Priceline introduced a free Hotel Negotiator app for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch that enables you to bid for and book a Name-Your-Own Price hotel room up to 11 p.m. ET on the evening of your hoped-for stay.
Mobile applications are particularly geared for these last-minute -- or, should we say, last-hour -- bookings as travelers, who find themselves without a room, can use their iPhones to secure a room whether the would-be customers find themselves at an airport, stranded at an endless business meeting, or at the local saloon.
Last month, Priceline President and CEO Jeffery Boyd talked of envisioning a day when consumer behavior would change so that it would become more commonplace for people to book a room once they arrive at a destination instead of before the trip.
Post-itinerary management from the likes of TripIt, Traxo and Dopplr are hot.
Let's call Boyd's view and the Hotel Negotiator app, post-flight hotel management.
Priceline's iPhone app is a shake in that direction.
“Our Hotel Negotiator App is designed for travelers who are on the road or at an airport and decide at the last minute that they need a room for the night,” states Priceline.com Chief Marketing Officer Brett Keller. “The app also works for travelers who prefer to make their hotel arrangements after they’ve arrived in a city and have become familiar with the geography. Hotel Negotiator lets them use their iPhone or iPod touch to quickly negotiate the price and book a room from priceline.com’s comprehensive assortment of quality hotel rooms up until 11 p.m. ET on the night they need the room.”
Among the features, the new app has a geo-locator-triggered search function.
Here's Priceline's description of the feature: "Shaking the device establishes the traveler’s location using location-based features and then performs a Winning Bids search for hotels in the surrounding areas."
Bidding and checkout is said to have been streamlined down to a one-page design.
If procrastinating travelers are unsuccessful in getting a deal or just don't want to bother with bidding, the app also features an option to book a room the old-fashioned way -- selecting from published rates instead of from Name-Your-Own Price merchant offers.
And, of course, if you are using the app from your iPhone, you can always book the room by phoning Priceline.
For some people, habits like booking over the phone are difficult to shake.
Here's a YouTube demo of the app.