Hotels around San Francisco International Airport have been flooded with passengers whose flights were delayed or canceled because of Saturday’s crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214.
Most hotels were sold out, and the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit found that some appeared to be charging a lot more because of the crash.
Some rooms were advertised online for up to $1,200 Saturday night -- rooms that normally go for $100 to $200. It’s a drastically higher rate than for a typical Saturday night. Just about every hotel the Unit called was sold out.
The Best Western in South San Francisco is listed at $140 to $150 a night over the next month. But after the crash, it was advertised as $999. It’s now sold out. The Unit asked the manager about the increase. He said, "Sometimes the price goes up," and he was not interested in commenting further.
Other hotels are also listing high prices online. When the Unit called about the rates, they said people who need a room bad enough will pay it.
UPDATE 7/7/13: David Huddleston, the Operations Manager at Best Western in South San Francisco, says he set the rate of $999/night online by mistake. Huddleston claims the employee who told NBC Bay Area on the phone the rate was $999, was also wrong. Huddleston says the problem has been corrected and claims no one was charged that elevated price. The hotel advertises rooms for $309/night on Monday, July 8th, which Huddleston confirms is correct. That same room is listed at $149 other nights in July.
Send us your tips: If you hear of anything that you would consider a bad business practice as a direct result of this tragedy, call the Investigative Unit’s tipline at 888-996-TIPS or send an email to TheUnit@NBCBayArea.com.