I Didn’t Get a Hotel for San Diego Comic-Con — Now What?

Comic-Con 2012 hotel bayfront hilton revolution wrap NBC driving carAfter 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.

About Kerry Dixon

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

  • Brenda

    When is the hotel resale?

  • David

    Forgive what may be a stupid question from a Comic-Con newbie, but are the “Cancellation” option and “Pray for Waitlist” option two unrelated things, or do cancellations first go to the people who are on the waitlist?

  • Usually first on the waitlist, then what’s left will go into a pool for the hotel resale, basically.

  • They haven’t stated. It won’t open until after April 30 though.

  • Fred

    Kerry, thanks for that last point about accepting what you have. It’s easy to want only what you want and forget to be grateful about what you already have.

  • KC123

    Airbnb one way to go. I didn’t get a room so went this route saved like half the money I was willing to spend on a hotel. I’ll just park at one of the hotels and catch the shuttle from there.

  • Joe

    I’d be wary of Airbnb though. I recall last year a lot of last minute cancellations form home/apt owners on people who booked them for comic con, because they realized they could have a huge up charge due to the convention. So they cancelled on the people last minute (which according to airbnb, they’re allowed to do), and screwed a lot of people over.

  • KC123

    Yeah thanks for the heads up. This is mainly a backup if I don’t get anything off of the wait list.

  • DANGER

    Went with AirBnB last year and ended up a 5-minute uber away from the convention center. Originally it was our back up incase we never landed a hotel, which we did not.

    This year was different, though. I was lucky to land a hotel since I originally was looking for an AirBnB from the get-go but since NOVEMBER, no host actually confirmed a reservation I requested, up until a week before Hotelpocalypse.

    Like in all things, your mileage may vary…

  • Rey6284

    Any idea if preference for waitlist would go to people who were booked into “shuttle route” hotels first, or to those who got nothing and ended up waitlist only? (We are waitlist only.) I know it’s difficult to ascertain since nothing at all seems to make sense on how things are being handled.

    Also, what is general vibe on someone trading a hotel room for a badge? We have an extra badge that we could theoretically trade, but no hotel at this point, but I don’t know if that’s a frowned-upon move. Maybe CCI would prefer that over me refunding the badge due to not having a hotel room, but I do know their official policy is no trades/resales…

    BTW, #Hotelpocalypse SUCKS.

  • Rey6284

    I’d also like to add that it is incredibly frustrating to know that people are getting acceptance emails today, when many, including us, were waitlisted yesterday. I mean, really, wtf. OnPeak could not tell us why or tell us where in the waitlist we are.

    My suggestion in the future is to – along with requiring member ID’s and limiting the amount of rooms per ID# – simply set a date window within which all those applying for rooms can submit their choices and info at their convenience/leisure.

    If it’s going to be random anyway, at least save everyone – including OnPeak employees – the time, hassle and frustration, and then just call it what it is – a totally random lottery determined by a computer system that operates 100% arbitrarily.

  • Eric Bennett

    I looked at air b and b..all the ones I saw 2 days ago were “special comic con rates” of $822 a night or more

  • Amber Lovin

    I’d give up my spare bed for a badge. 🙂

  • oreodogvomit

    Someone tried to do that to friends of mine last year and the owner acquiesced when my friends threatened to complain to airbnb. According to them that was against the user agreement. I got a place today and made it explicitly clear that it was for Con. The owner thought it was a perfect plan.

  • Kerry

    Really really glad it worked out for you, but yeah, it seems to happen every year to folks, which is the main reason we don’t outright suggest airbnb.

  • Pingback: Hotelpocalypse 2016 Recap: The Great Randomizer [UPDATE] | San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog()

  • Kerry Vanderberg

    How does it work if you get waitlisted?

  • Tom Witwicky

    i dont understand guys who paid 75 dolalrs and + for a night

  • Rey6284

    Looking for a room, not bed only, but thank you – maybe someone else will see this and be able to help.

  • Mileidy O Castillo M

    Hi everyone! I still have 2 bedroom suite available to share at the Residence Inn from June 20-25. PM if interested. Thanks!!!

  • Kelli Ann Garrett Tammaro

    You CAN rebuy a hotel for comic con-I have a reservation for four nights from july 20-24 at Hilton Bayfront and cannot use it-I checked with debbie stevens room reservation supervisor there and she said all I had to do was add the name of who I sold the room to as I have already prepaid for it-then the buyer can check in with their credit card for incidental room charges only-this is totally legit and I will sell the room for 4000 for all 4 nights which is what I paid-if anyone doubts this then call the hotel at 619-564-3333 to verify-the room is a two queen room w a bay and city downtown skyline view

  • Emily Anders

    Hi! I live in a house in downtown San Diego and am willing to rent my room out for the weekend! Youll have your own room that locks with 2 closets, desk, dresser, queen bed, and 37″ tv. You will also have full access to the bathroom, washed and dryer, kitchen, living room with 60″ tv, fenced yard, and use of our poker and hookah room. Theres plenty of parking if needed, and my house is located only 1 block away from the trolly where you can be at the convention center in only 2 stops!
    Renting for the entire weekend July20-24 and am willing to add additonal nights for a fee.
    Pricing for 1-4 people is $1500
    5-8 people for $2000
    And 8-12 people for $2500
    Please feel free to contact me via email at emganders@gmail.com for pictures or any questions.

  • Kiki Woodworth

    Since tickets are so impossible to get. We have given up on the idea of going. We used to get tickets for free until the year Halle Berry went. So I’m opening my home to guests. I have 3 available bedrooms. We just want to show some SD SoCal hospitality. Food and transportation included. 20 minutes from the Convevtion Center.
    619-376-8711

  • Nayeli Hernandez

    Hi, I have a loft in downtown 3 blocks from Gaslamp 1 Cal King bed, 1 sofa bed,big tv,wifi, laundry room, 2 desk, kitchen, refrigeratior,1 bathroom and all servicies, you can walk to Gaslamp and convention center easy, for all the weekend 2,000 dlls if you are interested send me a email to hvnayeli@hotmail.com My name is Nayeli, this place is excellent for this comic con event…..

  • Nayeli Hernandez

    Hi, I have a loft in downtown 3 blocks from Gaslamp 1 Cal King bed, 1 sofa bed,big tv,wifi, laundry room, 2 desk, kitchen, refrigeratior,1 bathroom and all servicies, you can walk to Gaslamp and convention center easy, for all the weekend 2,000 dlls if you are interested send me a email to hvnayeli@hotmail.com My name is Nayeli, this place is excellent for this comic con event…..

  • Nayeli Hernandez

    Hi, I have a loft in downtown 3 blocks from Gaslamp 1 Cal King bed, 1 sofa bed,big tv,wifi, laundry room, 2 desk, kitchen, refrigeratior,1 bathroom and all servicies, you can walk to Gaslamp and convention center easy, for all the weekend 2,000 dlls if you are interested send me a email to hvnayeli@hotmail.com My name is Nayeli,

  • Nayeli Hernandez

    Hi, I have a loft in downtown 3 blocks from Gaslamp 1 Cal King bed, 1 sofa bed,big tv,wifi, laundry room, 2 desk, kitchen, refrigeratior,1 bathroom and all servicies, you can walk to Gaslamp and convention center easy, for all the weekend 2,000 dlls if you are interested send me a email to hvnayeli@hotmail.com My name is Nayeli, this place is excellent for this comic con event….. The price can be less is we talk.

  • Nayeli Hernandez

    Hi, I have a loft in downtown 3 blocks from Gaslamp 1 Cal King bed, 1 sofa bed,big tv,wifi, laundry room, 2 desk, kitchen, refrigeratior,1 bathroom and all servicies, you can walk to Gaslamp and convention center easy, for all the weekend 2,000 dlls if you are interested send me a email to hvnayeli@hotmail.com My name is Nayeli, this place is excellent for this comic con event…..price can be less

  • Nayeli Hernandez

    Hi, I have a loft in downtown 3 blocks from Gaslamp 1 Cal King bed, 1 sofa bed,big tv,wifi, laundry room, 2 desk, kitchen, refrigeratior,1 bathroom and all servicies, you can walk to Gaslamp and convention center easy, for all the weekend 1,700 dlls if you are interested send me a email to hvnayeli@hotmail.com My name is Nayeli,

  • Nayeli Hernandez

    If anyone of you at the and can¨t find a hotel room, my loft is available, we are also going whit our costumes, maybe 2 or 4 people whit sleeping bags 100 dlls for person, honestly i am just trying to help our place is 2 blocks from gaslamp send me a email hvnayeli@hotmail.com

  • Kristin W

    you can get a room last minute easily now. some hotels hold too many rooms and they get released and then they sell them at lower more reasonable rates. always call the hotels five days from your arrival date and ask if they have any rooms they always do! Some mission valley hotels were selling for 189 over this past weekend.