Hotel deposits and second chances

2 APRIL 2012

By now you should know exactly what hand Travel Planners dealt you - a good hotel, a bad hotel, no hotel at all. Much of it seems unfair. I'm hearing the usual complaints that even people who got right in and out of the system wound up by the airport and such. There's really no way to detect patterns in this without knowing the kinds of rooms people requested.

To summarize:

- Be prepared to make your deposit by tomorrow, Tuesday, 3 April. That's for two nights' stay.

- The link to confirm reservations didn't work for many people, necessitating a call to Travel Planners. You've probably figured this out by now.

- The shuttle service is improved this year to be 24-hours. That's really impressive. If you're stumbling out of a bar drunk in the wee hours, you'll still probably want to fall right into a cab instead of walking to a shuttle stand, but it's still an improvement.

- Hotel Day 2 will take place on 10 April, at 9:00 am PST. Plenty of people who dislike their hotel assignment will be canceling their rooms, and a good chuck of attendees will already be stuck with the rooms they put deposits on, so Hotel Day 2 is worth showing up for. And rooms will continue to open up all the way to the final refundable date in May - and even last minute in July. You would be surprised at how many people cut short their Con trips or bail altogether.

- If you didn't get a room, or hate the room you got, start looking now for condo rentals, hostels, private home and apartment rentals or campgrounds. Also consider splitting your hotel stay into one or two nights at the unwanted hotel, and one or two nights at whatever better hotels you can scratch up online. This includes not just going through Travel Planners but looking at or Travelocity. You will probably pay at least an extra hundred a night but some people think it's worth it.

Good luck. Hopefully everyone got the rooms they wanted.

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