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Still Another App Launches--This Time From Hotwire

October 15, 2012 at 7:23 PM | by | ()

Given one of our HC crew just went on a mini rant about technology, we're giggling a bit about all these new travel apps that seem to be coming out weekly-blah-daily. Some of them are good and we frequently use them, but now the word "app" is becoming a pain in our "apps"..if you will.

The latest comes from Hotwire who has just released their own iPhone app for discounts on last-minute hotel rooms located in 3145 cities and 61 countries. So now they join HotelTonight and most recently Jetsetter in this category of mobile applications capitalizing on a hotel's unused room inventory. OK, so what makes this one different?

Well, first it's only available on the iPhone and iTouch, and more specifically, designed to work best with the new iOS 6 and iPhone 5. Ay. So, what, they are they anti-Android?

There are other tiny differences that won't really matter in the long run if all you want to do is quickly find a hotel room at a good price, which Hotwire assures you'll be able to do within 30 seconds using their app. But we're not completely sold.

Somehow we don't think the Eventi hotel in Chelsea is going for $88 on Hotwire. Gotta guess again!

This app follows its online model of booking deals based on hotel rates and not the actual hotel. When you start, you choose your desired location, select your dates and room specifics, and then Hotwire will show hotels grouped according to distance and rate ranges. Once you pick the rate, view the specific location and info, you can book. We like the ability to sort at the bottom by "price" "rating" "distance" and "value". That quickly can eliminate hotels which details you aren't interested in at all.

The catch--you don't know which specific hotel it is until you purchase. Oh sure, they say the 3-star hotel room in Chelsea-Madison Square Garden for $88 may be a Wingate Inn by Wyndham, Doubletree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, or "other brand-name or independent hotels", which for control freaks might be irritating as hell not to know. But for the footloose and fancy free, they may not care that with tax, etc the $115.06 is worth a shot in the dark. But for more expensive hotels, say the $270 SoHo deal we saw? We're thinking you'd like to know exactly what you're getting in to. But maybe that's just us.

The Hotwire app is available for free from the U.S. and Canada App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or via www.iTunes.com/AppStore.

[Photo: Chanize Thorpe/HotelChatter]

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