The poor management of the Thompson Seattle mistake rate is a perfect example of what not to do when dealing with mistake rates. With a single mistake, Thompson Seattle, managed to breach the privacy of their customers and charged for reservations they had “cancelled” due to the pricing error.

Update: Somebody pointed out to me, that Thompson Seattle has changed the reservation price, without any notice, rather than cancelling the reservation entirely.

Thompson Seattle Mistake Rate

Last week, Thompson Seattle posted a mistake rate of US$53.70 per night. This was an error on a Hyatt Prive exclusive promotion; Savor the Summer. Savor the summer provided an additional credit of US$50 to $100 for two to four night reservations. This deal was further sweetened by an ongoing double nights promotion by Hyatt at Thompson Hotels, allowing for a quick way to gather elite qualifying nights. Finally, those with Globalist, had their destination fee waived.

Personally, I discovered the deal on a private forum on the evening of June 4. The deal was over the next morning, likely when the reservations team walked in the next morning with an unexpectedly large number of bookings. I had posted within my private communities, offering anyone interested, the ability to quickly book room nights at that rate.


The reservations were active for the entire day on June 5. On June 6th, more than 36 hours after the reservations were originally made, we received an email letting us know that the rooms were cancelled since it was booked at an error rate. The email also pointed out to the terms and conditions of Hyatt that allowed them to cancel room reservations in the event of errors.

My initial reaction? Okay, no problem. There was an error rate. I got in on it. There is cancellation. That is how some mistake rates go. I expected nothing more out of it.

A second email goes out

The next day, I receive a second email. Except, this time, it contains the names of all the guests who booked the mistake rate, their confirmation number, and check-in date. Essentially, all the information I need to retrieve their reservation online. This is not completely unheard of within the travel agent space; however, it was a surprise they sent the email.

My client receives an email…

This is the biggest privacy breach, my client received the exact same email the next day. Now, that is a customer privacy breach. Travel agents accessing reservations for someone else, is not ideal, but it is common within the travel space. My customers having access to the same information is definitely a privacy breach by Thompson Seattle. That was unacceptable.

Yesterday, I am guessing, they figured out their error and attempted to recall the email. Except, the damage was done.

Charged for no-show?

On June 7, I was made aware that room reservations are still active and showing on the app, including check-in for that day. Everyone who made me aware of that, I let them know, assume the reservation is cancelled, and no further action necessary.

The next morning, I woke up to another WhatsApp message. This time with a screenshot of their credit card portal, showing a charge of the one night fee on the room. That would indicate that they were charged a no-show fee, for not showing up to a reservation. Except, this reservation was supposedly cancelled by Thompson Seattle?

Update: Rate Change by Thompson Seattle

If you booked in on that rate, and you open your reservation, it is showing an updated rate. Rather than Thompson Seattle cancelling the reservation, they opted to fix their mistake by updating the rate without informing anyone. After sending and recalling emails, I am surprised Thompson Seattle is unable to just cancel all the reservations.

Conclusion – Poor Management by Thompson Seattle

Interestingly, it is June 10 now, and reservations are still active within my app. My clients have been charged a no-show fee, which I’m now working with Thompson Seattle to reverse.

This is incredibly poor management of the Thompson Seattle mistake rate.

But, for any hotel, who has a mistake fare in the future, these are the steps you should not do, after you cancelled your reservation:

  1. Send an email to all the agents and their customers, with their full name, reservation confirmation number, and stay dates, CC’ing everyone on the email thread,
  2. Not cancelling reservations,
  3. Charging for reservations that were not cancelled, but had claimed to cancel them due to an error.
  4. Changing the rate for all existing reservations with an arbitrary rate.