After Deal is Canceled for Super Bowl Weekend, Lake Elmo Man Suspects Hotel of Price Gouging

September 22, 2017 06:05 PM

Months ago, Lake Elmo residents Michael Cherry and his wife decided to reserve a hotel room in downtown Minneapolis to be a bit closer to the excitement of the Super Bowl.

Cherry and his wife are Marriott Platinum Reward members. He says downtown rooms were booked, but he was able to reserve a room at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott in Bloomington.

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"I clicked on there and got a room reserved for Friday and Saturday night for $133, and I thought that was a pretty good deal for the Super Bowl weekend," Cherry said. 

However, the reservation he made several months ago was canceled over the weekend.

"All of a sudden I got an email saying, 'sorry, we have to inform you that we canceled your reservations due to overbooking and a computer glitch,'" Cherry said.

The email was sent by Angie Hallaway, the Airport Marriott's director of sales.

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It states: "We regret to inform you that due to a recently discovered computer glitch causing an overbooking situation for Friday, February 2nd and Saturday, February 3, 2018, we will not be able to honor your reservation.

"A limited number of rooms have become available for Sunday, February 4th. The rate for Sunday is $999.00 plus state and local tax."

Cherry said he suspects Marriott is price gouging.

"I think if they're getting rid of someone's room that's $133 and offering rooms for $999 -- that may be price gouging," he said. "It's not acceptable."

Hotel Manager Nehad Sobhy referred questions about Cherry's allegations to corporate headquarters, but confirmed an overbooking issue. Requests for comment to Marriott's corporate office went unanswered Thursday.

"We are working with our customers to resolve this issue," he said. "There are no rooms available for Friday and Saturday, however rooms are open on Sunday for $999."

Sobhy did not say how many reservations were canceled due to the computer glitch.

The state Attorney General's office offers assistance in filing consumer complaints here

Credits

Cleo Greene

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