On the losing end of a Hotwire car rental gamble

Maggie Wilsin was just looking for a deal on a rental car in Rapid City, SD, recently. But she found more than she bargained for on Hotwire.

The online travel agency offered her a rate that looked too good to be true: just 41 cents a day.

That’s no typo. Forty-one cents.
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Attention hotel guests! Sometimes, those star ratings lie

For David Pollard, the “aha” moment came after he booked a hotel room in Los Angeles through Hotwire.

Hotwire and its competitor, Priceline, offer what are called “opaque” rooms, which is to say you don’t find out the name or exact location of the property until after you’ve made a non-refundable reservation. Instead, you’re given the hotel’s anonymous star rating. And the hotel he’d booked, the Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Airport, had four stars.
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