avoid the frustration.
That’s what Tingo, a hotel booking site launched in March 2012 by Smarter Travel Media (a subsidiary of TripAdvisor), aims to prevent. With Tingo, you automatically receive a refund if the price of your hotel room drops. Instead of making frustrating phone calls rife with desperation, you get free upgrades and extra cash to reallocate on your trip without having to lift a finger.
This situation occurs more often than you might think. A quick Tingo search shows that 237 hotels in New York City saw prices drop within the past 30 days, at an average drop of almost $40. In San Francisco, 136 hotels had price drops in the past month, averaging around $52. And in Paris? The City of Light had 592 hotels see price drops in the past 30 days, though at a slightly lower average of around $23.
In cases like these, Tingo constantly watches the price and automatically rebooks your reservation each time the price drops.The site refunds the difference to your credit card shortly after your stay.
Tingo will most likely inspire innovation in the online travel space, but as time goes on, both the viability and sustainability of its business model are questionable.