If you thought getting a badge to San Diego Comic-Con was tough, you better buckle in for the bumpy ride that is the General Hotel Sale, or, as we lovingly call it, Hotelpocalypse. On Tuesday, March 24, attendees will try for a hotel, and just like with badge sales, some attendees will walk away disappointed.
So how can you help make sure that you get the downtown hotel of your dreams (and if you’re wondering why staying downtown is so great, check out our Case for Staying Downtown and In the Gaslamp Quarter)? Because Travel Planners goes by timestamp on when hotel choices are submitted, you need to be quick – and that means familiarizing yourself with the process. While there’s no guarantees that 2015’s process will look exactly like last year’s (though a Travel Planner’s representative did confirm that this year’s process would essentially be the same), it’s a safe bet that it will at least be similar (and thanks to Comic-Con Geek, we have a visual reference to exactly how last year’s process worked).
You can view the list of hotels and prices by clicking here, with prices ranging from $166/night for one person at the Days Hotel – Hotel Circle by Seaworld, up to $375/night for one person at the Hard Rock Hotel suites. Most attendees will be trying for a downtown hotel in the Gaslamp, but the General Hotel Sale also includes hotels at both the airport and in Mission Valley.
Travel Planners requires that attendees select exactly six hotel choices, in order of preference. Research which hotels you’re interested in before the sale begins, so you’re not wasting valuable time. Before the sale begins, plan on having the following information handy:
- Your six hotels, in order of preference (write the name exactly as it appears on the Comic-Con hotel list)
- The amount of people staying in your room
- The names of any roommates who are staying with you
Within 48 hours before the sale, you’ll be e-mailed a link to Travel Planner’s SDCC site, though it won’t go live until 9AM PT on March 24.
Once the site is live, you’ll be greeted with this screen:
You’ll need to select the Click Here to Start Your Request button. You’ll then be taken to the actual hotel request form, which will first give you a rundown of all the hotel options again:
Once you’ve scrolled past this screen, you’ll begin filling in your information, including your first and last name, address, phone number, and e-mail address.
You’ll then be able to enter your six hotel choices, from a drop-down menu. Put them in your order of preference. So if the Hard Rock Hotel is your first choice, select that hotel first. You’ll also have the option of selecting a box to indicate that if the con rate at your hotel is unavailable, if you’d like to be upgraded (at an unspecified amount) to a “higher nightly rate” room. If you don’t want to select this option, simply don’t click anything.
Once you’ve entered all six of your hotels, you’ll have to choose the worst case scenario: If none of your six hotel choices are available, what would you like to happen? You have three options:
- Book me into any available downtown hotel. If NO downtown hotels are available, discard my request.
- Book me into any hotel that is on the shuttle route. If NO hotels on the shuttle route are available, discard my request. NOTE: If we are able to book you into a hotel on the shuttle route, you will also automatically be waitlisted for your original, specified hotel choices above.
- Book me into any available hotel. NOTE: If we can book you into any available hotel, you will still automatically be waitlisted for your original, specified hotel choices. If we CANNOT book your requests, you will be automatically waitlisted.
Choose the option that makes the most sense to you, but it is worth mentioning that last year, several downtown hotels did open up later after cancellations, and were made available to those who selected one of the last two options.
The next step is filling out the information about the kind of accommodations you’ll be needing. You’ll select the number of total rooms you’re requesting, and then for each room, the amount of beds/people. You can choose between Single (One person with one bed), Double (Two people, one bed), Twin (Two people, two beds), Triple (Three people, two beds), or Quad (Four people, two beds).
Once you’ve selected this, you’ll be prompted to enter in the first and last name for each occupant. In years past, you’ve even been able to make changes to the names and amount of occupants in a room even after paying a deposit, but there is no guarantee it will be the same this year. You’ll also need to enter your arrival and departure date.
Finally, you’ll need to checkmark all three boxes at the bottom of the screen:
- I will provide a deposit equal to two night’s room and tax within 72 hours of receiving my hotel reservations confirmation email or my reservations will be automatically canceled.
- I understand type of room is not guaranteed.
- I am submitting one form for all of my rooms. (Submitting multiple requets will only delay the processing of your reservations)
All reservation requests will be processed in date/time stamp order, but “all forms received within three seconds of each other are considered to have arrived at the same time and will be processed in a random order within that three-second grouping.” This means that there’s still some randomization going on — though attendees’ experience with Travel Planners over the last few years seems to indicate that they really are going as close to time of form submission as possible.
Within a few days, you’ll receive a confirmation e-mail with the hotel you received – no later than March 26, 2015. If you choose to accept that hotel, you’ll need to pay a full two nights’ deposit within 72 hours. If you and a roommate each received a reservation, and your names are on both forms, Travel Planners will alert you that one of these reservations needs to be canceled, or they will cancel one for you.
When it comes to Hotelpocalypse, speed really is the most important factor. Have all of your information on hand prior to the sale, and maybe start praying to the Travel Planners hotel gods.
Will you be trying for a hotel? Let us know in the comments.