After most, if not all, the San Diego Comic-Con General Hotel confirmation and rejection e-mails went out today, there are not only some very happy attendees, but also some unhappy ones — either because they didn’t receive any hotel, or they didn’t get the one/area that they wanted.
So what are your next moves?
- Room Trade: One of the positive things about onPeak is that attendees have the option of changing the names on their hotel reservation, though this year the process does seem to be a little more sticky. We personally had to provide a zip code for them to allow us to change it over, and another attendee reported being told they wouldn’t transfer rooms. We recommend having the original owner of the reservation call if at all possible. But assuming you get through to a willing customer service rep, this means that you can both give and receive any unwanted room reservations to someone who does want it, making two people happy. There are room swaps all over, but the biggest and most trusted is over at the Friends of CCI forum. Don’t pay someone to “buy” their hotel room reservation from them, though.
- Cancellations: Some hotels will go back on sale. Deposits are due by April 10, and then cancellations for a full refund are due before April 30, 2016. Hotels (yes, even downtown hotels!) will be returned, as often, each roommate in a room will try for a hotel, and then if the group receives multiples, they can cancel the rest. Most of these will be Mission Valley options, but it’s a hotel, and it certainly beats sleeping on the sidewalk.
- Pray for Waitlist: For at least the last few years, Travel Planners has opened up some returned downtown hotels to those who were on the waitlist, or who simply didn’t receive their top hotel picks. In years past, Travel Planners (now onPeak) let those who had booked hotels in Mission Valley or other areas they didn’t originally request get a full refund, even though the refund deadline had passed — which is good news for anyone debating about whether to book the hotel they got assigned now, or wait it out. You can read more about waitlist hotels in our recap from 2014.
- Go Outside the System: So you didn’t get a hotel. You have other options that aren’t the Hall H line, we promise. Although downtown hotels basically want attendees’ first born in exchange for a room (the Hilton Bayfront has rooms starting at just $1095 a night, kids!), with a quick search we were able to find several motels in San Diego for under $250 a night. You won’t be spending much time there anyway.
- Accept Your Fate: If all else fails, if you at least have somewhere to stay — make the most of it. So maybe you’re in Mission Valley instead of the Gaslamp District. There are plenty of Comic-Con shuttles that run 24 hours, or you can even look into renting a car and buying parking. You now have a quiet hotel room to go back to, twice the dining options, and you can still hang around downtown as much or as little as you want. Getting that perfect downtown hotel isn’t the be-all/end-all of the Comic-Con experience, and it only means you won’t have a good time if you let it mean that. Now start planning the fun stuff.
What’s your strategy if you didn’t get what you wanted in the hotel sale? Let us know in the comments.