Comic-Con Hotels 2010: Reviewing the Reservation Form

It was fast. Anticlimactic, really. It took a few reloads to get the Comic-Con International home page up, but once I could click on the reservation link, everything went smoothly. I was done by 9:05.

The reservation page was actually optimized!

  • Just one image: a banner across the top.
  • Everything was on one page, including the list of hotels, the personal info, and the hotel choices.
  • Hotel selection was done by client-side scripting, so there was no wait for processing between selections (and no risk of typos confusing their processing system later today).

This is a huge deal, especially compared to Travel Planners’ horribly overdesigned 2008 forms — yes, forms, plural — that kept bogging down. (I never even saw last year’s, though I tried for an hour and a half to get in.)

On the downside, that one page does load a half-dozen script files, but that doesn’t seem to have slowed it down much.

In case none of your 12 choices were available, they asked for a maximum price you’d be willing to pay for another hotel that’s not on your list. I vaguely recall this being a feature of the old fax forms, but I don’t remember being asked this on the phone last year.

I was surprised to find that they didn’t want credit card info immediately, but that’s good from a streamlining perspective as well. The hotel choices, room type, and contact info are critical in order to make the reservation in the first place. Payment can be done later, so in a rushed situation like this, it’s better to handle it later. Plus, not asking for credit card information means that they could run the site without encryption, speeding things up a bit more.

I would have liked to have gotten a confirmation number for the request, or an email, just so that I could be sure that I was in their queue. And to be sure that I entered the right email address. And the right start and end dates. And…well, you get the idea. I’m a little paranoid about the process at the moment.

Here’s hoping that the back end of the process, and sending out confirmations, goes as smoothly as the front end did.

Update: Short answer: it didn’t. Long answer: I’ve written up what went wrong, at least from the guests’ point of view.

See Also: Convention Photos & Write-Ups

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17 thoughts on “Comic-Con Hotels 2010: Reviewing the Reservation Form

  1. Anonymous

    I like the new procedure as well, though I wish there were a way to find out if (insert specific hotel here) were already sold out.

  2. Kelson Post author

    Six hours in, and still no reservation email. Now I really wish they’d handed me a confirmation number for the request. Even if it was something like “You are #56,234 in line,” at least I could (theoretically) log in or call and say, “Hi, I’m #56,234 in line, can you tell me whether there’s a problem with my request or have you just not gotten that far yet?”

  3. Matt

    Yeah…got my request in by about 9:05am as well…still no email and it’s over 7 hours later. Now the site says they are no longer taking any more requests. So if I don’t get any of the 12 hotels I picked, I guess I am SOL. NOT IMPRESSED. They should have least given you a submission number or something. Right now, I feel as if my request has been completely overlooked.

    1. Kelson Post author

      In downtown, close enough to walk if I really had to, but the shuttle or trolley is probably the way to go. Not one of the choices I submitted, but it was #14 on my original list.

      1. semigeekgirl

        I wonder how they picked your hotel once all 12 of the choices you listed were gone? I didn’t check the “please book me into something else if I can’t get one of my choices” box b/c I didn’t want that, but they did it anyway. The only thing all my choices had in common was distance from the Con, but the hotel they booked me into is 3 miles away. Sounds like yours is probably closer, but you got your email ~4 hours after me. None of this makes any kind of sense.

    1. Cali

      Did you use Firefox? Those of us who did got screwed. From everyone I talked to we all had our registration done by 9:10AM and no one got a hotel on their list of 12.

        1. semigeekgirl

          Firefox here too. But I didn’t have the no-arrival-day-dropbox problem. Submitted at 9:07 (I think), got a non-pick hotel 3 miles away.

          1. Cali

            I didn’t have any of the issues other Firefox users had, but I did have a glitch, when asked if I wanted to be booked into a hotel within my price range if none of my 12 were available I said no. And yet I still got booked into a room 7 miles away.

            I talked to someone at the housing center and they basically said I’m out of luck. When I asked why when I booked at 9:08 and didn’t get any hotels on my list, and my friend who waited until 11 got her second choice was basically told sorry that’s the way it works.

            First come first serve my ass!!

      1. Kelson Post author

        I started with Firefox, IE and Chrome. Chrome was the first one to load the page after the link went live, so Chrome was the one I used.

        I heard that people using Adblock with Firefox or Chrome ran into problems because it blocked the check-in date drop-down.

  4. Nelson

    My roommate and I submitted two request forms from the same room. He finished first at 9:04- hasn’t gotten any reply. I finished at 9:06 and got a reply 11 hours later with a hotel not even on our list. We just booked thru Priceline and “The Shat” got us a closer room at a lower price!
    Clearly the comic con site was picking and choosing and totally unfair- probablly saving the good rooms for themselves.

  5. Alex

    I submitted at 9:06 am too and didn’t get a hotel on my list. From what I hear it wouldn’t have made a difference if it was 9:01 am. Closer hotels must have been blocked off for VIPs or something. I read in the Tribune article that the Hyatt doubled the number of rooms for the CC but they weren’t on the list.

  6. Alex

    Oh, that’s future plans: “The 1,600-room Manchester Grand Hyatt, down the street from the convention center, has agreed to boost its 2013-2015 block of Comic-Con rooms from 700 to 1,400, a concession it needed to make in order to hold on to Comic-Con’s business, said Mike Waddill, the hotel’s director of sales.”

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