Monday, August 17, 2009

Hotel offers 1-cent weekend by accident

We were somewhat amused with the following story where a simple error had serious repercussions.

Uploading the incorrect rate when updating various accommodation reseller websites can easily happen with the constant distractions of this industry.

As a safety measure, some reseller sites have minimum rates that can be loaded in the background to avoid the situation of a ridiculously low rate loaded in error.
Others don't.

I guess this is a valuable lesson for accommodation providers to get it right the first time.

The rate loaded on a bookable website is an offer and if this is accepted by a guest with consideration (ie:payment) it's a done deal!

17 August 2009

You had to be quick, but what a deal.

A four-star hotel near Venice mistakenly offered the ultimate low-cost vacation - a romantic weekend in the Italian lagoon city for 1 euro cent.

Not surprisingly, the Crowne Plaza in Quarto D'Altino, 15.5 miles (25 kilometers) from Venice, received bookings for the equivalent of 1,400 room nights on the night the rate was posted on its website, the hotel chain acknowledged. And it seems those bookings may be valid.

The hotel first thought the offer was posted by a hacker, sales manager Fulvio Danesin said Friday. But it turned out to be human error at the Atlanta, Georgia, offices of Intercontinental Hotels Group, the hotel's mother company, he said.

The offer was supposed to be for a two-night stay at half price. A night at the 151-room hotel normally costs between 90 euros (NZ$186) and euro150 euros.

The 1-cent rate was up only Sunday night, but that was long enough for travelers to book dates running from October through 2010, Danesin said. The hotel stands to lose 90,000 euros (NZ$188,000), he said.

Monica Smith, media relations manager for the hotel group in the US , said Friday that some 228 guests made reservations for the equivalent of 1,400 room nights while the error was on the website and that the reservations would be honored.

"Although a pricing error, IHG is committed to honoring the 1-cent rate for guests who have a valid confirmation," Smith said. She added that rooms booked at the low rate "are nontransferable.'

Source: Click HERE
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