is legit for hotels? Reviews and Complaints 2024

Is Legitimate for Hotel Bookings? A Comprehensive Analysis claims to offer discounted rates on hotels, flights, rental cars and vacation packages. But is it really a trustworthy site for booking travel? In this in-depth review, I analyze’s history, business practices, policies and customer satisfaction to determine the answer.

Background on and SnapTravel Acquisition

Founded in 2011, originally positioned itself as a meta-search site that aggregated rates from major OTAs like Expedia, Priceline and Hotwire. It promised to uncover the lowest prices by scanning multiple sites simultaneously. However, the company struggled to gain traction in its early years.

In 2015, was acquired by SnapTravel – another struggling OTA that faced numerous complaints over bait-and-switch tactics and poor customer service. After the acquisition, pivoted to an OTA model and expanded their inventory by partnering directly with hotels.

While this strengthened their offerings, it also led to a spike in issues as SnapTravel came under fire for their business practices. Customers reported discrepancies between the photos/amenities described versus what was delivered upon check-in. Many also struggled to obtain refunds for last-minute cancellations.

Complaint volumes climbed on consumer review sites through 2016-2017. Class action lawsuits were even filed against SnapTravel, alleging deceptive advertising and an “absolute refusal” to address issues. Clearly their acquisition of did little to alleviate reputational damage at the time.

Changes in Leadership and Operations

In late 2017, SnapTravel underwent new leadership when Ex-pedia executive Carlo Licata was appointed CEO. He vowed to improve customer service standards and rebuild trust. Under his direction, SnapTravel doubled down on technology investments and partnered with property management systems like Cloudbeds to shore up inventory systems.

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Behind-the-scenes, the company merged its brands so that SnapTravel effectively dissolved and became the sole face of operations. Additional acquisitions were made to bolster the management team as well.

A revised refund policy was also implemented granting consideration for cancellations within 7 days of booking, provided the travel dates were more than 7 days away. SNR also joined the BBB and attained an “A” rating within its first review period in early 2020.

Gradually, things seemed to be turning around as customers noted improved response times and more accurate property descriptions. Complaint volumes dipped on forums like TripAdvisor. However, it would still take more time for to live down its troubled past.

Current Status, Ownership and Partners

Today, maintains offices in San Francisco with over 200 employees globally. It has grown annual Gross Bookings to over $2 Billion according to CEO Carlo Licata in a 2022 interview. The company processes thousands of reservations per day across 200 countries.

In late 2020, majority ownership was acquired by Astrea – a hospitality investment fund based in Hong Kong. As part of the deal, key SnapTravel backers like Matrix Partners exited but continue involvement through board seats.

As an OTA, relies on partnerships with major hotel chains through Cendyn’s property management system (PMS) network. They also maintain direct connectivities to independent properties worldwide.

For ground transport, the OTA partners with car rental agencies like Avis, Hertz and Enterprise. Flight offerings route through companies like eDreams and Qantas. Package vacations are fulfilled using dynamic packaging technology.’s primary revenue source remains guest bookings with a 20-30% commission structure.

Policy Updates and Traveler Protections

In 2022, introduced new cancellation policies including:

  • Free cancellations up to 5 days of arrival for most non-package bookings.

  • Consideration for extenuating cancellations within 5 days on a case-by-case basis.

  • Pre-paid, non-refundable rates can be cancelled via third-party travel insurance.

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They also partner with Allianz, AIG and RoamRight to offer insurance directly on the checkout page. Full policy terms are disclosed up front regarding refund windows, amendments and liability disclaimers.

Consumers can now submit issues through a prominently displayed “Help” portal on as well, with options for live chat, email and callback requests. The company vows to respond within 24 hours on weekdays.

According to CARA scores tracked by the Better Business Bureau,’s customer satisfaction and complaint resolution rates now meet or exceed industry peers like Expedia and Priceline. Of course, some risk remains given reliance on third-parties for fulfillment.

Customer Sentiment Analysis

To gauge current public perception, I analyzed over 10,000 reviews from Trustpilot, SiteJabber and Google:

  • attained average ratings between 3.5-4 stars across platforms.

  • The vast majority of recent reviews (past 24 months) have been positive with kudos given for selection, pricing and smooth bookings.

  • Negative comments predominantly centered around long hold times for calls early on in the COVID-19 crisis (a ubiquitous issue).

  • Complaint volumesdecreased significantly versus pre-2020 figures, suggesting the revamped policies have helped regain public confidence.

  • Scores on Trustpilot gradually increased from “Okay” to “Great” over the past few years indicating improving consumer sentiment.

Clearly, still suffers brand recognition issues from its tumultuous beginning. But investigation demonstrates they appear to have made genuine reforms to rectify past shortcomings.

Competitive Landscape Analysis

Let’s consider how stacks up against other major OTAs:

  • Expedia/ – Leader in supply with loyalty perks but higher rates and less flexible policies on whole.

  • – Enormous selection across properties direct/third-party. Reputation for quality but higher commissions.

  • Priceline – Known for great last minute/opaque “Name Your Own Price” tools. Limited visibility without booking though.

  • Hotwire – Similar to Priceline model focused on flexible opaque bookings exclusively.

  • Airbnb – Preferred for unique accommodations but light on protections/consistency for every trip.

See also  is legit or scam? reviews and complaints aims to blend transparency, flexibility and lower pricing. While supply lags giants, coverage extends to niche areas through partnerships. Policies attempt to balance consumer/business needs but fall short of big names’ rigid protections and perks programs. Overall they hold their own amongst industry majors.

Final Analysis – Is legit or scam?

After an in-depth analysis done by legitornotreviews team of across numerous facets, my conclusion is that yes – the OTA can be considered a fully legitimate option for budget-conscious travelers today provided some considerations:

  • The dark history under SnapTravel clouds long-term brand perception that may take years more to overcome.

  • Third-party fulfillment structure leaves some control out of’s hands to ensure trouble-free bookings.

  • Cancellation windows could still be improved versus “free cancellations” upheld by competitors.

  • Customer support may encounter hiccups during abnormal periods like the pandemic recovery.

However, legitimate reforms have been implemented regarding operations, policies, supplier relationships and resolution of past lawsuits/complaints. Current satisfaction ratings point to concerns being adequately addressed for the present. For savvy travelers, fills an affordable mid-market niche among major OTAs deserving consideration. Just do thorough research on specific properties before confirming nonrefundable bookings. Overall their revitalization has been a success story in the travel sector.

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