Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today urged people who have booked hotel rooms in the 90-mile path of August's solar eclipse to double-check their reservations before the big day arrives.
The Oregon Department of Justice reports an increased number of consumer complaints accusing hotels of cancelling reservations without cause or hiking up room prices without warning—up to three times the originally advertised price.
At least 12 hotels have had to work with the DOJ to resolve complaints about cancellations and price gouging. Seven have agreed to honor pricing at the rate agreed upon when customers first booked the rooms.
"While most hotels play by the rules, we are concerned that some could try to make money off of this unique event, and increase the price of the hotel room without telling the customer," Rosenblum said in a statement. "We want to make sure travelers know that hotels must honor their advertised prices, regardless of whether the prices are advertised directly by the hotel, or with a third party." (Disclosure: Rosenblum is married to the co-owner of WW's parent company.)
The state expects up to 1 million visitors to flock to the path of the eclipse, which will be the first total solar eclipse in Oregon in 38 years. When the moon passes directly in front of the sun, the sky will darken, the temperature will drop and those with their eyes to the sky will be able to see the sun's corona—its outer atmosphere—which is usually not visible.
But check to make sure your hotel booking isn't so fleeting.