Cancelled Hotel Reservations for Laguna Seca MotoGP
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Thread: Cancelled Hotel Reservations for Laguna Seca MotoGP

  1. #1
    California dreamin' Array KatRider's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
    Vancouver Island
    2007 Triumph Tiger 1050

    Cancelled Hotel Reservations for Laguna Seca MotoGP

    I've seen a couple of articles on RRW about people who have apparently had their hotels reservations for the Laguna Seca MotoGP cancelled. The scuttlebutt is that their rooms were cancelled in favour of providing more rooms to corporate clients, with one writer claiming that the "corporate client" was Red Bull.

    I thought I'd mention this here in case those of you who are going to this race and have hotel reservations so you can decide whether or not you want to call and confirm your reservations.
    Work sucks -- let's go riding!

  2. #2
    Yup, bin' on a holiday... Array SkipTkt's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
    1 Honda, 1 Suzuki, 1 Yamaha.


    Yup, it's a long post but worth your time. I hope.

    Unfortunately the laws of California aren't as consumer-friendly as ours but there are a few remedies to be aware of. Here in Canada, if you have a Confirmation Number (having supplied a credit card or cash deposit), the hotel is obligated to honor your reservation or find you an alternative (equal or better) accommodation if your room is unavailable. It's a policy designed -and relied on- to affirm the credibility of Hotels who are members of Hotel Owner Associations across Canada. The policy was created -and is stringently enforced- by Hotel Owner Associations with one National organization linking them together. 90+% of Canadian Hotels are members of such organizations. Perhaps more surprisingly, 100% of all branded chain properties (in Canada and the USA) are subject to the same types of rules, each according to the guidelines of the brand or 'chain' they've joined. More on that in a sec...

    Industry protections aside, with Laguna Seca or any 'Special Event' date in any city (US or Canada), the most common problem you're likely to encounter (if at all) will have more to do with whether your reservation was done over the web. The "Terms and Conditions" (which people never read) of many prominent on-line accommodation sites allows hotels to change rates & policies without prior notice to the consumer ...yet not in such a way so as to impact existing -confirmed- reservations. At least that's the 'rule'.

    The problem? There's no penalty to the hotel if they jack up the rates or make their deposit policy impossible for their 'existing' reservations. These sites makes money from each transaction (usually commission based) so they're not about to penalize their golden goose. The consumer can complain, but it's wasted breath. And frankly, whether you're dealing with a faceless web-site or a greedy hotel-manager, the outcome can be the same. Worse, even if you do "work it out", would you still want to stay in such a hotel?

    The best remedy -in all cases- isn't just in 'where' you book your reservation but 'how' and 'with whom'.

    #1 Where: When booking on-line, use the bigger sites. Going hotel-direct is still preferable for special event dates (in any city) if you want the best rate protection (ie: the rate you're told is the rate you get). The reason: at the very moment you're booking on-line, a hotel employee could be on-line and adjusting the rates and available inventory for that very same date. If you're slow to fill out the form on-line, the rate & confirmation may well come back as the 'new' rate. When the stakes are higher, you're better off speaking with a real person, real-time. If you have a reservation (or want a reservation) from either route, gurantee it:

    #2 HOW: With a credit card and get a confirmation number. Your credit card issuer usually won't honor a hotel's last-minute rate change if it differs from the rate stated on the confirmation. There are exceptions, as a friend recently discovered, but that problem was with an 'independant' hotel, which leads me to suggestion #3.

    #3 With Whom: Where at all possible, deal with 'branded chain' hotels. They're usually owned and operated locally - but legally bound to operate within very defined rules that are rooted in maintaining a brand's consumer loyalty through consumer satisfaction. It doesn't mean you won't have a problem; it means you have immediate assistance and recourse through a 1-800 reservations line. Branded hotels are heavily penalized for contravening franchise agreements; reservations errors are often genuine 'errors'. Above all: the voice on the other end of the 800-line is on your side and will resolve your problems.

    Can a hotel replace one set of low-paying guests for higher paying guests? (I'm assuming that's the concern here). In short: Yes. Two ways. First, they can cancel every reservation not guaranteed with a credit card. If you're a few months (or weeks away) from an arrival date, that's a LOT of rooms suddenly made available. The second way to replace the guests: relocate their reservations to other hotels. They don't even need a real reason because any reason... is enough to get away with it. Especially easy to relocate: reservations booked on-line because the 'terms and conditions' clearly allow them to do so.

    If you're going to Laguna Seca, just check your reservation as you would for any vacation. Follow some of the above suggestions ...but don't worry about it and don't cancel a reservation because you only suspect something isn't right. Just be aware that alike any 'Special Date' (ie: Molson Indy), hotels will do all they can to earn the highest dollar for their rooms. The best hotels in the world will cancel your reservation if it's not guaranteed. The worst hotels will do the same ...and more.

    Don't worry . Have a great time!

    Yes, there may be some bias here, and hopefully some credence too. I work for an International Hotel Brand and thought it fair to mention it. But, ummmm... please don't PM me with your hotel problems.
    Last edited by SkipTkt; 06-17-2005 at 11:24 PM.
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