EDITORIAL: The San Diego Comic-Con General Hotel Sale Failed On Every Level – And Why That’s Not Acceptable

hilton bayfront hotelUPDATE: At 6:08PM PT on March 27, 2015, Comic-Con International issued this statement to us:

We’re obviously disappointed the hotel sale didn’t run as smoothly as we would have liked. Our attendees are very important to us and we have worked very hard to secure more room blocks and reduced rates at area hotels. We continue to strive to provide the best means to accommodate the growing number of people looking for lodging during the show. In fact, one of the major sticking points in our current negotiations to remain in San Diego are hotel rates. This incident has cast a shadow on our efforts but we are working with Travel Planners to ensure this type of situation does not occur again.

Previous:

For most (as some are still waiting on e-mails), the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con General Hotel Sale is finally over. Thousands of attendees are left to fend for themselves outside the system or wait for released rooms to open on April 8, and thousands now have a place to sleep. As for me, I got my #1 downtown pick.

And I don’t feel good about it. At all.

Because no matter which way you slice it, the entire general housing sale this year was not only a disaster, but a critical failure, on every single level.

As most attendees know by now, hotels for San Diego Comic-Con are given out similar to the way that badges used to be given out – a website launches at a certain time, in this case 9AM PT on March 24, 2015, and only the fastest survive. In the case of hotels, the website leads to a form, where you have to fill out information like your name, arrival and departure dates, select which hotels you want, how many people are in your room, and more.

Travel Planners, the company who runs the general hotel sale, then uses the timestamp that they receive your hotel submission to assign rooms. If when they get to your timestamp, your top choice is taken, they move on to your second choice. If that’s taken, they move onto your third, and so on.

Most years, anyone who submits this information after three minutes doesn’t get a hotel. Not just “doesn’t get a downtown hotel” (those are normally gone in roughly 90 seconds), but doesn’t get a hotel. That’s because, like with all things relating to San Diego Comic-Con, demand simply outweighs supply.

So the speed in which you can fill out your information matters greatly. But this year’s sale was skewed, to an almost ridiculous level – because unlike in previous years, the form had trouble loading. We took a reader poll, and although the 740 submissions represent only a fraction of the potential 130,000 attendees who may have been participating, the percentages haven’t changed much from 50 user answers to 740. Although it’s far from scientific, that implies that even with a much larger sample size, the results may not change that much. So, take from these numbers what you will.

Of those users, most – 23.99% – reported the form taking over a minute to load at all. The second most common load time was somewhere between 16-30 seconds (22.51% of users). And how many reported that it loaded straight away? 2.16%.

Yes, you read that right. Only 2.16% of users reported the system which determines their fate functioning as it should have from the start.

Does that sound like a success to you?

poll

As we already know though, this wasn’t even the only issue, though it was arguably the most common. Some percentage of users – which according to our poll, was around 34.58%, or roughly a third of all users – got what we’ve dubbed the “bad form”. This form came with all kinds of issues, ranging from things like being unable to rank your six hotel choices as directed, to being able to submit your form even accidentally just by pressing “enter” at any given point, which potentially led to submitting without all of your information intact, a faster timestamp than you would have gotten otherwise, and other problems.

bad

When I spoke to a Travel Planners manager early on Tuesday to find out what we should tell users to do (and more on this in a minute), he seemed surprised when I told him I’d seen hundreds of users reporting having a “bad” form. At the time, presumably, they didn’t realize just how badly this sale had gone, and how many users had been impacted, and he directed me to tell users to call, so they could take their information and contact them later about ranking their hotels.

An hour later, as Travel Planners probably began to realize just how many calls they were getting, they changed their tactics.

But to what, exactly, is something we can’t really explain, because over the next 48 hours, getting the same two answers out of Travel Planners representatives was virtually impossible. We began hearing everything from you’d be e-mailed to change your information, to some representatives still taking down names, to some telling people it was too late, and others telling people that there was nothing wrong at all.

This was a theme that would continue, throughout the next 48 or so hours. E-mails will still go out on time (as promised, by March 26). E-mails won’t go out until Monday. E-mails will go out on Friday.

And round, and round, we went, with so many people reporting being told different things from Travel Planners.

Here’s the thing, though. Although the customer service reps at Travel Planners were the public face (or voice, in this case) to Comic-Con attendees, it’s mostly not their fault that they had an inconsistent message. Because they don’t make those kinds of decisions, they can only pass on information that’s given to them.

The problem is, then, that either both Travel Planners and Comic-Con International weren’t giving those employees that kind of information, or it was getting lost in translation, because things were changing minute-by-minute behind the scenes. Neither of those scenarios are acceptable, though.

Although we can almost picture how the conversation went behind the scenes — something along the lines of, “Yes, there were problems, but we think we can work very hard and keep our deadlines and the promised March 26 hotel reservations deadline” – it fails to address the main problems here. First is obviously that things went horrifically wrong in this sale. Unlike when the Member ID site crashed an hour before the Open Registration badge sale, when you could theoretically blame attendees for “waiting until the last minute”, this was not the fault of outdated browsers, ill preparation, or anything other than technical issues – plural.

Travel Planners attempted to solve the problem on Tuesday night by e-mailing only the users they believed were impacted. They asked them to fill out, in roughly 24 hours, a form to re-confirm your top six hotel preferences, and they would combine this with the rest of your form:

2015 hotel choice travel planners dropdown error

But it didn’t address a multitude of other problems: That many who hadn’t been able to rank their hotel rooms also hadn’t been able to give Travel Planners their basic information, such as departure and arrival dates or room dates; the lagging load time; how the confusion over the incorrect form caused many to take longer than normal to fill out their information. And additionally, some who had good forms received this e-mail. Some who had bad forms didn’t receive it at all.

After a confusing afternoon, around 3PM PT on March 25, recap e-mails of what users had selected began to go out. Some with the bad form, who had submitted a second time when either they submitted too early without all of their information, reported getting multiple e-mails. Some, like myself who had only submitted once, reported getting two e-mails with the exact same Reservation Request Numbers. The most common issue that we saw, though, was that several “bad form” people had that same missing information that Travel Planners had failed to collect the day before. These e-mails looked like this:

blank room details

There was no explanation of what to do about it – either in the e-mail, or from Travel Planners through a statement, or Comic-Con International..

It wasn’t until the next morning, thanks to a tweet from a user in what had basically just become “let’s crowd-source our answers, since they won’t give them to us”, that we learned affected users should reply to the e-mail with the missing information:

Travel Planners either would not, or could not, take this information over the phone. But you had to call to find out this information. Anyone seeing a problem?

It’s also worth noting that, at least in the case of one member on our team who had blank information due to a bad form, that despite receiving a reply e-mail that his information had been updated, both his departure dates and room type were wrong in the final confirmation. Here’s the response he got that someone, somewhere, at least saw his information, even if it never got changed:

email tp

As March 26 wore on, it became increasingly obvious that Travel Planners was not going to make any kind of a statement, and that e-mails were expected to go out on schedule, regardless of what had happened, how many problems people were still reporting, and the unlikelihood that they could address all of those issues within the few hours remaining.

And then, as if timed perfectly to when their phones lined closed, Travel Planners began sending out hotel confirmation and rejection e-mails.

The results were mostly all over the board. Some who reported very fast times received no hotels, some who reported much slower times reported downtown hotels. Some, like our bad form staffer, wound up with two hotels, but with wrong occupancy and arrival and departure dates.

Maybe you could claim that’s due to discrepancies between time you hit submit on your computer and the time that Travel Planners receives the e-mail – but it does nothing to explain things like these:

The most obvious reason for all of these issues is that Travel Planners, despite presumably working around the clock, simply couldn’t fix everything that needed to be fixed by the end of March 26. And honestly, we don’t see how they could have.

The minute that Travel Planners realized just how far-spread the problem was (and they had to realize fairly early on, because one of the few consistent messages we did hear from Travel Planners representatives was that they were swamped with calls), they should have scrapped the entire sale, and held a re-do. Given the wide discrepancy in load times, and the multitude of other problems, and the joke of a conclusion last night, this would have been the only fair solution.

However, even if Travel Planners felt they couldn’t make that decision because they’d promised CCI that they would get hotel reservations out to everyone by March 26, then Comic-Con International should have been the ones to step in and make that decision. They hired Travel Planners, and there’s no way that they don’t hold some kind of power over their own hotel sale. Yet they didn’t make that call.

And actually, they didn’t have much of anything to say – at least publicly – on the matter.

Instead, on the day of the General Hotel Sale, the non-profit company offered only one tweet: A tutorial for how to draw a cartoon bat.

On Thursday, March 26 – the day that e-mails were slated to go out with hotel selections, despite hundreds of users still reporting issues with information in their confirmation e-mails being wrong, not getting confirmations, and more, CCI showed off a brand new billboard for their other convention, WonderCon Anaheim.

toucan_wca2015_billboard2

Rather than commenting on issues affecting literally tens of thousands of their own attendees, they thought the more important message was about their own marketing efforts.

We reached out to Comic-Con International on March 25 for comment, but as of press time, have not heard back. [UPDATE: Comic-Con International issued a statement to us later in the day, which can be found at the top of this article.]

You could make the argument that because Comic-Con International doesn’t directly run the hotel system themselves, they are absolved from any sort of responsibility in this matter. But that’s really not the case, and we’ve seen them take an interest in other sales – namely, badges. In 2011, when the company that they’d switched to, TicketLeap, crashed during the badge sale, CCI made the decision to move the badge sale to another date. Although in that case, users had been sitting trying to refresh for hours, not seconds, the end result was the same: The sale didn’t work as expected. The solution, though, was vastly different.

So why didn’t they make the call in this case? Is it because badges is the only sale that directly impacts Comic-Con? Is it because they decided an arbitrary deadline was more important than getting it right?

That’s something that only Travel Planners and Comic-Con International know. And one thing’s for certain: they don’t seem to want to say.

It’s been a very bumpy 72 hours (yes, really, just 72 hours!) of attendees being misinformed, left without guidance, and problems down the line. Although it’s only been three days, in this day and age, information flows lightning fast, and the sheer amount of misinformation pouring out from both Travel Planners and the internet virtually demanded some solid, real information from a credible source. And unfortunately, no one proved up to that challenge. In the world of San Diego Comic-Con, we all lost this battle.

About Kerry Dixon

Kerry Dixon is Editor-in-Chief of The San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog and the site's resident panel guru.
  • Jeffrey

    It didn’t just fail. It self-destructed. It got nuked from orbit. It was worse than Jupiter Ascending.

  • Jeffrey

    Here is the problem though. Some attendees do not even have their badges yet. Media goers and reporters also need hotels and they are getting badges as well. Press registration hasn’t even opened. So not everyone has a badge set by the time hotel reservations open.

  • i liked jupiter ascending

  • IamHypnoToad

    Yeah, photo or I don’t believe it. I just checked for 7-8 to 7-12 and there is nothing. If this is true, then why did a bunch of people not get any room. The T&C is one of the CCI hotels, there should be absolutely nothing left, and there wasn’t when I checked Thurs.

  • Jeffrey

    The film still bombed on every level. It’s fine if you liked it, but factually the movie still bombed and pretty much self-destructed on release.

  • Jibrille

    I know no one really cares, but here goes: I guess I am one of the “lucky” ones who got a hotel, but despite the fact that I picked “downtown only” I got sent to an “airport” hotel over 5 miles away (and 40+ minutes by shuttle). If you look at the Comic-Con list, it clearly has this hotel designated as “AIRPORT”.

    This is very difficult for us, because we have a special needs child. We had to cancel Comic-Con in 2012 (and haven’t been back) because at that point it was clear our son was not developing at the rate of other children, and he has been in intensive therapy and special schools since and now, in 2015, he’s 5 years old and we wanted to try again. My husband and I met at a Comic-Con event in 1999, and so it’s a very special place for us to visit.

    We were so happy to get tickets (with preview night!) and we have been telling our son about the trip for a few weeks now, with the promise of an entire San Diego beach vacation. We have tried him out at smaller conventions (FanimeCon) to larger (Anime Expo last year) to make sure this was going to work.

    We were planning to walk to the convention center; yes, even if we got one of those mile away hotels. Mostly because our kid doesn’t do well on public transportation, and we can just walk as a family. Anything that would take 40+ minutes for a regularly-abled person will take us 2-3 times as long.

    However, being 5 miles away, and no way to walk to the convention center, has put us in the position of probably having to cancel going to Comic-Con at all.

    I called Travel Planners and they said they would put me on the waiting list and I would get an e-mail, but I waited and never received anything, and when I called back they claimed they had never talked to me. The entire situation has been just awful and depressing, especially when I have people on twitter sending me to forums where people are selling access to their hotel room reservations.

    Nothing seems fair or right and it’s just depressing. There was no way to tell anyone we had a special needs kid, there was no option to pick on the form. Having to deal with scalpers for hotel rooms just makes it worse. I have these wonderful tickets that I am probably not even going to be able to use, and the anxiety and stress is awful. Maybe it would have been easier to not get tickets at all so I didn’t have to get them and then realize I can’t use them with the current hotel setup. It would be amazing if in the future Comic-Con might consider only letting legitimate badge holders get hotel rooms.

    By the way, I had a “good” form and submitted within 2 minutes.

    I’m going to give it a week; I did “confirm” the impossible (for us) hotel for now, but if I can’t get into something within walking distance (a mile or less) we will just have to give up and cancel our tickets and go somewhere else for our family vacation this year.

  • Michael Vassallo

    I called at 8:59 and 45 seconds and someone picked up, telling me he had to wait 15 seconds until his computer came online at exactly 9:00 AM. I gave him 6 hotels and the entire thing was submitted by 9:00 and 45 seconds. I got NOTHING. Not a single hotel I picked had a room available. There is no way in hell thousands of people got in earlier than I did. It’s bullshit. I have a pro badge and as of right now, no hotel. This has happened the last 3 years. Each time I got a room near the airport a few weeks before the con started, causing me headaches on airfare from NY each time. The system should be changed so that badge holders ONLY badge holders can reserve rooms and no multiple room reservations from greedy bullshitters, only to turn them all back. It doesn’t take a genius to see the system is inefficient and rigged against common sense.

  • Dee Zee

    When you have nothing to prevent non-attendees from using the system, you’ve got an escalation of people gaming the system. I see loads of people with multiple reservations. I see scalpers SELLING their reservations.

    I’m not convinced there’s a huge shortage of rooms, but the system is so broken and full if false reservations, you can’t tell. I don’t think TP is in chaos.

    Hotels aren’t allowed to release unused rooms outside of Travel Planners until a few weeks before the con and rooms have materialized downtown at that time the last few years. How does that happen if there is a shortage.

  • MediaSavant

    The case of your friend’s mother is unfortunate, but I think that they could come up with alternatives if you couldn’t get the mother a room. Like not bringing the child at all and having the mother watch the child back wherever they came from. They aren’t going to see the child much as it is.

    The authorized attendees (badgeholders, pros, etc) would have first dibs. Non-attendees would get whatever is left.

    I’m convinced a lot of this system’s problems would be mitigated by limiting who can use the system. I’d like to see them try it. I’m willing to bet that the experience would be VERY different than what we’ve been seeing.

    SDCC doesn’t own the hotels, but they’ve negotiated with them on behalf of their attendees for a certain number of rooms at a certain price. If this were a medical convention or any other kind of conventions, non-attendees would not be using the con rooms.

  • jm5150

    not every attendee has a member id.. “guest” of professionals dont need member IDs at all. I always found that weird. But that would mean an attendee who’s a “guest” cant get a hotel.

  • jm5150

    nobody should be buying a room from a scalper whatsoever. If anyone sees it they should report whoever is trying to profit. There is most likely “no room” either. if they actually “sold” it youd get their info and can have them kicked out, so id bet people are running scams to get people to send money and then split. so everyone should just ignore idiots asking for money cuz youll only get screwed

  • jm5150

    seriously??? wow. that sucks. I never trusted calling at all. I can fill out the form 10 times faster than telling some guy my info over the phone and hoping hes fast. Im amazed he did it in 45 seconds

  • jm5150

    the thing is they can easily guarantee EVERYONE a hotel room, there will actually be a ton of extra rooms, the only problem is demand for “the closest” hotels. Everyone wants a downtown hotel, people hate the shuttle. so its not a guarantee issue, its a proximity issue. When Ive gone to NYCC ive stay about 20 blocks or more away and have no problems with it, just hop in a cab. at SDCC i cant stand to be more than 3 blocks away for some reason

  • Chuck Durden

    Cattle nothing but cattle

  • Jewdakris

    Why are you waiting until now to book your room. If you book in August the year before, 95% of the hotels will let you cancel your room until a 48 hours before. You can always book in advance and if you get in the main sale you can cancel the other room.

    I have a room saved at the Super 8 that I’m trying to find out how to transfer to a friend of mine because he wanted his own room. They are telling me you can’t transfer it to another name to which I’m calling bullshit.

  • IamHypnoToad

    Because the 2 times I went to Comic-con I had no problem getting hotel rooms. Thank you for the good advice, I will do this for next year. Can you book the CCI hotels so you are on the shutttle route, or do you have to book hotels that are near the hotels that are near the CCI hotels?

    Yeah, they want to re rent it at a higher rate rather than transfer it.

  • TK421

    There are a few companies out there that handle more then that volume and have no issues. This falls on CCI. The bigger issue is that 1) TP didn’t even seem to know they had an issue, 2) they refused to fix it before they sent out hotels by telling people there wasn’t anything they could do and 3) sent out hotels after hours so they didn’t have to take calls. That’s just a poorly run organization and the customer service didn’t seem to care.

    What they need to do is just let people book hotels themselves and not do this madness. Years ago like Jeffrey said, you just booked your own hotel.

  • Jewdakris

    You can’t book the CCI rooms that are on the route, however those hotels are listed on the route because they are the ones advertised or something. There are lots of hotels literally next door to ones on the route so what I do is look at those hotels on google maps and then see what’s on either side. I’ve never tried this in Mission Valley though, there might be steals there as well.

  • lidlesseye

    Jibrille have you joined the friendsofcci forum. We have a hotel exchange thread and doc and you can mark that as an option. It’s members only but you can join up and see if anyone is trading or willing to transfer a room and the admins are really good at making sure no one is trying to sell their TP reservations.

  • lidlesseye

    Well that explains why my first request never got a confirmation. My first form didn’t let me choose more than one hotel so I CTRL clicked my choices in order I wanted and submitted. After hearing people say there was a bad form and went back in to submit a second request but by then all my choices except Town and Country were gone. (additionally I stated I wanted a place on the shuttle route and my confirmation stated such and got placed at The Dana which is distinctly NOT on the shuttle route. Ostentatiously because I apparently said DT only even when that wasn’t on my recap email.)

    This is my 5th year and typically I book a hotel/condo a year in advance just in case and cancel if I like to TP reservation better but this year was the worst.

  • Jibrille

    I’ve submitted a request to join and never received an activation e-mail, even with a “send password again” request. Checked spam and everything, and nothing. 🙁

  • luxshine

    I booked it through Booking.com, then sent a mail to the hotel itself to make sure that I *had* the reservation and it wasn’t a mistake from the site. I got a nice letter from the hotel saying that yes, I had a room, and that they expected me on July 7 through July 13. The hotel site marks 9-12 as sold out, so I suspect the very few rooms they have are marked by Booking.com. I’d suggest you try it, as it has the full refund policy, and that’d mean you have a hotel in the shuttle route.

  • luxshine

    I hope you see this. For what I’ve seen, booking.com had some rooms set aside for the days of the con, and while it is a bit pricey, they still had 2 rooms right now at the Travellodge San Diego (Pricey and not many stars, I’m afraid) but according to the map is about a mile away from the convention, so it’s within what you need. If not, I just registered to friendsofcci and had the same problem, so I changed my mail to a different mail, and got the activation email immediately. Maybe that will help.

  • Michael Vassallo

    I’m more than happy to stay near the airport. I’ve done so the last 3 years and the shuttle works just fine.

  • jm5150

    im not one to tell someone they have to leave their kid at home. Theyre spending two weeks in SD and shes breastfeeding. Its their decision. I’m not saying its a bad idea to only give attendees the rooms but it simply will never happen. What about the celebrities? they all stay in adjacent hotels as well, im sure they set aside a TON of rooms for them, and most are only there for one panel. Those celebrities could stay offsite and take a limo. that would free up rooms for people there the entire time.

  • jm5150

    its a proximity thing for me.. with all the lines im waiting in and all the stuff i buy, its a long shuttle ride back if im not close… hall h lines can be dreadful if youre camping for over 12 hours. having a hotel right there means, walking close by, showering and hopping back in line so your friend can do the same. Also means just walking across the street with 5 bags of exclusives instead of a 45 minute shuttle ride back to the hotel and another 45 minute ride back to the convention center… oops, batteries died and i left my charger in the room,,,close by? no worries. Staying close just eases some people worries and troubles…. but hey, if i got a shuttle route hotel, id be bummed but would just suck it up. its not the end of the world

  • Carol

    Of course u got your first hotel choice. You write for this SDCC ass kissing blog…

  • Michael DC

    I never received an email either but about 30 minutes after i created the account i could log in. Try logging in and see if it works. Keep the faith. Im sure you and your family will find something.

  • Jibrille

    Thanks everyone – I finally got in (I am thinking they went through and approved accounts). I put us down on the “trade” sheet, /fingers crossed!

  • truthseeker_2001

    Triple check that. I’m about 99% sure I heard about this happening last year — people being told they had rooms right up until the con, then Booking suddenly realizing they couldn’t follow through. Somebody else probably has a better memory on this than I do, but I’m pretty sure a bunch of people got screwed last year by going through Booking or some other third party.

  • luxshine

    Oh I read what happened about the Omni. But as I said, I wrote directly to T&C, and T&C sent me a letter directly with my name and the confirmation for the room. I checked with the hotel, not with T&C. Should I check again? I’d really don’t want them to get mad at me for asking the same question too many times.

  • H-Boogaloo

    I 100% agree. Regardless of any other scenarios people bring up, under NO circumstance should an actual badge holder be in a position where they don’t have a hotel to stay in at all. As mentioned before, SDCCI negotiates the deals w/ hotels for their attendees. If you’re not attending the actual convention, whatever is left after attendee sale can be distributed to you. People with badges coming from all over the world that aren’t from San Diego should almost never have an issue finding a place to stay.

  • Randy Nickel

    I have mentioned this to Kerry and wanted to see what you guys think: would it be easier to just go through the individual hotels? I do that for many other conventions, admittedly none as large as San Diego Comic Con but PAX Prime is pretty big. PAX does not handle the hotels and you just have to know to ask for the convention rate when you call the hotels. I have heard plenty of people complain about not being able to get a hotel because they called too late but never heard of the problems that we have year after year with going through an agency like TP.

  • May be in the minority on this, but I’d like to see hotel sales done like regular tickets, where you log into the room by a certain time, it’s luck-of-the draw on your selection, and then you have a fixed amount of time to complete the transaction. IT problems with that system aside, it seems like a relatively fair method and serves to not penalize folks that take the time to fill out all the options and fields…

  • truthseeker_2001

    Yes, the Omni! That was it. As long as you’re aware of that situation and are staying on top of it. Keep us posted as the con gets closer, I’m sure many people are interested in knowing alternative booking methods to this TP madness!

  • luxshine

    I will! I totally get the stress of booking. I do the reservations for a lot of my friends for that, precisely because they don’t want the stress!

  • Lawrence Allen

    Another issue that could be approach to help curb the issue with finding hotels is limiting, if not outright restricting, the right for those who live in San Diego to purchase hotel rooms.

  • ppout

    This is a listing of the execs who run Onpeak (travel planners), and who should be out in front of the housing fiasco· If there are any other large events planning on using ONpeak, they should think twice.

    Michael Howe
    Executive Vice President at Global
    Experience Specialists (GES)
    Greater Chicago Area Events Services
    onPeak | GES

    Rose
    Dubrovich
    VP of Business Development

    colin
    bunn
    VP, Product Development & Marketing at onPeak

    Scott
    Tallarida
    CTO, onPeak

    Lisa
    Baez
    VIce President, Housing Account Services at onPeak

    Jennifer
    Kimball
    Senior Vice President, Partner Services

    Suzanne
    Stigers
    Director of Contracting Services at Travel Planners Inc.

    Keri
    Kelly
    Sr Director of Hotel Industry Relations, onPeak | GES

    Holley
    McConnell
    Business Development Specialist at onPeak|GES

    Beth
    McEntee-Rome
    VP Business Development at onPeak | GES

    Anne
    Sweeney
    Marketing Manager at onPeak

  • Michael Cucka

    Just found out today the TP never processed my request. I received a confirmation email after a couple of days of my hotel choices, but did not receive a later email confirming or denying a reservation. Although they were apologetic, TP today had no explanation why my request was lost in processing – no second email was sent because they never assigned me a reservation nor determined I was rejected. Looking forward to April 8th…

  • I had a group of 6 and the two with the bad forms were the ones who got a hotel off their list. I didn’t get anything.

  • Jibrille

    Thanks to everyone who tried to help. I haven’t had any luck at all. I tried to work with Travel Planners, and this is what I received:

    Good morning Mrs. *****,

    I apologize that you were not able to be placed in a downtown hotel, but you are one of the lucky ones for that matter. Your request for should have actually been discarded after being unable to place you in a downtown hotel per your request. Fortunately, someone booked you at the next available hotel despite your request for only downtown hotels.

    I understand your frustration in this matter and that the housing request process is very competitive each year. Unfortunately there is no way to add special requests in the hotel request forms as this is the only way that this process remains fair to everyone. Despite individual needs Comic-Con believes that this is the only way to ensure that everyone has a fair shot in requesting a hotel in the San Diego area. Maybe the housing request process changes in the future but that will be up to the officials at Comic-Con International. For now, for guests that were placed in a hotel for this event, changes are being accepted at this time and special requests can be submitted for you as well.

    Although all requests cannot be guaranteed the hotels will do their best to accommodate these requests and they will be able to confirm if possible about 1-2 weeks prior to the arrival date.

    Please do not hesitate to contact us again should you be in need of anything else.

    Warm regards,
    Stephanie Espinoza|Senior Reservations Specialist

  • Daniel Pickett

    I’ve been going to SDCC since 1992. I’ve been covering it as press since 1997. I have moderated panels every year at the con since 1999…. this is the first year I got NOTHING from the joke of a room lottery. They want us to come. They want us to spread the word. They want us to provide them with free programing… but as for lodging you are on your own.

    It’s so insulting when they post things like “there are more rooms than ever this year!” in their information emails or calling ANY of the rooms that Travel Planners offers as “discounted” rooms, when EVERYONE who lives in So Cal knows, you visit San Diego ANY OTHER WEEKEND of the year and stay in the SAME hotel room you did as SDCC and it will be 300% cheaper.

    Selling out of ALL hotels in 3 minutes should tell them that it’s BROKEN and this is from someone who the system has worked over 10 years. It’s broken… and they don’t care. There’s no consequences for them. Angry fans? eh… if they don’t come there’s plenty in line behind them that will be happy to attend. There’s no reason to fix it. The rooms still sell through, the people still come, the con still happens.

  • MediaSavant

    Celebrities and Comic-con’s guests are part of the convention. They are attendees. Even they get badges to wear.

  • jm5150

    i dont see us agreeing on anything… i think youre my bizarro

  • Michael DC

    This is my second year going to sdcc. Last year my wife just booked a hotel through expedia or a web site similar to that. No worrys, no hassles, did it 1 or 2 months before the con. This year both my wife and i tryed doing the lottery through travel planners and i gotta say it was completely frustrating. Waited days to find out if they got our request and another 2 days for the rejection letter. So i can only speak for myself, but next year i will book through expedia rather then do the crazy lottery from TP.

  • Dennis Urech

    I debated getting an Early-Bird Hotel or waiting for the General Hotel Sale to get one closer to the Convention Center. I am SO glad, I went with the Early-BIrd Hotel.

  • Kit Golan

    We had issues with the page not loading, but I wasn’t even thinking about checking the blog until now – way later. We didn’t get any of our top 6 choices, but instead got placed into a Downtown hotel that is way out of our price range. After waiting to see if any wait-listing would open up a room in our top choices, we’re going to have to cancel our reservation and go with the hotel in mission valley that we got for cheaper OUTSIDE of the comic con registration disaster. Very disappointing.

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