Eclipse Mania Leads to Overbooking, Price Hikes
Travelers ahead of August 21 event snatch up rental cars, hotel rooms — but not all will get their money's worth
The solar eclipse is going to be a huge event. So huge that the Oregon government is planning for a million people to come to the Portland, Oregon, area in hopes of catching the event along the path of totality.
With so many people traveling from out of town, hotels and car rental services have been cashing in. Some hotels are even fetching as much as $1,500 a night during the special weekend.
Hertz car rental tried to capitalize on the hype by advertising its services for the event on its blog, going so far as to break down the exact times and locations that are best to experience the total eclipse.
Travelers quickly snatched up the services, placing car reservations months in advance of the August 21 eclipse.
However, for many of the prepared travelers, their advance reservations weren't enough to secure a car rental from Hertz.
Now, two weeks before the eclipse, Hertz has placed robocalls to "several hundred" people who had reserved cars — many of them months in advance – to inform them that their reservation had been canceled due to severe overbooking.
Many people have taken to social media to express their anger that the car they had reserved was no longer available. Some who had received the calls even said that when they looked back at the site to make reservations, the price had jumped from $300 for the weekend to $3,000 — infuriating people even more at the price gouge, and leading some to think that Hertz is dropping reservations so they can hike up prices.
Hertz is trying to do damage control.
In a statement to Inc., a Hertz spokesperson said: "We are reaching out to those customers this week to let them know that we are bringing in additional fleet from outside areas to fulfill as many customer reservations as we can."
So there may still be hope for some, but for the majority this means a spoiled vacation.
This Fox News piece is used by permission.
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