Total savings including gift card: $516
New York to Miami 3-night trip in February in economy class (United) staying at a 3-star hotel (Holiday Inn)
Upside: $944 minus $181 gift card: $763
Hotel and air separately: $1252
Total savings including gift card: $489
Atlanta to London, British Airways premium economy class nonstop, five star hotel (St. Martins Lane).
Upside price: $3372 minus $410 gift card: $2962
Air+hotel booked separately: $3782
Total savings including gift card: $820
In each case, Upside suggested an alternative airline and hotel that might result in additional savings if the traveler were flexible.
So yes, the savings are real. The only downside to Upside is that you won’t see all hotels and airlines, at least not while it’s still in Beta. So if you’re picky about who you fly and where you stay, you’ll still have to do some homework to see if a different combination of hotel and airline will cost less than what Upside is offering. However, if you’d book the hotels and airlines that Upside currently works with anyway, you will definitely save money with Upside.
Also, they’re still working on one-way trips and multi-city trips (currently only round-trips are offered). And in case you’re wondering, there’s no real reason why leisure travelers can’t use Upside as well. But because it’s designed for business, you won’t find airlines such as Frontier or Spirit offered, and Delta is also missing for now (they’re working on get DL into the fold, but as you know Delta doesn’t play with Hopper, Hipmunk and other sites either).
As part of its launch, Upside is guaranteeing a minimum $150 Amazon gift card to anyone who books using the UPSIDE150 promo code, but I’m guessing you’ll save more than that even without a promo code.