Hotelpocalypse: The Day SDCC Hotel Reservations Died [Update 5: Big AM Update]

We declare February 28, 2013 “H-Day”.

That’s the day many of you received your SDCC hotel reservation confirmation emails. And unfortunately we’re seeing more than we’d like who were completely shut out of a hotel room.

We’re honestly surprised at the number of people who didn’t get any of their six choices, nor their waitlist selection. Could it be the changes Travel Planners implemented, requiring everyone to select six hotel preferences, caused such a logjam, and subsequently a denial, of reservations? Or is the popularity of the con reached such a high point that even the number of hotel rooms in the surrounding area cannot accommodate the fans?

Either way, we are fans just like the rest of you, and are dismayed this may be the turning point that makes SDCC that much more inaccessible for the general public.

[UPDATE] It appears much of the early-morning chatter on Twitter indicates that emails were sent to folks who were waitlisted or denied completely. Subsequent tweets from folks are showing many of you received one of your top six selections. So there’s still hope!

[UPDATE 2] Also note there will inevitably be rooms that go unbooked, due to groups of people submitting selections individually to see who gets the best room confirmation. Hotel reservations will reopen Tuesday, March 12 at 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET, so if you didn’t get the room you wanted make sure you check back then!

[UPDATE 3] Looks like two minutes was the cutoff for downtown hotels. We’re seeing reports on Twitter that anyone who got their hotel selections submitted within the first two minutes got one of their top six picks. Three minutes and up, looks like they were waitlisted or denied. Now, this is anecdotal, since everyone’s computer clocks vary in time, but this is the closest measurement we can find.

[UPDATE 4] Better than nothing, the Early Bird hotel sale is still going on, through March 11. If you were shut out completely from getting a room, you can always book one in Mission Valley or near the Airport.

[UPDATE 5] Big update from the late morning for everyone…

Forum site Friends of Comic-Con International have set up a thread for folks to give or trade their hotel reservations. We’ve looked through the hotel reservation policy and there’s no mention that room confirmations or reservations are non-transferable, so it should be perfectly okay. Give it a go if you’re looking for a room or to trade up. [Thanks, @TheOtherMarioC]

User @061908 tweeted to us that the email sent from Travel Planners to those who did not get a room states that no downtown hotels will be available when hotel reservations open back up on March 12.

Lastly, we’re completely floored at the number of press, professionals and personalities who were shut out of this year’s hotel reservations. Former G4 personality and PodCRASH host Chris Gore, Badass Digest‘s Devin Faraci, iFanboy‘s Mike Romo, Access Hollywood‘s Scott Mantz, and Latino Review‘s El Mayimbe have all mentioned on Twitter they are currently without a room.

We’ve set up this post so you can enter a comment about your hotel experience and discuss with your fellow attendees. We’ll make sure both Travel Planners and CCI are alerted to this post so that they can monitor and, if they choose, engage in the discussion.

About Jeremy Rutz

  • Dorv

    Three of us submitted very similar requests (of priority). Only one of us got a room, and it is a King. So that’s gonna be awkward.

  • Rob

    I just read a tweet of someone getting their 3rd choice after submitting the form in three minutes. I submitted in four minutes and got nothing. Timing is everything.

  • Got Hyatt Manchester, but as a backup to my orginal choices for downtown

  • I submitted in 3 minutes. I got a downtown hotel that wasn’t on my list.

  • Awww man, that was my first choice!

  • 2:30. Got my first choice, Marriott Marquis.

  • Ryan

    The 3 minute rule seems to be pretty acurate. I got my back up in Mission Valley. Shut out of my first 5 choices in the gaslamp area. I can’t really get mad at SDCC or Travelers. There are just too many people trying to book a hotel at the same time. I will say I wish they had an instructional video available the way they did with the badge registration. At least then I would have been a little more prepared, mentally, for what was going to happen. On the hotel re-sale, do you have to give up your original room to apply for a new one? I’d hate to give up my back up only to get totally shut out in the re-sale.

  • Registered in under two, got first choice: Manchester Grand Hyatt. See you there, Jim?

  • MattJSour

    Submitted Request in under 3 minutes give or take, but did not get any of my six choices. Only able to get a downtown hotel due to a check off option on the form.

  • Seems right. Submitted at 9:02, got my #5 choice – which was the Hilton Bayfront, though, so I’m happy.

  • I submitted my request in 1:53 and got my first choice at the Marriot Marquis for 4 people. My friend submitted his shortly after me and got completely denied.

  • Kuray

    Put in 2 bids.

    First bid in less than 40 seconds gave me my first choice: Bristol Hotel (7 blocks @ $177.00)

    Second bid I put in right after under my colleague in less than a minute later gave us our fourth choice: The Sofia Hotel (8 blocks @ $220.00)

    We couldn’t afford the Bayfront or the Marquis, so it wasn’t even on our list, but would have preferred them. Have some hope, we released our Sofia bid so some lucky person can have it.

  • dokterrudi

    multi-bed room = kiss of death

  • blakex

    Submitted my request under two minutes. Got the 4th option in downtown (Best Western Plus). Had a MV hotel as my backup. Other people I was talking with weren’t far behind me but were completely denied.

  • I too was in at the 3 minute mark and got Mission Valley. Apparently I need to learn to type faster.

  • I was slow in completing the process and I got a hotel. Its in Mission Valley but I did get one.

  • theartimus

    Also left out was Bill Amend, creator of the FoxTrot comic strip. He was a special guest last year, couldn’t even get a room this year.

  • I must have gotten in between 2:45 and 3:00. I didn’t get my six choices, but they gave me a downtown hotel.

  • jrutzsdcc

    I’ve always thought this to be true. I’ve always requested a single bed, always had luck with my picks.

  • I always thought this to be true. I’ve only requested single-bed rooms and have had good luck with my picks.

  • Wow! That’s nuts!

  • You might be okay if the hotel has a sofa bed in the room, or you can request a folding cot (do so way in advance). The other two guys can put a row of pillows b/t them in the king bed. Good times!

  • I got in around 9:03am and filled it out within 2 minutes and hit submit. I am wait-listed for something apparently. 🙁

  • I got mine in by 9:03 and I didn’t get any of my 6 choices BUT I got a room on the shuttle route near the airport, where I’ve stayed before. Clicking the “If none of my choices are available give me anything on a shuttle route” is the only way I’ve gotten a hotel the last 2 years.

  • I originally received the Hilton Bayfront, about which I was pretty disappointed because, although close to Hall H, it’s still a couple thousand feet from 5th Street and thus the Gaslamp and the main entrance to Con. I did, however, manage to trade with a family member for the Residence Inn Gaslamp, which has a great location (6th and J) and an incredible free breakfast. In the end, it worked out and I’m really pleased with our hotel.

  • For the record, my time-to-submit was ~50 seconds, and I mistakenly put the Bayfront as my first choice. So, I guess I did get first choice, but it was done out of error…

  • Yup!!! Will anybody else we know be there 😀

  • Why didn’t the people who got their SDCC2013 Preview-Night 4-day passes in Aug 2012 get preferred-treatment for the hotel choices?? I think if this was implemented, then the Hotel fiasco might have neen prevented…

  • I wish they would find a way to limit the hotel process to people that already have badges. Right now we have a lot of people with great hotel spots and no badge and people with badges and no hotel. Unfourtunately, the way the it is now people will hold onto the hotell rooms until after any final resale.

  • nebme

    oh lord if you live in san diego you know to reserve a hotel in december when comic con posts its takes for the offical convention. The hotels usually dont block out there rooms cause there not offically hooked to the comic con yet and you can get a room. Got my hotel for 300 bucks for the whole week. Also most people that live in san diego use the trolly system and dont stay anywere in downtown. People bitching just plan better next year

  • can’t you just book a hotel through expedia or similar site?

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  • sillyker0nian

    As far as I know, one of my roommates for con said that we have a two-bed room at the “Days Hotel” and even paid for part of it already. So, good to go! 😀

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