More than 3 million people fly on commercial aircraft every single day. Some of those travelers planning a flight to Oregon for the 2017 solar eclipse, however, have been sorely disappointed.
Hotels in Oregon have received harsh criticism for the apparent cancellation of over a dozen reservations for the 2017 eclipse. In turn, they appear to have raised the rates for hotel rooms from anywhere between $600 and $1,600 a night.
In recent months, some customers have been complaining on online forums and filing reports with the Oregon Department of Justice, claiming that the rooms that they had booked well in advance have inexplicably been canceled, and the rate of the rooms driven to staggering prices. Many of the hotel managers involved with these claims have yet to respond or they seem unapologetic, even as August looms on the horizon.
According to one customer who had a room booked at the Stafford Inn in Prineville, ” … had a room booked for the eclipse on August 21, 2017, and the manager emailed to say they were canceling it because of new ownership. This is not true because the new owners took over in 2014, not just now. Now they are offering up the room for $600 a night instead of the $160 it was confirmed for.”
As of right now, the Oregon Department of Justice is looking into these accusations. If they find the hotels responsible, then those businesses could be breaking the law under the Unlawful Trade Practices Act. This makes it illegal to use deceptive marketing tactics like false advertising.
According to a department spokesperson, Ellen Klem, “A hotel can charge whatever it likes. It just can’t be deceptive in the advertising or the marketing.”
Hotels that have chosen to respond have offered an explanation many customers find difficult to accept. They are blaming either a system upgrade or glitch in the system, or even stating the changes occurred because of new ownership or new branding.
Now customers are forced to stop shopping for their sun filters and no. 14 welder’s glasses that would, according to NASA, best protect their eyes during the eclipse, and figure out how to get their hotel rooms back. Needless to say, a lot of people are not happy that their confirmation number doesn’t mean much anymore.
The investigation is still ongoing by the Oregon Department of Justice. If found guilty, those hotels could face hefty fines and serious blows to their reputations. However, the only thing most customers want is their reserved spot to see the magnificent spectacle that is the 2017 solar eclipse.