Two years ago I wrote about a Hilton claiming its usual rate was a mistake rate for a special event date. They cancelled a reader’s reservation because they could sell the same night for more money to someone else.
Typically, though, we think of a mistake rate as a ‘fat finger’ fare, hitting the wrong key or leaving out a digit. Or perhaps a currency conversion error — for instance Hilton honored a rate at the Hilton Moorea where $1000 a night overwater villas with meals went for ~ $100 because prices were listed in Congolese Francs (CDF) instead of French Pacific Francs (CFP).
That’s different, it seems to me, from a hotel loading their usual rates and then deciding not to honor a booking because they realize later they can sell the room for more to someone else.
On August 21 just after 10:15am Pacific time a total solar eclipse will turn[..] out the lights over much of Central Oregon. And the State of Oregon is investigating several hotels for cancelling legitimate bookings now that they see room rates skyrocketing.
Here’s the path the first total solar eclipse in the continental U.S. in 38 years will take:
There’s only one property showing up with pricing on Kayak for Bend, Oregon the night before the eclipse.
(One week earlier and one week later the property is going for $245.)
No pricing shows up there for Salem.
Here’s the story of a nearby Motel 6:
“…the rate was high ($275 a night), but the hotel is ideally located for the solar eclipse, so i was fine with paying the rate. i just got a call from Amanda at the motel saying they are overbooked and they have canceled my reservation,” he wrote.
The hotel claims a glitch allowed Expedia to oversell the hotel. Equally plausible is that they oversold the hotel at higher rates and are cancelling lower rate bookings.
Here’s the story of the Stafford Inn:
“…had a room booked for the eclipse on August 21, 2017, and the manager emailed to say they were cancelling it because of new ownership. this is not true because the new owners took over in 2014, not just now. now they are offering up the room for $600 a night instead of the $160 it was confirmed for.”
In the case of the Hilton near Duke two years ago, I suggested filing complaints and lawsuits, because Hilton corporate wouldn’t help.
Here the Oregon Department of Justice is already investigating 9 hotels.