Hotels.com Leap Year Promotion Specifically Excludes Pretty Much Every Hotel Everywhere

(Prayitno)

This is the bar of a combined Courtyard and Residence Inn, both of which are excluded. (Prayitno)

Marketers are having a lot of fun with the idea of Leap Day, which is nice: it’s a fun non-holiday that everyone who uses the Gregorian calendar can appreciate, but that a marketer didn’t have to invent. One promotion at Hotels.com seems like a nice idea –– in a virtual drawing, customers can choose a coupon worth up to 29% off their total hotel bill –– but the key question is, which hotel?

Update: it turns out this coupon wasn’t quite as exclusionary as it seemed, even though that list was pretty long.

That’s an important question, because the list of hotel chains and individual hotels specifically excluded from this promotion puts coupon-exclusion offenders like Macy’s, Babies ‘R’ Us, Petco, and Kmart to shame.

The exclusions are pretty standard, though they make it clear that you wouldn’t want to plan an actual vacation around any bookings that you made with this coupon, considering these items under the terms:

2. Participating hotels are subject to change.

and

7. We reserve the right to change or withdraw the offer at any time and to cancel any bookings made where the coupon has been used to make any speculative, false or fraudulent bookings or any bookings in anticipation of demand.

Fine, they don’t want you booking a room for the next Super Bowl and then reselling it on the side. We get that. The site having the right to change your booking is problematic, though, and so is the list of excluded hotels, which seems to exclude every hotel on the planet, including all the major global chains. We hit “print” just to see how long the document would be if printed out: it would be 39 pages long.

Motel 6? There. Hilton? There. Mariott? Definitely. Days Inn is missing from the exclusion list, but some of their local outposts have excluded themselves. There must be others, but it still seems like a list that would have been a lot shorter if they had listed the hotels where you can use the coupon instead.

We contacted Hotels.com and asked them where this coupon can be used: we’ll update this post if and when we hear anything back from them.

Discount Coupon Property Exclusions and Basic Terms [Hotels.com]