We were extremely disappointed so see Michelle Durand’s July 9 column “Price-gouging jerks” alluding to hotel rates for displaced passengers following the recent crash. Our hoteliers’ hearts went out to all involved and they went out of their way to help those left stranded. As correctly reported in the Chronicle, our hotels did offer the passengers discounted rates immediately following the crash.
The misinformation began when a reporter went online to check hotel room prices after the crash. Because it was the week of Semicon West in San Francisco, online prices were high, reflecting the tremendous demand for rooms from San Francisco into Santa Clara County. The online prices during Semicon week, however, had nothing to do with the rates being offered to distressed passengers.
What was not reported is how hotels work with displaced passengers. Either the airlines themselves or a company called Airport Accommodations contacts our hotels by phone when passengers are displaced, securing rooms at greatly reduced rates. Hundreds of rooms were offered at lower rates, with our hotels foregoing sales of those rooms at a much higher Semicon week rate.
John Thackray, senior vice president at Airport Accommodations, has publicly stated that there was no price gouging by our hotels during the aftermath of the crash, noting that hotels went far beyond expectations to help.
It is time for all to give our hotels the credit they deserve — for their incredible compassion for the displaced passengers and their ongoing generosity to our communities and nonprofit organizations.
President and CEO,
San Mateo County/Silicon
Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau